British Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that there will be dire consequences for Britain if it fails to secure a good Brexit deal.
May made the remarks during a speech Thursday presenting her Conservative Party's policy pledges to voters ahead of next month’s parliamentary elections.
“Make no mistake, the central challenge we face is negotiating the best deal for Britain in Europe,” she said.
May said that Brexit “will not be easy” but she would not shy away from making “hard choices” to turn the country into a “great meritocracy.”
She said a strong economy and delivering Brexit are her top priorities.
“If we fail, the consequences for Britain and for the economic security of ordinary working people will be dire. If we succeed, the opportunities ahead of us are great,” she added.
The prime minister maintained that pledges to curb immigration and tackle the social care crisis are at the heart of the Conservative manifesto.
The manifesto said the UK may be willing to make a “reasonable” contribution to the European Union after it leaves the bloc.
“As we leave the European Union, we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union but we will seek a deep and special partnership including a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement,” it said.
“There may be specific European programs in which we might want to participate and if so, it will be reasonable that we make a contribution.”
“The principle, however, is clear: the days of Britain making vast annual contributions to the European Union will end.”
May insisted that she needs to bolster her position before going into two years of negotiations with the EU about Britain’s departure from the bloc.
“For at this defining moment for the United Kingdom – as we embark on this momentous journey for our nation – we have a chance to step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to build together.”
May triggered the formal, two-year process of withdrawing Britain from the EU on March 29, likely to be the most complex negotiations London has held since World War II.
Lawmakers in the UK Parliament’s House of Commons voted 522 to 13 on Wednesday in favor of a motion put forward by May for a “snap” election. The election will be held on June 8, nearly a year after 52 percent of Britons voted to leave the European Union. The current Parliament will dissolve on June 3.
May has urged Britons to support her party in parliamentary elections to defend the country's interests in Brexit talks.