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Bremain in Spain comments on May's Road to Brexit: a Road to Nowhere

05 March 2018
by eub2 -- last modified 05 March 2018

Bremain in Spain, a group campaigning for the rights of British citizens in Spain and the EU, points out that public reactions to Theresa May's speech on Friday have been as mixed as the PM's own messages.


While some have praised May for adding clarity and detail to her Brexit 'plan', others criticised her obvious continuation of delusional thinking and unrealistic expectations.

Sue Wilson, Chair of Bremain in Spain, says: "While May publicly acknowledged that the UK cannot obtain everything it wants from any deal, she's still under the delusion that the EU needs us as much as we need it. May stated that we need to face hard facts and that 'life is going to be different'. It was noticeable that she chose the word 'different' rather than 'better', so she is no longer pretending that leaving the EU will be beneficial to the UK."

May listed five tests for Brexit: that it respects the referendum result; is a lasting solution; protect jobs; maintains an outward-looking, tolerant democracy and protects the unity of the United Kingdom.

Wilson continues: "Brexit itself, or at least May's hard version of it, would damage every one of her own tests. May's insistence in respecting the 'will of the people' as of 23 June 2016 is no respecter of democracy or the people if she only considers how they felt at that particular snapshot in time. So many voters have reconsidered their feelings about leaving the EU, now that the true facts and ramifications are known. The 'will of the people' today is demonstrably different to how it was on referendum day and should not be ignored."

The European Commission's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, tweeted: "I welcome Prime Minister Theresa May's speech. Clarity about UK leaving single market and customs union, and recognition of trade-offs, will inform European Council guidelines re: future free trade agreement."

The most scathing attack came from Guy Verhofstadt, who said: "Theresa May needed to move beyond vague aspirations. We can only hope that serious proposals have been put in the post. While I welcome the call for a deep and special partnership, this cannot be achieved by putting a few extra cherries on the Brexit cake."

Wilson adds: "May's red lines are turning pinker by the minute - she needs to wake-up and to accept that the EU has rules in place to protect the integrity of the single market and its members, and that the UK is not a special case."

She adds: "When questioned by a German reporter on whether Brexit was worth it, May gave her usual fudged non-answer. It is becoming increasingly clear, not least to the British public, that Brexit bears no resemblance to what many thought they were voting towards. It seems unlikely that whatever deal May manages to secure will have the support of parliament, so the chances of a referendum on the final deal are increasingly likely."

Wilson concludes: "May's latest catchphrase, 'ambitious but practical', is just another meaningless soundbite. I have written to Number 10 with my own suggestion on a replacement, when they have run out of ideas. I think in relation to Brexit, 'pointless and cancelled' just about covers it."

Bremain in Spain is a group campaigning for the UK to remain in the European Union and to protect the rights of British migrants living and working in Spain. Run by a team of volunteers and chaired by Sue Wilson - a resident of the Valencian Community - the group advocates a tolerant and outward-looking society. It believes this is best achieved by the UK remaining a member of the EU. Bremain in Spain is part of the British in Europe coalition of 10 UK citizens' groups across the EU. It is also affiliated to Britain for Europe and European Movement.

Bremain in Spain
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