Theresa May's Brexit tour brings her into contact with real people, with inevitable consequences

Written by James Millar on 29 March 2018 in Diary

Prime Minister made stops in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales with a year to go until Brexit

Theresa May made a dash round the four nations of the UK today to highlight how Brexit would be good for all parts of the UK.

But the tour inevitably led to a series of stagey photos as she visited a factory, a group of farmers and a nursery. May's awkward manner and reluctance to engage with real people were seen as major handicaps during last year's general election campaign. Sketchwriters dubbed her 'The Maybot'.

Starting in Scotland she had an entirely natural cup of tea with factory workers before she visited a nursery school in Heddon-on-the-Wall where she got a funny look from one of the parents but managed to avoid any of the children making her look ridiculous.

Speaking ahead of the trip the Prime Minister described the UK as "the world's most successful union".

She added: "Today, one year until the UK leaves the EU and begins to chart a new course in the world, I am visiting all four nations of the Union to hear from people across the country what Brexit means to them. I am determined that as we leave the EU, and in the years ahead, we will strengthen the bonds that unite us, because our is the world's most successful union. The UK contains four proud and historic nations, but together we amount to so much more than the sum of our parts and our union is an enormous force for good." 

She promised more powers for the Scottish parliament and devolved assemblies in Northern Ireland and Wales. And, in a nod to concerns about the border with the Republic of Ireland she insisted a solution would be found. She said: "As the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, I have an absolute responsibility to protect the integrity of the United Kingdom as a whole. That means ensuring that no new barriers are created within our common domestic market and that the UK is able to meet its international obligations in the future. No Prime Minister could leave these things to chance, because they are absolutely crucial to our success as a country in the future."

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