Theresa May has vowed to remain in Downing Street far beyond the UK’s departure from the EU in 2019
In a sign of her growing confidence after a tumultuous year, the Prime Minister vowed to remain in Downing Street far beyond Britain’s scheduled departure from the EU in March 2019.
She even refused to rule out leading her party into the next general election, due in 2022.
Mrs May declared: “I’m here to do the job that I believe needs to be done and that’s what I’m going to focus on.
“I’m doing the job that I believe is right for the British people.”
Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki accidentally referred to Mrs May and ‘Madam Brexit’
I’m here to do the job that I believe needs to be done and that’s what I’m going to focus on
Asked if she wanted to stay in the job beyond 2022, she replied: “I’m in it for the long term.”
Mrs May signalled her ambition to stay at Number 10 for years ahead during a pre-Christmas visit to thank Armed Forces personnel at RAF Akrotiri for their services.
Speaking on her RAF Voyager official plane on the flight from a summit in Poland to the military base in Cyprus on Thursday night, the Prime Minister said she was delivering Brexit and also a string of domestic policies.
“If you look at what’s happened over the past couple of months we have made sufficient progress on the Brexit negotiations, we have had a good Budget that is building a Britain that is fit for the future,” she said.
“What we’ve put into the Budget in terms of funding for the health service but also housing is really important for the future of this country.
“We have had the industrial strategy, which I see as an absolutely crucial plan and part of actually ensuring that our economy does meet the needs of the future and is providing the jobs of the future for the people in the UK.
“And as I made reference earlier I’ve been doing a number of trips.
“There’s Global Britain, showing the impact we can have not just on trade but in defence and security.
Members of the Polish and British delegations posed for a photo during Mrs May’s trip
“As we go into phase two of Brexit negotiations I’m optimistic about those.”
Mrs May laughed off claims that her sole purpose in Downing Street was to push through Brexit.
Polish premier Mateusz Morawiecki referred to her as “Madam Brexit” during a news conference following their talks on Thursday.
Referring to that incident, Mrs May said: “You might have noticed I smiled when I heard the translation of Mrs Brexit or Madam Brexit.
“Look, I am going to deliver on Brexit. That is undoubtedly the case, but I am doing other things as well. If you look at the changes we are making on skills, education and training for example – the industrial strategy which actually was talked about with the Poles as well and Global Britain.
“Out around the world I have done a number of trips in the weeks up to Christmas actually promoting the UK both in trading terms, but also our role in defence and security.”
As an example she raised the issue of Britain’s relations with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
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She said: “I have been very clear about the concerns we have about Russia. But it’s right that we engage.”
Addressing Russian “fake news”, she said: “We are concerned about Russian activities. I mentioned the disinformation. There is what is still happening in Ukraine – these are matters of concern we should be dealing with.”
Flying back to Britain yesterday, Mrs May’s official plane was intercepted off the Norfolk coast by a pair of RAF Typhoon attack aircraft. It was a pre-planned practice exercise.