Theresa May has unveiled her latest Brexit soundbite, sparking further confusion about what her approach to leaving the European Union will involve.
Commenting during her visit to Bahrain, the Prime Minister ruled out choosing between “this sort of Brexit or that sort of Brexit”.
She instead pledged “a red, white and blue Brexit” – which she appeared not to consider a type of Brexit.
The new detail about the colour of Brexit comes after months of Ms May and her ministers repeating the tautological mantra that “Brexit means Brexit” when asked to outline their policy detail or objectives.
“We also want to get the best possible trade deal for trading with and operating within the single European market,” the Prime Minister told reporters after a speech on Royal Navy warship HMS Ocean.
“But I’m ambitious about what we can achieve in the trade deal. I’m ambitious for that trade deal because I think it’s important for Europe as well as being important for the UK.
“Sometimes people look at this as somehow the UK taking one particular model, the UK trying to take some of the elements of the membership.
“It’s not about this sort of Brexit or that sort of Brexit: it is about a red, white and blue Brexit – that is the right Brexit, the right deal for Britain.”
Ms May’s warning comes as three top economists told the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee that the Prime Minister’s vague pledge to restrict freedom of movement would by definition lead to Britain losing its single market membership.
Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron hit at the PMs latest comments, arguing that her policy would damage the UK’s economic prospects.
“The Prime Minister has surpassed herself with this statement. It’s jingoistic claptrap,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what colour she tries to paint this, her plans to leave the single market will wreck the economy.
“If this Conservative government cared about Britain and what makes our country great, they would not be running headlong towards a hard Brexit that will blow a £220bn black hole in the budget.
“The Union Jack represents an open, tolerant, multicultural Britain, not the narrow-minded vision of Ukip and Farage.”
Labour’s shadow Brexit Minister Jenny Chapman said the Government had no plan.
“The Government can call it whatever colours they like – the fact is, their plan for Brexit is completely blank,” she said.
“Every indication so far is that that Prime Minister will seek a hard and damaging Brexit, with Britain outside the single market and the customs union.”
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