British Prime Minister Theresa May told members of her government on Wednesday that they would have to deliver Brexit, ruling out any second referendum or any attempt to stay in the European Union by the “back door”.
“We must continue to be very clear that ‘Brexit means Brexit’, that we’re going to make a success of it,” May told her cabinet of ministers, according to a statement.
“That means there’s no second referendum; no attempts to sort of stay in the EU by the back door; that we’re actually going to deliver on this.”
Opening a special brainstorming day at Chequers, the Prime Minister’s country retreat, she told ministers that leaving the EU should be seen as a chance to be “bold” and reshape both society and Britain’s role in the world.
Mrs. May’s optimistic words contrasted with private tensions between ministers and anxieties among Tory MPs who fear the Government does not yet have a vision of an exit deal. Negotiations with 27 EU leaders start next year at the same time as fraught elections in Germany and France.
Former business minister Anna Soubry, a prominent Remain campaigner, turned the heat on Boris Johnson and the other Brexiteers in Cabinet, saying they had to come up with big ideas fast as to how it will work and “show us what progress they have made”.
Mrs. May chaired a formal Cabinet meeting this morning before a wide-ranging political Cabinet this afternoon, billed as a chance for ministers to pitch in new ideas for the “opportunities” created by Brexit.
The Prime Minister said: “This is a moment of great opportunity for our country: the chance to forge a bold, new positive role for ourselves in the world, and to reshape our economy and our society here at home.”
Mrs. May repeated her mantra that “Brexit means Brexit”, adding: “That means there must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the back door, and no second referendum.”