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May admits Brexit vote was divisive, assures Remainers

Prime Minister Theresa May promised to get a deal from Brussels that would protect the interests of those who voted for UK to remain in the European Union.

world Updated: Jan 01, 2017 21:13 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Brexit,Prime Minister Theresa May,European Union
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives at a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium on December 15, 2016. (Reuters )

The 52-48% split in the June 23 Brexit vote divided Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May admitted in a New Year message on Sunday, but promised to get a deal from Brussels that would protect the interests of those who voted to remain in the EU.

May is due to initiate exit proceedings from the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty by the end of March. The Supreme Court is expected to rule shortly on whether it can be done with or without the approval of parliament.

“I know that the referendum last June was divisive at times. I know, of course, that not everyone shared the same point of view, or voted in the same way. But I know too that, as we face the opportunities ahead of us, our shared interests and ambitions can bring us together”, May said.

“These ambitions unite us, so that we are no longer the 52% who voted Leave and the 48% who voted Remain, but one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future”.

“So when I sit around the negotiating table in Europe this year, it will be with that in mind – the knowledge that I am there to get the right deal – not just for those who voted to Leave – but for every single person in this country”, she promised.

May recalled the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox during the referendum campaign, and quoted her as saying: “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.”

May added: “We have a golden opportunity to demonstrate that – to bring this country together as never before, so that whoever you are, wherever you live, our politics, economy and society work for you, not just a privileged few”.

First Published: Jan 01, 2017 21:11 IST