Theresa Could has mentioned the expansion of an “uncompromising absolutism” in UK and international politics dangers poisoning debate and undermining democratic values.
In her final main speech as PM, she mentioned it was resulting in a political tradition based mostly on “winners and losers”.
If “in poor health phrases” went unchallenged, it may result in “in poor health deeds” afterward.
She admitted her personal language had not all the time been “good” and she or he had been unsuitable to say EU nationals had been “leaping the queue” in a speech in 2018.
Mrs Could will stand down as Tory chief and prime minister subsequent week.
She was compelled to stop after failing to influence MPs to again her Brexit cope with the EU.
In a wide-ranging speech on the Royal Institute of Worldwide Affairs, she warned concerning the menace to the worldwide order from populism and authoritarianism, and defended multilateral agreements such because the Paris Local weather Accord and Iran Nuclear Deal, shunned by the US.
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Urging politicians to search out “widespread floor” over Brexit and different pressing worldwide challenges, resembling local weather change, she mentioned compromise shouldn’t be seen as a grimy phrase.
She mentioned the rising rancour and “tribal bitterness” of a lot up to date debate risked undermining the “monumental potential” for public good and progress that politics provided.
The job of leaders, Mrs Could continued, was to handle the real considerations of individuals reasonably than making guarantees that might not be stored and “telling individuals what you assume they wish to hear”.
“Being ready to make compromises as a way to make progress doesn’t entail a rejection of our values and convictions by one iota. Fairly it’s precisely the way in which to defend them.”
She mentioned politics was at its finest “the place persuasion, teamwork and a willingness to make mutual concessions are wanted to attain an optimum consequence”.
“The choice is a politics of winners and losers, of absolutes and of perpetual strife – and that threatens us all.”
On Brexit, she mentioned whereas the results of the 2016 referendum have to be honoured, the method had been poisoned by a “winner takes all strategy to leaving or remaining”.
“No matter path we take have to be sustainable for the long run… and that should imply some sort of compromise,” she mentioned.
BBC political correspondent Nick Eardley mentioned some listening would assume Mrs Could herself may have sought to compromise sooner over Brexit.
Warning of a normal coarsening of political debate, she mentioned “some are shedding the power to disagree with out demeaning the views of others”.
Whereas not mentioning President Donald Trump – whose feedback about Democratic rivals has sparked a race row within the US – by title, she mentioned that “phrases have penalties”.
“Ailing phrases that go unchallenged are step one on a continuum in the direction of in poor health deeds – in the direction of a a lot darker place the place hatred and prejudice drive not solely what individuals say but in addition what they do.”
However she conceded she had been clumsy in her use of language on delicate points, resembling when final November she claimed freedom of motion had allowed EU residents to “soar the queue” to enter the UK regardless of being legally entitled to take action.
“Has each phrase I used been as good because it ought to have been? No.”
In response to the speech, Brexit MEP Martin Daubney mentioned Mrs Could was straight chargeable for the populism that she was now bemoaning.