May says will consult widely on Brexit, but Britain will leave EU

Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, arrives back at 10 Downing Street, in central London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday that her government was committed to leaving the European Union and would listen to others’ views while delivering a Brexit that commanded “maximum public support”.

May has faced pressure, including from several senior party figures, to water down her plans to make a clean break with the EU after she failed to win a clear majority at a snap election earlier this month.

“First, we need to get Brexit right. That means getting a deal which delivers the result of last year’s referendum and does so in a way that commands maximum public support,” May said in an emailed statement ahead of the launch of her minority government’s legislative agenda.

“While this will be a Government that consults and listens, we are clear that we are going to see Brexit through, working with Parliament, business, the devolved administrations and others to ensure a smooth and orderly withdrawal.”

Earlier, finance minister Philip Hammond sought to soften the more confrontational tone towards the EU taken by May, saying Britain needed to put business and jobs first, and agree a transitional arrangement to avoid an economically damaging cliff-edge exit.

Reporting by William James; editing by Ralph Boulton