Theresa May cites Jo Cox's 'more in common' mantra in New Year message

Posted On: 
1st January 2017

Theresa May has invoked the philosophy of late Labour MP Jo Cox as she pledged to bring about a “truly united Britain” in 2017. 

Theresa May delivering her New Year message
10 Downing Street

The Prime Minister cited Ms Cox’s mantra – “we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us” – as she acknowledged the last 12 months had been “divisive” for the UK as the European Union referendum revealed the splits in society.

In her New Year message, Mrs May said the upcoming Brexit negotiations, which will begin when Article 50 is triggered by the end of March, would be an opportunity to bring the country together.

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But she stressed that the EU was not the only issue which needed to be addressed, citing home ownership, education and employment.

She said: “I know that the referendum last June was divisive at times. I know, of course, that not everyone shared the same point of view, or voted in the same way. But I know too that, as we face the opportunities ahead of us, our shared interests and ambitions can bring us together. 

“We are no longer the 52% who voted Leave and the 48% who voted Remain, but one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future. 

“So when I sit around the negotiating table in Europe this year, it will be with that in mind – the knowledge that I am there to get the right deal – not just for those who voted to Leave – but for every single person in this country.”

She said the Government would “pull down” the barriers which were leading to divides in education, home ownership, and employment and “secure a better deal at home for ordinary, working people”.  

“The result will be a truly united Britain, in which we are all united in our citizenship of this great nation; united in the opportunities that are open to all our people; and united by the principle that it is only your talent and hard work that should determine your future,” the Conservative leader added.

“As the fantastic MP Jo Cox, who was so tragically taken from us last year, put it: ‘We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.’

“We have a golden opportunity to demonstrate that – to bring this country together as never before, so that whoever you are, wherever you live, our politics, economy and society work for you, not just a privileged few.”

Watch the video message in full below: