Belfast Telegraph

PM's Brexit strategy backed by former South African president FW de Klerk

Former South African president FW de Klerk has backed Theresa May's Brexit blueprint.

The last white ruler of South Africa said he would have voted to stay in the European Union (EU) if living in the UK, but added the Prime Minister was right to push ahead.

"I think if I was a Briton, I would have voted Remain," he said.

"But I think she (Mrs May) is right to say the people have spoken, Brexit is Brexit and I think her 12-point plan lays a reasonable basis for meaningful negotiations."

Mr de Klerk, who shared a Nobel peace prize with Nelson Mandela, also urged parties in Northern Ireland to resolve their differences after the collapse of the power-sharing executive at Stormont.

"It is my hope that the election will bring a result which will make co-operation possible," he said.

"The way forward is co-operation, building bridges - not burning bridges, not moving apart again and not becoming confrontational again."

Mr de Klerk said he hoped the parties in Northern Ireland could "find a way to work together to form a government that represents the clear majority of all the people."

The former president was speaking in Dublin, where was being awarded Trinity College Law Society's Praeses Elit award in recognition of his key role in ending apartheid.

Mr de Klerk predicted South Africa was facing years of political uncertainty as he forecast the break-up of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.

He suggested this would be a positive development as a more moderate ANC - shed of its far-left faction - would power-share with other moderate parties in the former colonies.

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