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tv   British Prime Minister Theresa May News Conference  CSPAN  November 15, 2018 2:25pm-2:47pm EST

2:25 pm >> the mid-term election of 2018 changed the balance of power in congress with democrats taking control of the house and republicans holding the majority in the senate. members now prepare for the new congress in january. new congress, new leaders, watch the process unfold on -span. >> british prime minister may defended brexit negotiations after her cabinet members, some, resigned. she took questions on the agreement and addressed rumors she will resign as prime inister. prime minister may: serving in high office is an honor and privilege. it's also a heavy esponsibility.
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that is true at any time but especially when the stakes are so high. the negotiation the e.u. withdraw after 40 years and building up from the ground up a new and enduring relationship for the good of our children and grandchildren the matter of a highest consequence. it touches almost every area of our national life. a whole economy and virtually every job. the livelihoods of our fellow citizens. our integrity, our safety and security. all of these are at stake, my approach throughout has been to put the national interests first. not a partisan interest and certainly not my own political interests. i do not judge harshly those of my colleagues who seek to do the same but reach a different conclusion.
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they must do what they believe to be right, just as i do. i'm sorry they have chosen to leave the government and i thank them for their service. but i believe with every fiber of my being that the course i have set out is the right won -- one for our country and all our people. from the very beginning, i have known what i have wanted to deliver for the british people, to honor their vote in the referendum. full control of our borders by bringing an end to the free movement of people once and for all. full control of our money, so we decide ourselves how to spend it on priorities like our n.h.s. full control of our laws by ending the jurisdiction of the european court of justice in the united kingdom. getting us out of the common agricultural and fisheries policy for good. this is exactly what this agreement will deliver. free movement ended. vast annual payments stopped. the jurisdiction of the e.c.j.
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over, out of the c.a.p., out of the c.f.p. this is a brexit that delivers on the priorities of the ritish people. in achieving these objectives, i'm determined to protect the things that are important to us. protect the hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs that put food on the tables of working families right across the u.k. hose rely on transborder goods flowing easily in and out of the u.k. allowing for integrated supply chain. this agreement protects that. protects the close security cooperation that helps keep us safe. this agreement does that. protects the integrity of the united kingdom and peaceful settlement in northern ireland by leaving the e.u. as one united kingdom and no hard border between ireland and northern ireland. this agreement does that as well.
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yes, difficult and uncomfortable decisions have had to be made. i understand fully there are some who are unhappy with those compromises, but this deal delivers what people voted for and it is in the national interests and can only secure it if we unite behind the agreement reached in cabinet yesterday. if we do not move forward with that agreement, nobody can know for sure the consequences that will follow. it will take a path of deep and grave uncertainty when the british people just want us to et on with it. hey are looking to the conservative party to deliver, to deliver a brexit that works for the whole u.k., a strong economy that keeps jobs safe and wages rising and public services we can rely on there. great schools for every child and for homes that families need. that is what the people we
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serve expect and that is what we owe it to them to deliver. goodness me. you normally put your hands straight up after. laura. >> thank you very much, prime minister. laura, bbc news. it's very clear you want to stick to your plan. is it the case that others are seeking to take that decision out of your hands? and prime minister, is it not the case now that you are in office but you're not really in power? prime minister may: when we bring the deal back what will happen is there will be negotiations particularly focusing on the future framework and filling the details of that out. and an e.u. council meeting. that will then be brought back to the house of commons and to a vote in the house of commons. i'm going to do my job of getting the best deal for britain. i'm going to do my job of getting a deal that is in the national interest.
