UK Prime Minister Theresa May has addressed leaders of many of the worlds largest companies at the World Economic Forum in Davos and has said that the “UK will be a world leader in trade.”
In her speech, the Prime Minister launched an attack on the “politics of division” and globalisation which are only serving to fuel inequality between nations.
She said the world was enjoying an “unprecedented level of wealth”, but many people felt this was “not working for them”.
Mrs May said: “Talk of greater globalisation can make people fearful. For many it means their jobs outsourced and their wages undercut. It means having to sit back as they watch their communities change around them.
“And in their minds, it means watching as those who prosper seem to play by a different set of rules, while for many life remains a struggle as they get by, but don’t necessarily get on.”
After the speech, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the UK was “now making a choice to control migration, and they are paying a huge price because the economic growth rate of the UK will be impacted negatively by the fact that it will leave the biggest market in the world”.
German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble warned Mrs May her claim of the UK becoming “truly global” after Brexit would only be “taken seriously” if she did not slash taxes to attract business.
The speech comes after widespread European criticism to Mrs May’s keynote speech outlining the governments Brexit position on Tuesday morning.
The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde has warned the UK there is still likely to be “pain” in its negotiations with the EU and that any deal with the EU will “not be as good” as membership, she said.
German MP Norbert Roettgen, who represents Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats said: “The UK’s two main economic weaknesses are its considerable trade deficit and a big budget deficit. As such [UK Chancellor Philip] Hammond’s threats with duties and tax cuts would primarily damage the UK and should be regarded as an expression of British cluelessness.”
European Council President Donald Tusk sounded a more optimistic note comparing the Prime Minister to Winston Churchill saying “We took note of Prime Minister May’s warm, balanced words on European integration which were much closer to the narrative of Winston Churchill than of the American President-elect Trump.”
In other news, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has today confirmed that he has instructed his MP’s to vote in favour of triggering article 50, should the government lose its supreme court case and be forced to bring a vote to the house:
Mr Corbyn said “It is very clear. The referendum made a decision that Britain was to leave the European Union. It was not to destroy jobs or living standards or communities but it was to leave the European Union and to have a different relationship in the future. I’ve made it very clear the Labour party accepts and respects the decision of the British people. We will not block article 50.”