The Prime Minister, who this week set out her 12-point plan for Britain’s EU departure, shrugged off the fall in the value of pound sterling since the EU referendum to highlight how major companies were continuing to invest in the UK.
In an interview with Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mrs May offered an upbeat assessment of the UK economy just weeks before the triggering of Article 50 divorce talks.
She said: “We've seen different movements in the pound over the last six months but what we've also seen through the other economic data… is actually the strength of the UK economy.
“The International Monetary Fund has made the point we were last year the fastest growing major economy. Only this week we had figures which showed unemployment coming down once again.
“So we see a fundamental strength in the UK economy. I believe that's a good strength, I believe it's an economy people want to invest in.
“In fact since the Brexit vote we've seen major companies like Nissan, Google and Facebook actually making investments, Softbank taking over ARM in the UK, making very significant investments here in the UK.
“I think what people will look at in terms of investing in the UK is the fundamental strength of our economy and the opportunities there are in the UK.
“This is an important part of our industrial strategy, looking at the economy for the future, looking at how we can ensure the environment in the UK is the right environment, the best environment to do business and to invest.”
Theresa May at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland
We see a fundamental strength in the UK economy
The Prime Minister has confirmed she will take Britain out of the EU’s Single Market after Brexit, in order to place restrictions on EU immigration and end the influence of the European Court of Justice on UK law.
But asked whether she would consider the introduction of a £1,000 annual levy on businesses for every skilled EU worker they employ – as currently charged for non-EU employees – the Prime Minister insisted the Government had still yet to decide on a future immigration policy.
She said: “What people voted for in the UK on June 23 in getting out of the EU was also they voted for ensuring that it was the UK Government that would take decisions about immigration from the EU once we're outside the EU.
“We're working on what that immigration system would look like and there are a number of ways in which we can achieve that control.
“What people want is for the decisions to be taken by the UK Government and that's what we'll be doing once we're outside the EU.”
Earlier this month, Downing Street played down suggestions by Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill a £1,000 annual levy on non-EU skilled workers could be extended to EU employees after Brexit.