Theresa May trumpets Brexit during Tory conference speech in venue paid for by the European Union

Prime Minister outlined plans to ‘take Britain out of the EU’ at the Birmingham International Convention Centre

Tom Embury-Dennis
Wednesday 05 October 2016 22:08 BST
Theresa May gives her speech at the Birmingham International Convention Centre
Theresa May gives her speech at the Birmingham International Convention Centre (Reuters)

The Tory Party conference at which Theresa May has promised to “take Britain out of the European Union” is being held in a venue paid for by the EU.

The Birmingham International Convention Centre was built in 1991, receiving £49.7 million in funds from the European Council towards its construction.

As pointed out in a letter to the Financial Times, the foundation stone was even laid down by the then European Commission president, Jacques Delors.

The irony is all the more stark considering the general tone of Euroscepticism being expressed at the conference.

Ms May has used the event to announce Britain will trigger Article 50 by March and become “a fully sovereign and independent country”.

Her speech drew particularly loud applause as she lamented “left wing human rights lawyers” who “harass” Britain’s armed forces. The comments came as ministers suggested making soldiers exempt from European human rights laws.

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has been forced to defend herself against accusations of racism after suggesting foreigners were taking jobs that British workers could do.

Speaking at the conference, she said: “This Government will not waver in its commitment to put the interests of the British people first.”

She added that ministers will consider new tests to “ensure people coming here are filling gaps in the labour market, not taking jobs British people do”.

International Trade Secretary and leading Brexiteer Liam Fox added to the anti-EU sentiment, saying immigrants who “consume” Britain’s wealth are not welcome in the country.

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