Labour MEPs: May must ignore ‘no deal’ masochists and heed EU chief’s Brexit warning

21 March 2017

Labour MEPs have warned that Theresa May must urgently build bridges with her fellow EU leaders, and listen less to the hardline ‘no deal’ Brexiters, after European Council President Donald Tusk told the European Parliament that Europe will not be “intimidated” by threats, and that failure to reach a deal would hurt Britain more than the EU.

Glenis Willmott MEP, Leader of the European Parliamentary Labour Party and Labour MEP for the East Midlands, said:

“The signs are there, from Chancellor Merkel, President Hollande, and now Donald Tusk: threats and intimidation from the UK government are building hostility amongst our European partners and are making it harder to build the alliances we need to get a good deal. The prime minister lacks allies and ideas, seemingly alone and isolated in the EU, apparently more comfortable in the presence of Donald Trump than Donald Tusk. If this attitude persists, we risk crashing out of the European Union with either a dire deal or no deal at all.

“Theresa May needs to stop being led down the path favoured by Nigel Farage and the ‘no deal’ masochists on her front and back benches, and start building her relationships with her fellow EU leaders and negotiating partners. If she doesn’t, we will end up with a truly disastrous WTO Brexit, with high tariffs, job losses and economic chaos.”

With tough negotiations due to start in the coming weeks, once the Prime Minister triggers Article 50, getting a good deal for the North East is something local Labour MEPs also want to see.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP said:

“As the only UK region with a trade surplus, the North East leads the way on manufacturing exports. It is therefore vital for the people of our region that the UK gets the best deal possible during the negotiations with the European Union to secure the jobs linked to European trade which are already here, and to create good quality new ones.”

Paul Brannen MEP said:

“We all know that Brexit is going to offer a number of complex challenges for the North East and we need to make sure that we protect our industries, universities, consumers and workers as part of the deal the UK reaches. Isolating ourselves from our nearest neighbours is not the way to do this”

 

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