Theresa May's Brexit speech comes a year too late with no viable proposals

02 March 2018

Theresa May’s speech setting out the government’s Brexit tests comes a year too late, bringing very little to the negotiating table.

Labour MEPs for the North East of England, Paul Brannen and Jude Kirton-Darling have criticised the Prime Minister for making empty promises on the latest leg of the Brexit journey.

Paul Brannen MEP said: “Not only is this speech one year too late, it simply doesn’t give the EU anywhere near enough to work with.  Frankly, it must be exasperating for the EU.  Given it’s the UK who instigated this situation it is beholden on the UK to make suggestions on how Brexit will actually work in practice.  It is not the EU’s job to make the proposals. Frustratingly this Tory government has many red lines, but no actual plan. Instead they have kicked the can down the road for a worryingly long period of time.  As a consequence patience is wearing thin with May and her Cabinet especially on the other side of the Channel.”

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP added: “This weak and wobbly Tory government is dawdling at the expense of our country again. It is shocking that Theresa May could, in the space of a couple of sentences, say that there won’t be a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland or in the Irish Sea, and then immediately reject the EU’s proposal of keeping the latter in the Customs Union and Single Market. All of this without bringing a viable proposal to the table, which was meant be the point of this speech. The Prime Minister called on politicians to be honest with people in her speech today – perhaps she should follow her own advice.”

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