Theresa May says Brexit 'must bring Britain together'

It comes amid calls for a second Scottish referendum

Theresa May says Brexit 'must bring Britain together'

British Prime Minister Theresa May who has used her Easter message to suggest people are

People are "uniting" after the divisions of Brexit, according to the British Prime Minister Theresa May.

In an optimistic Easter message, Mrs May stressed the opportunities for Britain as it leaves the European Union.

Mrs May said the process focusing on "shared ambitions" by exiting the EU "can - and must bring us together".

Many see obstacles and division in the negotiations ahead.

But Mrs May said: "This year, after a period of intense debate over the right future for our country, there is a sense that people are coming together and uniting behind the opportunities that lie ahead.

"For at heart, this country is one great union of people and nations with a proud history and a bright future.

"And as we face the opportunities ahead of us - the opportunities that stem from our decision to leave the European Union and embrace the world - our shared interests, our shared ambitions and above all our shared values can - and must - bring us together."

It comes as Scotland has approved calls for a second independence referendum for it to leave the UK.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Stergeon has said she hopes to hold the vote between autumn 2018 and spring 2019.

Mrs May has consistently taken the line that "now is not the time" for a second independence referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon at First Minister's Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh | Image: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire/PA Images

Mrs May also said the UK should be "confident" about Christianity's role in society and stand up for people's freedom to speak about their faith.

She said: "We must continue to ensure that people feel able to speak about their faith, and that absolutely includes their faith in Christ.

"And we must do more to stand up for the freedom of people of all religions to practice their beliefs openly and in peace and safety."

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also reflected on the Christian principles in his Easter message, which he applied to overcoming social problems.

He said: "We hear painful stories every day, of homelessness, poverty or crisis in our health service - or across the world, of the devastating consequences of war and conflict, including millions forced to become refugees.

"It would be easy to retreat into our private lives because the challenges seem overwhelming, or allow ourselves to be divided and blame others.

"But we need to respond to these problems head on, through action and support for social justice, peace and reconciliation.

"Those principles are at the heart of Christianity. And Christians throughout the world will this weekend be remembering Jesus's example of love and sacrifice, and the Easter message of redemption and peace."

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron used his Easter message to warn against nostalgia and "turning back the clock".

He said: "Nostalgia and nationalism have become the fuel for an aggressive and irrational brand of politics that is the opposite of what liberals stand for."

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Tim Farron | Image: Danny Lawson/PA Wire/PA Images

The overtly political Easter messages come as a ComRes Survey puts the Tories 21 points clear of Labour on 46% to 25%. That's the largest poll lead for a Conservative government since 1983.

A new Optimum survey also shows 47% of people back Mrs May to be Prime Minister, compared to just 14% supporting Mr Corbyn.

It also found that only 45% of Labour supporters backed Mr Corbyn to be leader in a two way choice between him and Mrs May.