Theresa May "irritated" by leadership speculation

Theresa May "irritated" by leadership speculation

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media Title"It's not about my future, but about the UK," says May

Theresa May has said that she is "irritated" by the ongoing speculation about her position as prime minister.

In an interview to mark the six-month countdown for Brexit, Ms. May told the BBC that the debate was about the country's future rather than its own future.

The Prime Minister's comments came a few days after conservative MPs opposing their Brexit plan came together to discuss how and when they could force them to resign.

The Prime Minister also criticized ex-Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.

Ms. May said his language was "totally inappropriate" when describing her Brexit strategy as if she were putting Britain into a "suicide vest."

The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union on 29 March 2019, and the Government's plan, which was reached at Checkers in July, has sparked criticism from both the Brexit Tories and the EU.

About 50 Brexitian members of the European Research Group (ERG) met on Tuesday to discuss leadership issues.

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media TitleTheresa May beats Checkers Plan with Boris Johnson

When asked if she could assure the Tory party that she was not determined to continue, she told the BBC's Panorama program: "I'm a little bit confused, but this debate is not about my future the future of the people of the United Kingdom and the future of the United Kingdom.

"That's what I focus on and we should all focus on that.

"It makes sure we get a good deal from the European Union that is good for people in the UK, wherever they live in the UK, that's important to us."


Analysis by Chris Mason, political correspondent

Theresa May replies that after a week in which the Prime Minister has been politically plagued by one of her MPs who publicly plans to drive her out, and after another public meeting to derail her plans for Brexit.

A few things stood out for me; She was ready again to give herself an unflattering description of what her conservative colleague Ken Clarke should be, that she was a "damn difficult woman" and laughed about it.

There was also her absolute insistence that her Brexit plan is the only one in the city holding her to it.

And, finally, the cold contempt they see resembling Boris Johnson's description of her Brexit plan as a "suicide vest," distributed throughout the country.


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Read the full glossary here

As part of the so-called Checkers Plan, Ms May said she wanted to conclude a trade agreement with the EU after the UK left the country in 2019.

She also said that there had to be a "smooth movement of goods" without customs or regulatory controls between the UK and the EU on the island of Ireland to avoid a hard border there.

The United Kingdom and the EU hope to find a way forward next month, while at the same time regulating the conditions for the withdrawal of the UK, including a transitional period until the end of 2020.

Ms. May's proposals are unpopular with many Tory MPs who argue that this would jeopardize British sovereignty.

Boris Johnson, who has been out of favor with Mrs May's Brexit vision for some time, claimed last week that she had wrapped a "suicide vest" around the British Constitution and handed over "the detonator" to Brussels.

Ms May said, "I have been Minister of the Interior for six years, and for two years, as Prime Minister, I feel that using such a language is not right, and it is not the language I would have used."

We voted in 2016 – why does it take us so long to leave?

Well, none of the main players has ever left the European Union …

So there are some big issues to solve

For example, as we do not run out of business economically

The EU has an "internal market" – goods from other EU countries are not taxed at the border

And people can also move as if the EU were one country

Outside the EU, the UK may need to pay more to buy from and sell to EU countries

This could also slow down the flow of goods and parts and disrupt production for British companies

The EU says Britain can not go to any lengths to retain some benefits without membership

But that could mean that Britain is freer to make other trade deals around the world

Any special agreement that the United Kingdom requests must first be approved by the Members

Then the agreement of 27 national parliaments throughout Europe must be decided

These are many people who have to agree …

The date on which Britain is to leave is March 29, 2019

But there are already plans for a 21-month transitional period thereafter

Meanwhile, the UK could still be regulated by some EU laws

A trade agreement between Canada and the EU took seven years to agree

However, with the UK already fully targeted at the EU, it could be faster

But we will probably talk about Brexit for a long time …

(If you can not see the explainer, follow this link)

The Prime Minister also said that the "bloody difficult woman" – a description she described of former Conservative Chancellor Ken Clarke – was "still there".

But, she added, "there is a difference between those who think that you can only be damned difficult in public, and those who really think that you trust your time, and you are damned hard when the time is up is ripe – and when it really matters ".

BBC Panorama, Inside No 10: Deal or No Deal? will be on Monday, September 17 at 8:30 pm BST on BBC One during a week of verbose coverage of the BBC to mark Brexit: Six Months to Go.

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