British PM gears up in lead-up to Brexit

British PM gears up in lead-up to Brexit

British PM gears up in lead-up to Brexit

May was visiting Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales during her day-long tour, aiming to shore up support for the government's Brexit strategy. The findings suggest London will comfortably remain Europe's largest financial centre, at least in the short term, boosting supporters of leaving the European Union, who say the threat of job losses from one of Britain's biggest industries was exaggerated.

The companies surveyed - the biggest or most internationally-focused banks, insurers, asset managers, private equity firms and exchanges in Britain - were responding to questions about their plans in the event of a so-called "hard" Brexit, where the United Kingdom would leave not only the EU but also the single market and Customs Union.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell defended Thornberry's comments, emphasising her "sarcasm" in response to a journalist's question.

But first, May has to agree a deal in Parliament, with a vote expected in October.

The main opposition Labour Party has said it will back a trade deal with the EU only if the deal meets the six yardsticks it has laid down, which includes Britain retaining the benefits of the European single market and customs union.

During her visit to Bangor, Northern Ireland, on Thursday, she repeated her "commitment to avoid a hard border" between the United Kingdom region and the Republic of Ireland, and to "protect" the 1998 peace agreement.

The prime minister has been accused of a power grab by the Scottish and Welsh governments over plans to repatriate some powers from Brussels to Westminster rather than to the devolved administrations.

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Mr Blair, a strong backer of United Kingdom membership of the European Union, told BBC Radio 4's Today the "sensible" option was to "take a final decision" once the terms of the deal have been set out.

Writing in the Express, Mr Johnson said: 'Like an unstoppable express, we are heading for Brexit and frankly, my friends, we can't arrive soon enough'.

"I believe there is a bright future out there once we've left the European Union", May said during her visit to Bangor in Northern Ireland. And yes, I think Brexit is going to deliver a country that will be different, but I think there are real opportunities for us as an independent nation for the future'.

Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a major anti-Brexit voice, said it was "more likely. than a few months ago" that Brexit could be stopped, saying it was "not too late".

May kicked off the trip with a visit to a textile factory in Ayrshire, southwest Scotland, before travelling to Newcastle in northeast England to meet a parent and toddler group.

"We have a very a strong union, that is in our interests and it is in our interests to come together and really seize these opportunities for the future". The prime minister will end the tour by meeting businesses in Barry, south Wales.

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