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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

May goes to war with the EU

In a speech outside 10 Downing Street the Prime Minister, Theresa May, launched a stinging attack on politicians and officials from the European Commission. Mrs May accused sections of the continental media misrepresenting "Britain's negotiating position in Europe" and blasted "the European Commission's negotiating stance has hardened. Threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials."

Mrs May said "all of these acts have been deliberately timed to affect the result of the general election that will take place on 8 June." Continuing her attack on European Commission, Mrs May said: "The events of the last few days have shown that whatever our wishes and however reasonable the positions of Europe's other leaders, there are some in Brussels who do not want these talks to succeed, who do not want Britain to prosper."

Mrs May turned her remarks to the forthcoming general election setting out what she thinks is the choice for the British people: "If we don’t get the negotiation right, your economic security and prosperity will be put at risk and the opportunities you seek for your families will simply not happen. If we do not stand up and get this negotiation right we risk the secure and well-paid jobs we want for our children and our children’s children too. If we don’t get the negotiation right, if we let the bureaucrats of Brussels run over us, we will lose the chance to build a fairer society with real opportunity for all."

Getting more partisan the Prime Minister said; "The choice the country faces now is very simple. Because there are only two people who can possibly be Prime Minister after the 8th of June to negotiate Brexit. It is a choice between me – and Jeremy Corbyn. With me you will get strong and stable leadership, and an approach to Brexit that locks in economic growth, jobs for our children and strong finances for the NHS and the country’s schools. Or you will get Jeremy Corbyn with a hung parliament and a coalition of chaos. Britain simply will not get the right Brexit deal if we have the drift and division of a hung parliament."

Responding the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn criticised the Prime Minister's remarks on the European Commission, saying: These are vital negotiations for every person in Britain and for the future of our country. But Theresa May is putting party interest ahead of the national interest. The Prime Minister is right that there are those in Brussels who don’t want a deal. But that is also true of leading figures in the Tory party, who want to use Brexit to turn Britain into a low wage tax haven."

"Only Labour can be trusted to negotiate a Brexit deal that puts jobs and living standards first. Labour will negotiate a Brexit for the many not the few." Mr Corbyn added. 

Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon also criticised the Prime Minister's stance: "It is vital for jobs and living standards that the UK gets the best possible deal from Brexit. But for all the bravado, the fact is that the UK government’s leverage in these negotiations is extremely limited. So for Theresa May, driven by entirely narrow, partisan motives, to deliberately seek to poison the well will make the negotiating task ahead even harder."

Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, accused the Prime Minister of admitting that Brexit is a risk: "The prime minister admitted that she is rolling the dice on her Brexit talks and if we don’t get it right then our economic security will be at risk. Despite admitting these talks could end in disaster the prime minister refuses to give the people the final say on the Brexit deal."