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when the vote comes before the house of commons, m.p.'s will be doing their job. they will need to look at that deal. ey will need to consider the vote of the british people to leave the european union and our duty to deliver on that vote and they will be held to account to their constituents for the decisions they take. tom. >> thank you, prime minister. tom from the "sun." prime minister, if those confidence vote held in your leadership in the conservative party, do you think it is in the national interest for you to fight it? and if you win by only one vote, will you carry on as prime minister? prime minister may: leadership is about taking the right decisions, not the easy ones. as prime minister, my job is to bring back a deal that delivers on the vote of the british people, that does that by ending free movement, all the things i raised in my statement, ensuring we are not sending sums to the
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e.u. any longer, ending jurisdiction of the european court of justice but also protects jobs and propects people's livelihoods, protects our security, protects the union of the united kingdom. i believe this is a deal which does deliver that, which is in the national interest, and am i going to see this through? yes. next question. microphone. >> prime minister, simon from "five news." surely now even you have to admit this is not strong and stable. prime minister may: what i think people will see is what i and the government have done is being sticking to the job of ensuring we're delivering for the british people. that's what we're doing. we're delivering in the british -- in the national interest and, look, you know, n.p.'s have been debating the best way to deliver brexit ever since the referendum took place in
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2016. people have been ready to point ut what they don't like. one simple fact remains, no one has produced any proposals which both delivers on the referendum and also ensures there's no hardboarder between northern ireland and ireland. and i understand some people feel uncomfortable about the details in the backstop, particularly, in the withdrawal agreement, and i share some of those concerns. but there is another inescapable fact. there is no deal which can be agreed with the european union that does not involve as a backstop insurance policy against the return of the borders of the past in northern ireland, they would all require a backstop. and the alternative of repudiating on that backstop not only reneging on a promise to the people of northern ireland but hopes of securing a deal. what has the government been doing? we have been absolutely clear
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on focusing on delivering in what is the best interests of the ritish people. >> sky news. prime minister, are you not in denial about the chances of getting this deal through parliament? and for the critics in puerto rican party that have been sending letters very publicly, is it time for them to put up or shut up? prime minister may: what i heard -- what you may have heard me say in the house of commons earlier, i just reiterated here. i am going to do my job of bringing back the best deal for the united kingdom. that will be put before the house of commons, it will be put before members of parliament in a meaningful vote. their job is to consider the interests of their constituents and their job is to consider how we can deliver on the votes of the people to leave the european union. and i think most people watching this or listening to this will recognize that this is not an easy thing to do.
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this is a complex negotiation. but i think what most people want to know is what we will deliver will be in their interests. it will protect jobs. it will protect security and ensure a great future for this country. >> rob from bloomberg. isn't it time to say what you clearly think, which is the brexit campaign offered something that was not on the menu? it offered very, very easy trade negotiations. it offered -- there would be no problem at all with the irish border. it was all going to be fantastically straightforward. the european union was going to give us everything because of b.m.w. and things like that. isn't it time to say i'm afraid some of the things that you were promised, they were never there? prime minister may: look, i think most people in this country recognize after 40 years of membership in the
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european union, delivering brexit, dealing with how we're going to withdraw from the e.u. and what our future relationship is is not an easy negotiation. these are complex issues. i think what most members of the public want, those who actually voted for me and those who voted -- many of those who voted for may as well is for the government to get on with it. that's exactly what we're doing , and the government to deliver a deal that is in the national interests that is going to protect their job and ensure we have a great future in this country and that's exactly what we're doing. >> yulia mac farland, abc news. prime minister, what would you say to britain's friends and allies who are witnessing that is looking like a government in chaos? prime minister may: i think people in brussels will be seeing is that the government reached an agreement. they recognize and the draft political declaration. they have recognized that by
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the fact that the president has written a letter to the e.u. president to say tremendous progress has been made and on that basis a council has been called for the 25th of november. i think they see a government that's intent on working with them to ensure that we deliver a good deal for the british people but as i've always said, a good deal for the u.k. is a good deal for the e.u. as well. robert. >> prime minister, you said that your deal is in the national interest, but your party is deeply divided on it, perhaps more divided than any of us have ever seen. are you prepared to risk the breakup of your party to deliver the deal you believe in? prime minister may: as i just said in answer to an earlier question, m.p.'s have been debating how best to deliver on the result of the referendum. ever since the result of the referendum took place. i think what the british people
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want us to do and what i believe m.p.'s will do when it comes to the vote in the house of commons is focus on the fact that people voted to leave and how we do that in a way that is good for the united kingdom. i'm committed as prime minister, to bringing the best deal back for the united kingdom. that's what i'm going to be doing and i expect when we come -- that members of parliament across my party will look at that deal and will recognize the importance of delivering on the vote of the british people and recognize the importance of doing that in a way that it does protect people's jobs, does protect our security and does protect our united kingdom. george. >> gordon from "the telegraph." prime minister may: sorry. >> there are reports tonight that michael goh has been asked to become the new brexit secretary but he will only take
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that job on condition that he's allowed to go back to brussels and try for more concessions. will you allow whoever becomes the new brexit secretary to do that, to try and get more concessions? there are no appointments to replace people that have resigned. are you struggling to find people who want to fill those roles? prime minister may: you might have seen me, three hours in the house of of commons. michael has been doing an excellent job and in his defense industry. and this is very important elements of the outlined political declaration which recognized that the united kingdom will be an independent coastal state. in the future. fishing is an issue that matters to people and michael has been doing an excellent job in terms of ensuring that we are delivering on that commitment that we have to come out of the common fisheries policy. i haven't appointed a new secretary yet and i will be of course be making apountments to
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the government in due course -- appointments to the government in due course. jason. >> just to follow up. we have seen several of your colleagues declare they no longer have confidence in your leadership. what will you do if there is a vote of no confidence in the coming days? prime minister may: as i said earlier, leadership is about making the right decision, not taking the easy decisions. as prime minister, my job is to get the better deal for britain and to bring that deal back to the house of commons and that's exactly what i am focused on doing. i think members of the public want the government to get on with delivering on brexit for them. as i said earlier, am i going to see this through? yes. > prime minister, thank you, very much. nick robinson from cnn. you talked about leadership as being the position of taking hard decisions, the right
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decisions. that some of the choices have not been easy. would you share with the country now some of those decisions that you personally have found have been the hard, tough, not easy decisions to take? prime minister may: in relation to the deal that we are looking at, as i said before, i recognize there are concerns about the backstop. that is an issue and i shared many of those concerns and the decision to go forward on the basis that we have was not overall an easy one. there was a good and impassioned debate that took place yesterday over those issues. but overall, looking at the national interest, we agree that the cabinet and the government that the deal that we have is the right one to proceed with, to go to the next stage of negotiation and obviously those negotiations will lead up to e.u. council on the 25th of november. esa.
