Labour MEPs: PM’s Brexit speech still leaves the big questions unanswered

We are still no nearer to knowing the long-term EU-UK relationship, and it is still unclear how the negotiations will proceed, Labour MEPs warned following the prime minister’s key Brexit speech in Florence today.

Glenis Willmott MEP, Labour’s Leader in the European Parliament, said:

“The real test of this speech is whether it advances the negotiations. A transition deal is vital if we are to avoid chaos when we hit the Brexit deadline, but there needs to be real progress at next week’s talks on citizens’ rights, the Irish border and Britain’s financial liabilities before talks can even begin on any transition.

“Crucially this speech has failed to answer the most basic question: what does the British government actually want from Brexit? We still do not know what the government sees as the long-term UK-EU relationship at the end of any transition period.

“This speech may be an attempt to extend the road, but we are no clearer on the final destination, and the cliff-edge still looms.

“Fifteen months on from the referendum, and six months into talks, we still do not know what the government thinks Brexit means for Britain. While she should be negotiating with our EU partners, it looks like the prime minister is still negotiating with her Cabinet and once again putting her party interests before the interests of the country.”