Brexit is not UK 'rejecting' global cooperation - five key points from Theresa May's UN speech

Theresa May addressing the U.N.

Theresa May has sought to assure world leaders that Brexit is "not a rejection of international co-operation".

The Prime Minister used her platform at the U.N. to address a series of issues important to the UK including Russia's "reckless" use of "chemical weapons", anti-Semitism and the importance of free press.

What exactly did she say?

  • Brexit

Mrs May told world leaders the "vote by British people to leave the EU is not a rejection of multi-lateralism or international co-operation.

"It was a clear demand for decisions and accountability to lie closer to home".

Her comments come as she tries to bolster support for her Chequers deal, which has been widely rejected by both the EU and hardline Brexiteers.

She added: "I believe the role of leadership in these circumstances is clear: it is delivering on the democratic wishes of our people and international cooperation working with allies and partners in pursuit of our shared values.

  • Russia

She attacked Russia's use of "chemical weapon on the streets of Britain".

Accusing the Kremlin of violating "international norms" she said "agents of the Russian GRU", which is Russia's military intelligence, had been "reckless".

It comes amid reports that one of the suspects in the Salisbury poisoning, Ruslan Boshirov, has been identified as Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga, a highly decorated officer in the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence service.

  • Media

In a rare personal admission, the Prime Minister smiled and said that while she did not "always enjoy reading what the media" wrote about her, she will "defend their right to say it".

She described "the independence of the media" as the "bedrock" of the UK democracy.

  • Global cooperation

The Prime Minister also called for international cooperation as the answer for those who don't feel globalisation is working for them.

She said: "We have to show there is a better way to meet the concerns of our people.

"That way lies in global cooperation between strong and accountable states based on open economies and inclusive societies.”

Her comments were viewed by some as a direct contradiction to Donald Trump's statement to the U.N in which he rejected "the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism".

  • Anti-Semitism

Addressing discrimination she said "we must call out hate speech, antisemitism, Islamophobia and all forms of prejudice and discrimination against minorities".

Her comments come as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn acknowledged "the row over anti-Semitism" that has swept across the party has "caused immense hurt and anxiety in the Jewish community".