British Prime Minister Theresa May told business leaders, gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Britain would become a world leader in trade.
She also warned that if businesses did not pay tax or treat employees fairly they were adding to the “politics of division”.
She said, “Talk of greater globalisation can make people fearful. For many it means their jobs outsourced and their wages undercut. It means having to sit back as they watch their communities change around them.
“And in their minds, it means watching as those who prosper seem to play by a different set of rules, while for many life remains a struggle as they get by, but don’t necessarily get on.”
The speech met with lukewarm applause. The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Ruttle said Britain was “now making a choice to control migration, and they are paying a huge price because the economic growth rate of the UK will be impacted negatively by the fact that it will leave the biggest market in the world”.
“There was an unreality about her speech”
Meanwhile, British opposition leaders attacked Theresa May over fairness. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said, “There was an unreality about her speech. She’s talking about a cohesive coherent society. She’s talking about good trading relationships with everybody
“She’s presiding over a government that is cutting health spending, cutting social care spending, and at the same time threatening a bargain basement economy on the shores of Europe, with low corporate taxation undercutting of all the reasonable-quality wages and conditions that were achieved across Europe.”
Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat leader said, “She goes to Davos to lecture businesses about looking after the little guy, yet she threatens to turn the UK into Europe’s biggest tax haven.
“Higher prices and more expensive fuel mean families will feel the brunt of this government’s bad economic policies”.