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>> thank you. mesa from "daily express. ever since you've been in this job you've always been addment that the country will leave the e.u. in march, next year. over the last couple days, you've talked about the risk of no brexit. do you think given the forces lined up in opposition to your deal that that is now a definite threat? prime minister may: there were a number of members of parliament who stood up in the house of commons today and said their view staying within european union was the right thing to do. i disagree. we gave the vote to the british people. parliament overwhelmingly gave that vote to the british people to decide whether or not to stay in. -- stay in the european union. the people voted to leave. i believe it is our duty as the government and members of parliament to deliver on that vote of the british people and we will be leaving on the 29th f march, 2019.
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>> thank you, prime minister. matthew thompson from lbc. what extent is of your own making in the sense it is a failure of expectation management and not bringing out -- people out and hardliners within your own party along with you? obviously they weren't going to like what was in this deal. should you not have brought them on board a little bit more quickly? prime minister may: we have been working on this deal, ere have been various stages where we made clear to people what the approach that we're taking in relation to these issues. happened in december at the joint report. obviously there was further information that we put forward in the spring and then in july. our approach was clearly set out. -- set out for people. we've been of course, discussing with colleagues and with people in the house of commons as we have been discussing with business and others as we progress through in putting this deal together. what has been the focus, as i said earlier, is making sure that the deal that we deliver is a deal that delivers on the
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vote of the british people, that does so that is in the best national interest, which ensures that we protect people's jobs, livelihood and security and we are able to move forward outside the european union and -- as a global britain and, for example, to ensure we can negotiate trade deals around the rest of the world. i believe that's what's in the interest of people here in this country and that's what we'll deliver. i'll take a couple more questions. now george. >> paul -- prime minister may: again. [laughter] >> lots of reporters. prime minister may: anybody who thinks i have george parker on my mind. >> lots of reporters, prime minister. prime minister, if the house of commons voted by majority for another referendum, for a people vote, would you see that as a resignation matter or see that as you having to implement the will of parliament as prime minister? prime minister may: i have taken a clear view about the
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second referendum and i made that view clear to members of parliament and i think actually across the house of commons most members of parliament recognize that they gave a vote to the british people and the british people voted and it's up to us to deliver on that vote and not have a second referendum. as far as i'mthere will not be a second concerned, referendum. we asked people their view. we will leave the european they said union and leave on the 29 of march, 2019. [indiscernible question] prime minister may: if we look across the house of commons, yes, there have been voices for a second referendum. but i believe when people come to look at the deal that we bring back from the european council the final package that we bring back from the european council, they will look at delivering on the vote of the british people and that doing so in a way that protects the interests of their constituents. and i believe that is the question that members of parliament will be asking themselves at that point, not about a second referendum.
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you'll take, as i said, a couple more. >> hi. my question is given the difficulty you're likely to have getting this deal through parliament, do you regret calling the general election last year? prime minister may: no, i don't regret calling the general election last year. as i say, you know, when it comes to the vote in parliament it will be a decision for m.p.'s to take. i'm going to do my job. i'm going to bring the best deal back for the british people and m.p.'s will then do their job and, of course, be held to account by their constituents for it. o the last question. >> thank you. joel. prime minister, you're a cricket fan. from the outside, it looks like you are a long way off getting the run of numbers you need. but your bats men are dropping off like flies.
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is there any number of wickets before you resign as captain? prime minister may: you might recall from the previous comments i made about crickets that my hero is jeffrey boycott. he stuck to it and he got the runs in the end. thank you. >> prior to this news conference, prime minister theresa may took members from the british house of commons on brexit negotiations. earlier today, several cabinet secretaries resigned over the current proposal. including brexit secretary ominick rob. >> order! statements. the prime minister


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