Cameron makes final speech as UK prime minister

Outgoing premier tells parliament he hopes Britain will remain ‘as close to EU as we can be’

Cameron makes final speech as UK prime minister

World Bulletin / News Desk

David Cameron said he hoped the U.K. remained “as close to the European Union as we can be” in his final parliamentary appearance Wednesday before stepping down as prime minister.

Taking questions from lawmakers in the House of Commons hours before he is succeeded by Home Secretary Theresa May, Cameron said it was vital that Britain retained close ties with the EU following last month’s vote to leave the bloc.

“My advice to my successor, who is a brilliant negotiator, is that we should try to be as close to the European Union as we can be for the benefits of trade, of cooperation and for security,” he said in televised comments.

“The [English] Channel will not get any wider once we leave the European Union and that is the relationship we should seek.”

In a generally light-hearted session, lawmakers paid tribute to Cameron, who is stepping down after losing the EU referendum.

“The last thing I'd say is that you can achieve a lot of things in politics,” Cameron said in his final remarks to parliament as prime minister. “You can get a lot of things done. And that, in the end -- the public service, the national interest -- that is what it's all about. Nothing is really impossible if you put your mind to it.”

In a reference to the first question he asked then Premier Tony Blair after becoming opposition leader in 2005, Cameron concluded: “After all, as I once said, I was the future once.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn congratulated him on introducing same-sex marriage and securing the release of British resident Shaker Ahmed from Guantanamo Bay during his six-year term in office.

The outgoing prime minister was applauded by lawmakers as he left the chamber.

He will visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace later to formally tender his resignation and May is expected to be appointed shortly afterwards. He will remain a lawmaker for Whitney in central England.

 

Last Mod: 13 Temmuz 2016, 16:04
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