British Prime Minister Theresa May has dismissed claims that a hard Brexit is inevitable.  Speaking earlier today she said she wanted to build a “shared society” to tackle injustice and that Brexit was an “opportunity to fundamentally change Britain for the better”.

In her first policy speech of the year she spoke of mental health issues and extra training for teachers.

She rejected claims that her interview yesterday implied she was talking about a hard Brexit, where Britain would leave the EU single market.  As a result of the interview the value of sterling dropped by 1%.

She said, “I’m tempted to say that the people who are getting it wrong are those who print things saying ‘I’m talking about a hard Brexit, (that) it is absolutely inevitable there’s a hard Brexit’.

“I don’t accept the terms hard and soft Brexit. What we’re doing is going to get an ambitious, good and best possible deal for the United Kingdom in terms of… trading with and operating within the single European market.”

She also spoke of a government that would take action in wake of social ills.  She said, “The central tenet of my belief – the thing that shapes my approach – is that there is more to life than individualism and self-interest.

“This means a government rooted not in the laissez-faire liberalism that leaves people to get by on their own, but rather in a new philosophy that means government stepping up.

“Not just in the traditional way of providing a welfare state to support the most vulnerable, as vital as that will always be. But actually in going further to help those who have been ignored by government for too long because they don’t fall into the income bracket that makes them qualify for welfare support.”

Commenting on her speech, Andrew Gywnne of Labour said it would “take more than a speech and a slogan for Theresa May to convince people that she wants to tackle division in society

“Those at the top have been given tax breaks while everyone else suffers”.