Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Get on with the job, Theresa May tells Cabinet at first meeting as PM

Published 19/07/2016

Theresa May is preparing to hold her first Cabinet meeting on Tuesday
Theresa May is preparing to hold her first Cabinet meeting on Tuesday

Theresa May has told her new Cabinet they must "get to it and get on with the job" as the top team gathered for its first meeting in No 10.

In a 90-minute discussion, the Prime Minister announced she would take the helm of three new high-level committees to drive through plans for Brexit as well as social and economic reform.

Mrs May told senior ministers that "politics is not a game" as she insisted quitting the European Union presented a "huge opportunity" and pledged to make government work for everyone, not just the privileged few.

The Prime Minister's official spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister concluded with the fact that Brexit presented a huge opportunity and it was now time to get to it and get on with the job."

Mrs May will chair three new Cabinet committees - on the economy and industrial strategy, exiting the European Union and international trade, and social reform.

But No 10 denied the move was prompted by a desire to keep tight control on the policy areas or counteract any potential turf wars between Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Brexit Secretary David Davis and International Trade Secretary Liam Fox.

"It's because the issues that they (the committees) will be discussing go to the heart of her agenda, the top priorities for this government and the challenges that we face as a country," the spokeswoman said.

"This idea that it is in some way to manage relations between other Cabinet ministers and things, that is not what it is about.

"At Cabinet this morning you saw the Prime Minister really encouraging a collective government approach."

Mrs May told the Cabinet that her visits to Berlin and Paris in the coming days would be an "opportunity" for discussions about Brexit but insisted the Government would not be defined by the UK's exit from the EU.

She told ministers: "When I launched my leadership campaign I said that politics is not a game. The decisions that we take around this table affect people's day-to-day lives and we must do the right thing and take the right decisions for the future of this country.

"We have the challenge of Brexit and Brexit does mean Brexit and we are going to make a success of it and we will do that by forging a new role for the United Kingdom in the world but we won't be a Government that's defined just by Brexit.

"We will also be a Government defined by the social reform that we take."

Judges have decided that a legal challenge over Brexit will be heard by the High Court in October.

Government lawyers told the court in London that Mrs May had made clear she did not intend to trigger Article 50 - the formal process that pulls Britain out of the bloc - before the end of 2016.

The PM's spokeswoman said "legally it is for the Government to make the decision".

Mrs May is yet to move into Downing Street, where she will live in the larger No 11 flat.

"The Prime Minister took office sooner than some might have expected and she agreed with David Cameron a schedule for moving out and moving in," the spokeswoman said.

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph