U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 25 mins

May fails to answer whether Britain is better off with her Brexit deal or staying in the EU

Kerstin Kubanek (UK)
Finance Writer
Theresa May is to tour the UK to win over MPs and convince them to vote for her Brexit deal. Photo: Getty

UK prime minister Theresa May refused to answer the question of whether Britain would be better off with her Brexit deal or staying as a member of the European Union.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday, May just said she had never said the “sky would fall in” if Brexit happens and that “I think we will be better off in a situation which we’ll have outside the European Union, where we have control of all those things, and are able to trade around the rest of the world.”

“You say: Are we better off?… actually it’s a different sort of environment, and a different approach that we’ll be taking to things,” she added.

Last week, May announced that she had secured a draft Brexit deal with the EU. This week, both the bloc and Britain said they have also agreed on a draft deal on their future relationship and May told members of parliament that Brexit is “within our grasp.” While the document is not legally binding, it is a starting point for actual negotiations. 

The UK prime minister will meet European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker again on Saturday and then take part in the main EU summit on Sunday. At the Sunday summit, both parties hope to sign off on both the 585-page Brexit withdrawal agreement and the updated political declaration.

However, the biggest hurdle is still ahead — getting the deal through UK parliament. Her draft deal has already led to a raft of resignations and criticism from within her own party as well as from the opposition. She is currently facing the prospect of a vote of no confidence.

In the radio interview today, May urged MPs to approve the Brexit deal agreement the summit on Sunday. She said that there would be “more division and uncertainty” if parliament rejected the agreement next month.

“From my point of view, personally, there is no question of ‘no Brexit’ because the government needs to deliver on what people voted on in the referendum in 2016,” said May, adding that she plans to tour the UK to “explain” the agreement to people.

Earlier on Radio 4 former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab said the declaration was inferior to having an EU membership, and would leave the UK bound by the exact same rules but without any control over them.