Theresa May has refused to say if she would vote for Brexit if another referendum were held today, saying instead she would have to “weigh up the evidence” before deciding what to do in the current situation.
The prime minister, who voted to remain in the EU in last year’s poll, struggled to give clear answers on Brexit issues during an LBC radio phone-in on Tuesday, and admitted there was no plan for what would happen to EU citizens living in the UK if no deal was agreed with Brussels.
May was being interviewed by LBC presenter Iain Dale, a vocal Tory and a Brexit supporter.
May initially said she would not deal with hypothetical questions, but when repeatedly pressed by Dale on how she would vote if there was a fresh referendum, she gave a series of long responses to avoid answering the yes/no question.
“I voted remain for good reasons at the time, but circumstances move on … you’re asking me to say how would I vote in a vote now against a different background, a different international background, a different economic background.”
Pressed again, she said: “I could sit here and I could say ‘Oh, I’d still vote remain or I’d vote leave’ just to give you an answer to that question. I’m being open and honest with you.
“What I did last time round was I looked at everything and came to a judgment and I’d do exactly the same this time round.”
Opposition parties said May’s responses showed she was not fully committed to the Brexit she was promising to deliver.
While the hard Brexit supporters fear she is veering towards a relationship too close to the EU, the soft Brexit wing are concerned the government is putting more effort into preparing for the possibility of no deal being reached.
May was pressed on the issue of a no-deal situation in her LBC interview but struggled to answer the questions of what would happen in that scenario to EU citizens living in the UK.
When an EU citizen who has lived in the UK for 31 years asked three times for reassurances that she would retain her rights if there is no deal, May said: “We’ve looked at the rights of people staying here if we get a deal, that’s what we’re working at.