The Prime Minister gave her combative statement after returning from a bruising European Union summit in Salzburg during which her latest Brexit plan, now referred to as the Chequers agreement, was effectively rubbished and rejected by European Union leaders.
European Council President Donald Tusk said bluntly at a meeting in Salzburg, Austria on Thursday that parts of May's plan simply "will not work", while French President Emmanuel Macron called pro-Brexit U.K. politicians "liars" who had misled the country about the costs of leaving the 28-nation bloc.
"Yesterday, I was in Salzburg for talks with European leaders".
Cabinet ministers lined up to back Mrs May on Friday morning amid speculation that her position was under threat following the latest development.
In a defiant final message, the prime minister said: "The EU should be clear: I will not overturn the result of the referendum".
"I think it is great that the Prime Minister is standing up for Britain at this time". The UK expects the same.
Speaking of May's proposals, Merkel said, "You can't belong to the single market if you are not part of the single market, but you can develop a lot of creativity to find practical, good, close solutions". Her Chequers plan also faces opposition from pro-Brexit members of her own Conservative Party, including former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who say it would keep Britain tethered to the bloc, unable to strike new trade deals around the world.
She also sought to reassure those living in Northern Ireland that her government would do everything to prevent a hard border with the Irish Republic.
"Anything which fails to respect the referendum or which effectively divides our country in two would be a bad deal and I have always said no deal is better than a bad deal", May added.
Reacting to May's statement Kalba Meadows from the Remain in France Together (RIFT) campaign group told The Local: "It's completely unacceptable that she made no mention at all of the 1.2 million British citizens living in the European Union - not even an acknowledgement that we exist".
"But our European partners, if they want to reach a deal, have to find a way of understanding that there are some things we can not accept". But Britain rejects the EU's proposed solution, which would keep Northern Ireland inside the bloc's customs union while the rest of the United Kingdom leaves. A good relationship at the end of this process depends on it. "So we now need to hear from the European Union what the real issues are, what their alternative is, so that we can discuss them". Put their sharp elbows and their personal ambition away and just let the Prime Minister do her job and go into bat for the country and bring home a deal. To deny its legitimacy, or frustrate its result, threatens public trust our democracy.
Many business chiefs and investors say a "no-deal" Brexit would weaken the West, panic financial markets and block the arteries of trade. "We need serious engagement on resolving the two main problems in the negotiations and we stand ready".