Labour MEPs: The EU has set out its priorities, but when will May answer the questions posed by Brexit?

Labour MEPs have warned that Theresa May and the Tories still haven’t answered any of the questions about what they would be looking for in the Brexit talks, as the European Parliament today debated the conclusions of the recent EU-27 summit, at which the EU set out its negotiating priorities – something the UK government has yet to do.

Richard Corbett MEP, Labour’s Deputy Leader in the European Parliament, said:

“The European Union guidelines, agreed at the recent summit, highlight the issues at stake and the EU position with far greater clarity than the UK government has done. We still don’t know, eleven months after the referendum – and two months on from the triggering of Article 50 – what the government wants to aim for in these negotiations.

“What kind of relationship do they want with the Single Market and how do they realistically expect to achieve that? What actually does the government want in terms of the Customs Union?

“What solution do they envisage for farmers if they are no longer part of an agreed common EU system of subsidies?

“What happens to Britain’s participation in the various EU technical agencies, such as those for air safety, medicines, chemicals, and so on – whose certifications are a requirement for selling in the European market? What about security cooperation and the UK’s role in Europol?

“There are literally thousands of issues that require clarification, ranging from the future of the pet passport scheme – a quarter of a million Brits take a pet on holiday to the continent every year – to data protection rules, to emergency health care when travelling.

“On most of them, the intentions of the UK government are still not clear.”

Richard Corbett MEP added:

“Tomorrow the Tories are expected to unveil their manifesto – maybe they’ll reveal all then? Don’t hold your breath.

“The prime minister has said next to nothing on policy during this election campaign, while her ministers have been hidden away. Is she scared they’ll give the game away, and reveal the unpalatable truths behind their plans, or confirm that there really is no plan?

“Far from providing “strong and stable leadership”, Theresa May is offering “desperate and deluded leadership”.”