Prime Minister’s speech sets out self-defeating agenda
British Prime Minister Theresa May has today delivered a highly anticipated speech, outlining her position for the Brexit negotiations.
The speech confirms that the British Government has chosen the hardest form of separation between the UK and the European Union, exiting the single market and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s speech, the co-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament Philippe Lamberts said:
“The British Prime Minister had a range of options as to how to shape Brexit; she has deliberately chosen to interpret the referendum along the lines of the Tory hard-liners. She repeated her Chancellor's threat of a recourse to tax and social dumping to make the UK competitive against the EU. This is a slap in the face for those who want to establish the new UK-EU relationship in a way that would preserve not only economic cooperation, but many other positive elements of the European social, environmental and legal acquis. It also risks painful consequences for the British people, many of whom would suffer deeply under a low-tax, low-regulation agenda.
“In a context where the Trumps, the Putins, the Erdogans but also the Xis of this world are set on dividing the European Union, the need for Europeans to stand together has never been more pressing. Establishing peace on our continent through the extension of freedom and democracy and a shared prosperity has been at the heart of the European project; EU leaders need to reconnect to that promise, lest that project lose the support of our own people as well."
Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller added:
“By pushing for a hard Brexit, May is making life much more difficult for those who wanted to remain. This stance will be especially problematic for Scotland and Northern Ireland, where the majority voted to stay in the EU and we expect to see the devolved administrations given a real voice in the negotiation process.
“The Prime Minister says she wishes to come to an early deal to guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in Britain, and of those British citizens who have chosen to make their home elsewhere in the EU. We want to see this agreed as soon as possible.”