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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Posted by Parveen Hassan
| 13:02
When the country voted in the referendum about Europe a little more than two weeks ago, the message to politicians was clear. 

We want out of the European Union – and we want serious change in the way politics works.
Incredibly, lots of our political and business leaders have responded by showing that they still don’t get it.
Some politicians — democratically-elected politicians — have even suggested the Government should ignore the referendum result and keep Britain inside the EU.

Some business leaders, rather than planning for Britain’s departure or thinking of the opportunities withdrawal presents, have chosen to complain about the result and criticise the voters.
Well, I couldn’t be clearer.
Brexit means Brexit.

There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it by the back door and no second referendum.

The country voted to leave the European Union and, as Prime Minister, I will make sure that we leave the European Union.

Of course, there are some risks in leaving, which is why we need strong, proven leadership to steer us through a period of economic uncertainty.

But there are also some great opportunities caused by leaving the EU.
The Government will be able to do more to control immigration to Britain from other European countries.
We will be able to negotiate our own trade deals with countries outside Europe.
And we’ll be able to do lots of common-sense things, like cut back on red tape and let local councils buy British.

So we have to seize the chance to get out into the world and help British firms to do business all around the globe.

But as I’ve said, the referendum was not just a vote against our membership of the EU.
It was a vote for change — and I understand why.
In Westminster, I am sometimes criticised for doing politics my own way.
As Ken Clarke said about me this week, I can be a “bloody difficult woman”.
But as I said after-wards: “Yes, and the European Commission is about to find out.”
Because I’m not your typical politician.
I don’t tour the television studios, I don’t gossip about people over lunch, I don’t go drinking in Parliament’s bars. 

I don’t often wear my heart on my sleeve.

I just get on with the job and I think that is the kind of no-nonsense politics people want.
They also want a clear, optimistic, positive view of what Britain should look like in the years to come.
And this is important, because, while negotiating the deal that gets us out of Europe is going to be a big job, we still need to be able to get on with governing the country and changing it for the better.
My vision is simple but it is bold.

I want to make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few but for everyone, regardless of who they are and where they’re from.
Because we’re a long way from that point right now.

If you’re born poor in today’s Britain, you will die on average nine years earlier than others.
If you’re black, you’re treated more harshly by the criminal justice system than if you’re white.
If you’re a white, working-class boy, you’re less likely than anyone else in Britain to go to university.
If you’re at a state school, you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately.
If you’re a woman, you still earn less than a man.

If you suffer from mental health problems, there’s too often not enough help to hand.
If you’re young, you’ll find it harder than ever before to own your own home.
These are all appalling injustices and I am determined to fight against them.
But the mission to make Britain a country that works for everyone goes further than fighting these injustices.

If you’re from an ordinary, working-class family, life is much harder than many people in politics realise.
You have a job, but you don’t always have job security.

You have your own home but you worry about mortgage rates going up.
You can just about manage, but you worry about the cost of living and the quality of the local school — because there’s no other choice for you.

Under my leadership, there will never be any doubt about whose side the Conservative Party is on.
We are going to put ourselves at the service of ordinary, working people.

It is a big job, but we will make Britain a country that works for everyone.