British Prime Minister Theresa May . / AFP PHOTO / NIKLAS HALLE’N
Prime Minister Theresa May said Sunday that Britain was beginning to unite behind Brexit, 10 months after the divisive referendum that saw the country narrowly vote to leave the European Union.
“This year, after a period of intense debate over the right future for our country, there is a sense that people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead,” May said in her Easter message.
May backed remaining in the EU but is spearheading Britain’s drive to the departure gates.
She formally notified Brussels last month of Britain’s intention to leave the bloc, triggering two years of exit negotiations.
“For at heart, this country is one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future,” May said.
“And as we face the opportunities ahead of us — the opportunities that stem from our decision to leave the European Union and embrace the world — our shared interests, our shared ambitions and above all our shared values can — and must — bring us together.”
The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that support for Brexit has hit a five-month high, with 55 percent backing Britain’s exit from the EU, according to a poll by research company Orb International.
“Since November, the British public are slowly becoming more comfortable with the idea of Brexit,” said Orb International managing director Johnny Heald.
However, “the public is increasingly concerned more about free trade than immigration — marking a reversal of the preference aired during the campaign”.
May, 60, is the daughter of an Anglican vicar.
Turning to faith in her Easter message, she said: “We should be confident about the role that Christianity has to play in the lives of people in our country.
“We must be mindful of Christians and religious minorities around the world who do not enjoy these same freedoms, but who practise their religion in secret and often in fear.”