Watch back: UK's May calls for Brexit compromises in last major speech as prime minister

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, July 17, 2019.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, July 17, 2019. Copyright REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Copyright REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
By Alice Tidey
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Theresa May will step down next week after her successor is announced, following a Conservative membership ballot.

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Theresa May said on Wednesday that there are "grounds for serious concerns" in the UK and global politics and called for compromises during her last major speech as UK Prime Minister.

In her address, delivered at the Chatham House think-tank in London, the outgoing prime minister said she is "worried about the state of politics" and there are "grounds for serious concerns both domestically and internationally."

She defended liberalism and compromises as the driving forces behind democracy and hailed the creation of Britain's National Health Service as well as various global institutions including the United Nations as proof.

But she deplored that "absolutism" is "coarsening the public debate," arguing that the rise of far-right and far-left parties and the increasingly confrontational tone in international relations showed that nowadays "if you assert your view long and loud enough, you will get your way."

May, who resigned last month after failing to rally her party around her Brexit deal, will leave 10 Downing Street next week following a Conservative leadership ballot, which is expected to see Boris Johnson become the country's leader.

Johnson, former foreign minister and staunch Brexiteer, has been emphatic that the UK will leave the EU by the October 31 deadline with or without a deal.

The outgoing prime minister said she has "no greater regret" than her failure to deliver Brexit. The Withdrawal Agreement she struck with the European Union in November 2018 was rejected three times by British lawmakers.

She reiterated that delivering the result of the June 2016 referendum "has to mean some kind of compromise".

You can watch the speech back in the above video player.

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