Mrs May claimed that she was seeking to build the right relationship with the EU for the UK which will not continue to be a member.
Speaking on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the Prime Minister reaffirmed that her Government’s Brexit thinking “isn’t muddled at all” as they seek the best deal for Britons.
Mrs May said: “I’ve consistently said that the referendum vote was a vote for us to change – that vote for freedom of movement was a vote for us to bring control into our immigration system for people coming from the European Union.
“There’s a variety of ways that can be done – but I’m clear that is part of what we need to deliver.”
Being challenged on prioritising immigration over single market membership during her exit negotiations, the Prime Minister added it was important to address people who have stated that Brexit means that certain parts of EU membership can be cherrypicked for our convenience.
“We’re leaving,” she blasted, “we’re coming out, we’re going to be a member of the European Union any longer.
“The question is what is the right relationship for the UK to have with the European Union when we’re outside.
“We will be able to have control of our borders, control of our laws and this is what people were voting for on June 23.
“But of course we still want the best possible deal for us and companies wanting to trade in and operate within the European Union – and also European companies to be able to trade with the UK and operate within the UK.”
Her comments come after the UK’s former ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rodgers, controversially slammed ministers’ approach to Brexit negotiations in a leaked email.
With Brexit negotiations expected to start as early as April, this will come as a worry to Britons who are unconvinced with Mrs May’s position.
However, the Prime Minister, who remains confident of a successful divorce, told Sky that she will be setting out her plans over the coming weeks, adding that 2017 will be a year of change because of the referendum vote.
Mrs May continued: “Anybody who looks at this question of free movement and trade as a sort of zero sum game is approaching it in the wrong way.
“I’m ambitious for what we can get for the UK in terms of our relationship with the European Union because I also think that’s going to be good for the European Union. Our thinking on this isn’t muddled at all.”
In the wide-ranging interview, which is her first live one of 2017, she also rejected claims by the British Red Cross that there was a “humanitarian crisis” in the NHS.
“There are pressures in the NHS, we see those pressures. We have an ageing population, this brings pressures, particularly in the interface between the health service and social care,” rebuked the Prime Minister.
“We have taken some immediate steps in relation to that issue but we are also looking to ensure best practice in the NHS and looking for a long-term solution to what has been a problem that has been ducked by government over the years.
“The NHS is facing the pressures of the ageing population, that is why it is important that it is the NHS that has produced its five-year plan.”