LONDON, (Xinhua) — British Prime Minister Theresa May in her first major foreign policy speech said Monday that Britain must respond with calm, determined, global leadership to shape a new era of globalization that works for all.
In a keynote speech at the Lord Mayor’s banquet in the City of London, May said a post-Brexit Britain can step up to a new global role in which it can trade freely with other countries.
In a speech that will be viewed as May setting out how she sees Britain’s future trading and business links, the prime minister spoke of a world transformed.
Her speech was aimed at responding to critics of her government’s strategies as Britain prepares to leave theEuropean Union.
Speaking at the Guild Hall in London, May said: “A year ago, few among us would have predicted the events ahead. A clear, determined decision to leave the European Union and forge a bold, new, confident future for ourselves in the world.”
“Change is in the air. And when people demand change, it is the job of politicians to respond,” said May, following a long tradition of addressing the centuries old City of London.
She told an audience of business leaders: “Liberalism and globalization have delivered unprecedented levels of wealth and opportunity. They have lifted millions out of poverty around the world. They have brought nations closer together, broken down barriers and improved standards of living and consumer choice.”
“But we can’t deny there have been downsides to globalization in recent years, and that in our zeal and enthusiasm to promote this agenda as the answer to all our ills, we have on occasion overlooked the impact on those closer to home who see these forces in a different light,” she added.
She added Britain can show its departure from the European Union is not Britain stepping back from the world, but an example of how a free, flexible, ambitious country can step up to a new global role in which Britain can trade freely with others.
“We will not duck the big decisions on which your success depends, whether it’s High Speed 2, Hinkley Point or Heathrow,” May said.
May referred to a small minority “who believe they can operate by a different set of rules, and who recklessly damage the entire business community in the process”.
“At this moment of change, we must respond with calm, determined, global leadership to shape a new era of globalization that genuinely works for all. So I stand here confident that in facing these new challenges, once again, Britain can lead,” she told her audience.