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Blow for Theresa May during China trade trip as she’s warned ‘sums don’t add up’ for Hard Brexit



Mounting Brexit pressure back home has overshadowed the PM’s trade trip – where she gave the Chinese President a Blue Planet II DVD and got called ‘Auntie May’

Mounting pressure over Brexit is overshadowing Theresa May’s China visit

George Osborne today warned the “sums don’t add up” for a hard Brexit and said MPs could block the plans.

He also claimed the Tories could lose the next election if they pursue an EU exit which includes quitting the customs union and single market.

It came as a senior Cabinet Minister begged warring Conservative MPs to see Theresa May “the way that she’s seen in other countries”.

Loyal ally Liam Fox was forced to launch a desperate bid to shore up the Prime Minister’s floundering leadership amid mounting speculation about her future.

He urged treacherous Tories bidding to oust her to think of her image abroad.

Mounting pressure over Brexit and her leadership have overshadowed the PM’s three-day trade trip to China.

Today a Chinese TV interviewer stunned the PM by telling her she was held in such affection in the Far East she had been nicknamed “Auntie May”.

The Tory leader was told she is nicknamed ‘Auntie May’


But ex-Chancellor George Osborne punctured the good cheer with a warning

Theresa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping take part in a Tea Ceremony

He added: We should look clearly at the costs and benefits of, for example, leaving the customs union and doing less trade with Europe versus what we might gain from doing a trade deal with America.

“At the moment the sums don’t stack up for that kind of decision.”

He believed a hard Brexit would help force the Tories from power, ushering in a Labour Government.

Theresa May in the grounds of the British Embassy in Beijing


She held a meeting with President Xi Jinping at the Diaoyutai State Guest House

“If you want to put a better argument to the country than the one Jeremy Corbyn is putting, which is in my view a risky economic proposition, then you have got to put a sound economic plan forward. You can’t put, yourself, to the country a risky economic proposition,” he said.

“The Conservative Party, which I have worked very hard over my lifetime to put back in a position where it could be the Government, must offer to the country a big plan for the future, big ideas, big vision, whether it’s transforming schools in the north of England, or a plan to engage with the rest of the world like China, or indeed a form of Brexit which is not as economically damaging as some of the forms being proposed.

“I would humbly suggest that’s what is required.”


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