LONDON: Theresa May has told leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the UK will be a “world leader” on trade. But the prime minister also warned that inequality blamed on globalisation was aiding the “politics of division”. Her speech to business leaders and politicians in Switzerland comes after EU leaders said a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK would be “difficult”. The European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, said Brexit would be bad for the UK and the EU. In her speech, Mrs May said the world was enjoying an “unprecedented level of wealth”, but many people felt this was “not working for them”. Global elites needed to tackle the backlash against globalisation, liberalism, and free trade because leaders who “embrace the politics of division and despair” were working to exploit the situation.
Mrs May said: “Talk of greater globalisation can make people fearful. For many it means their jobs outsourced and their wages undercut. It means having to sit back as they watch their communities change around them. “And in their minds, it means watching as those who prosper seem to play by a different set of rules, while for many life remains a struggle as they get by, but don’t necessarily get on.” he prime minister promised that the UK after Brexit would take on a “leadership role as the strongest and most forceful advocate for free markets and free trade anywhere in the world”. She argued for reforms so the global economy created wealth for all, rather than a “privileged few”, and “centre-ground mainstream politics” could “work for everyone”. In the UK, Mrs May said, she would announce her “industrial strategy” soon, adding that this would “address the longstanding and structural weaknesses our economy”. She said: “This is not about propping up failing industries or picking winners but creating the conditions where winners can emerge and grow.” The prime minister promised a “bold, confident, open Britain” after Brexit.