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Leaving EU will unite the country, says Theresa May

By David Hughes

Theresa May has used her Easter message to suggest people are "coming together and uniting" following divisions over the Brexit referendum.

The Prime Minister stressed the opportunities for the country as it leaves the European Union and said the shared values of Britons "can - and must - bring us together".

Mrs May, the daughter of a vicar, said the UK should be "confident" about Christianity's role in society, and stand up for people's freedom to speak about their faith. She said: "This year, after a period of intense debate over the right future for our country, there is a sense that people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead.

"For, at heart, this country is one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future. And as we face the opportunities ahead of us - the opportunities that stem from our decision to leave the EU and embrace the world - our shared interests, our shared ambitions and, above all, our shared values can, and must, bring us together."

Turning to faith, she added: "We should be confident about the role that Christianity has to play in the lives of people in our country. And we should treasure the strong tradition that we have in this country of religious tolerance and freedom of speech.

"We must continue to ensure that people feel able to speak about their faith. We must be mindful of Christians and religious minorities around the world who do not enjoy these same freedoms, but who practise their religion in secret and often in fear. And we must do more to stand up for the freedom of people of all religions to practise their beliefs openly."

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