Theresa May tonight DENIED Britain was “polarised” over Brexit as she tried to dodge all blame for her EU withdrawal deal flop.
The Prime Minister repeatedly refused to admit the country was split over quitting the EU – three years after the UK voted by 52% to 48% to leave the bloc.
She will leave a deeply divided nation, still torn apart by the 2016 referendum result.
But, as she prepares to depart Downing Street having tried and failed three times to get her agreement with Brussels through the Commons, she told the BBC: “I think on the Brexit issue, the public haven’t got that degree of polarisation that exists in Parliament.
“I think what we’ve seen in Parliament is not a reflection of the general public.”
She added: “I actually think there’s quite a difference between Parliament and the public.
“I think the public have got a very simple view; a decision was taken, just get on with it – and they’re not in that same polarised way that Parliament has been about this issue.”
It comes despite hundreds of thousands of people marching against Brexit and for a second referendum in recent months.
And polls continue to show the country is deeply divided.
A YouGov poll in May found 46% of people’s first option is to remain in the EU, with 54% wanting to leave either with no deal (32%), a softer Brexit deal (13%) or Theresa May’s deal (9%).
Theresa May blamed squabbling MPs, not herself, for the chaotic logjam in Westminster which ultimately triggered her downfall.
She attacked “some people (who) have got so sort of entrenched at either end of the argument, that they just weren’t willing to make that compromise that would enable us to get the majority to get this through”.
Second referendum supporters blasted the PM for denying the country was split.
“The country is divided and the only way to settle this mess is to give the decision back to the people with a final say confirmatory ballot.”
Mrs May was speaking hours after Business Secretary Greg Clark warned a no-deal Brexit could trigger the loss of “many thousands of jobs” .
But Mrs May wanted to highlight how she “sacrificed” her own job as she tried to force her pact thorough Parliament.
“I sacrificed my job in order to try to get a deal,” she insisted.
The PM moaned it was “incredibly frustrating” that some MPs who opposed her withdrawal pact have since said they regretted not supporting the agreement.
And she also complained about her “Maybot” image, where she was mocked for repeating slogans and being too buttoned-up.
“I don’t recognise myself in some of the descriptions that people give of me,” she said.
“Nobody likes to have descriptions of them that they don’t think are right but that’s what happens in politics.
“It doesn’t only happen to Prime Ministers.
“Throughout a political life you have to be prepared for the fact that people will portray you in ways that you might not agree with.”
Tomorrow marks Mrs May’s third anniversary in No10.
But instead of celebrating, she is getting ready to pack her bags to depart for the final time in 12 days.
While she will feel “a mixture of pride at having done the job”, there will also be “a degree of disappointment because there was more that I wanted to do”, she revealed.
She refused to admit she was wrong to call a snap general election in June 2017.
It was there that she squandered David Cameron’s hard-won majority and was forced into a crippling £1billion confidence-and-supply deal with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party.
Instead, she blamed others for persuading her to run a campaign against her natural instincts.
“I don’t regret calling the election – I regret running a campaign that wasn’t really me,” she grumbled.
She finally admitted she should have taken part in election TV debates – two years after the Mirror branded her a “Chicken” for dodging head-to-head showdowns with Jeremy Corbyn.
“I think I probably actually should have done the TV debates,” she confessed.