The UK Prime Minister made a quick stop in Newcastle today during her UK tour to mark one year since Article 50 was triggered. As part of her ‘Road to Brexit’ tour, Theresa May promised a “strong and united” country after we leave the EU.
Jude Kirton-Darling, Labour MEP for the North East, commented:
“Theresa May’s desperate cry to unite the country over Brexit should have been aimed at her own party. To ask the people of the North East to get behind her idea of a ‘good’ Brexit deal that won’t only see the country worse off, less secure and isolated, but will also wreck our regional economy, just goes to show the level of disconnect between this Tory government and anything outside the Westminster bubble.
“For the Prime Minister to state that this country’s future after Brexit is a bright one, especially with regards to trade opportunities, is wishful thinking at best. We know that our region’s economy will be hit the hardest in the country due to Brexit, and the damage forecast of a 16% drop in GDP in case of a hard Brexit simply shouldn’t be a possible scenario. Ruling out participating in the EU’s customs union and single market is effectively choosing to put up barriers to UK trade with Europe after Brexit which risks the future of our economy and business.”
Paul Brannen, Labour MEP for the North East, said:
“It is deeply ironic that the Prime Minister has called for unity when all this government has managed to do on the Brexit front is create further divisions by putting the Good Friday Agreement in jeopardy and risking the installation of a guarded and fenced border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
“Theresa May has been categorical that continued membership of either the single market or customs union is off the table which begs the question: how will the government reconcile its contradictory position against both a hard border on the island of Ireland or a hard border in the Irish Sea? As the Brexit clock ticks louder, we urge the Prime Minister to reconsider her government’s stance – the Brexit negotiations should have never threatened a collapse of the peace process in Northern Ireland.”