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Theresa May vows UK will not withdraw from global trade, hails UK as 'foreign investment hub'

UK Prime Minister Theresa May insisted that Britain would remain 'open for business' despite leaving the EU, hailing it as a 'hub for foreign investment'

19 January 2017, 5:01pm
Theresa May said that leaving the EU would allow the UK to 'build a truly global Britain'
Theresa May said that leaving the EU would allow the UK to 'build a truly global Britain'
UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday described a post-Brexit Britain as remaining “open for business” despite leaving the EU, and one that had a role as defender of free trade and globalisation.

Addressing World Economic Forum in Davos, May said Britain was by instinct a “great global trading nation” and rather than turning its back on globalisation, leaving the EU would allow the UK to “build a truly global Britain”.

“A Global Britain is no less British because we are a hub for foreign investment. Indeed, our biggest manufacturer, Tata, is Indian – and you still can’t get more British than a Jaguar or a Land Rover,” May said.

May acknowledged on Thursday that many in the EU saw Britain’s actions as a rejection of Europe, and made efforts to reassure them.

"Our decision to leave the European Union was no rejection of our friends in Europe, with whom we share common interests and values and so much else. It was no attempt to become more distant from them, or to cease the cooperation that has helped to keep our continent secure and strong."

"I want to explain how ... the United Kingdom - a country that has so often been at the forefront of economic and social change - will step up to a new leadership role as the strongest and most forceful advocate for business, free markets and free trade anywhere in the world," she told a packed congress hall.

May’s comments came just two days after she warned the EU that no deal was better than a bad deal and that Britain would withdraw from the EU’s single market after Brexit. A growing number of business leaders and international bank executives at Davos have voiced concerns about her announcement on Tuesday.