Theresa May hints she would now vote to stay in the EU and tells French TV she is proud to be a European

Christopher Hope
Theresa May with French president Emmanuel MacronTheresa May with French president Emmanuel Macron - AFP

New doubts have emerged about Theresa May’s commitment to Brexit after she suggested she would vote Remain if an EU referendum were held today and boasts of being a “European”.

The Prime Minister was challenged in an interview with French television on how she would vote if a European Union referendum were held today.

Asked “how you would vote on Brexit", she initially said “I didn’t say how I would vote”.

But then said: “If a vote was to come up, I would do what I did last time round which was sit down and look carefully at the issues.

“But there isn’t going to be another vote, so this is not an issue. What is going to happen is the UK is going to leave the European Union.”

In 2016 Mrs May gave a detailed speech outlining the pros and cons of Britain's membership of the EU before finally, at the very end, saying she would vote to stay in the EU.

Last October Mrs May was challenged in the House of Commons over why she would not give a “straightforward” answer to whether she would vote to leave the EU today.

Mrs May replied: "There is no second referendum. The people of the United Kingdom voted and we will be leaving the European Union in March 2019."

In her interview with France 2, Mrs May also ruled out having a second referendum on Britain leaving the EU.

She said: “There will be no second referendum on Brexit. We took the decision as a parliament that the British people should have their choice.”

Earlier in the same interview Mrs May was asked “do you feel European”.

She replied: “Yes. The United Kingdom is part of Europe and of course we will remain part of Europe.

“We have decided to leave the European Union, that’s a decision that the British people took and we will be leaving the European Union but we are not leaving Europe.”

Earlier this week Chris Wilkins, Mrs May's former longterm speechwriter, said Brexit was "not something that animates her or she would have chosen to be her legacy".

Mr Wilkins told Wales Online: “She’s very determined and clear-sighted in that way but I think it’s fair to say [from] her time in office people might not necessarily recognise that.

"It’s in many ways her misfortune to have Brexit looming large over everything because, much as she’s committed to delivering it, it’s not something that animates her or she would have chosen to be her legacy.”