Reaction from various UK party leaders

Reaction from various UK party leaders

Theresa May (Conservative)

The Prime Minister made a statement in the House of Commons today outlining her view for Brexit. This, along with the six page letter she sent to Donald Tusk outlined the bulk of her negotiating position. In the letter she outlined her priorities for Brexit and what Britain will look to achieve from a deal. However, the most important section to some leave favouring MP’s was one line in the third paragraph.

I hereby notify the European Council in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union.

After answering over 100 questions from MP’s in a marathon session in the Commons the Prime Minister then gave an interview to Andrew Neil on BBC One (something which David Cameron never did). Telling us very little but revealing a lot the Prime Minister managed to hint that she would look to keep the relationships with European organisations such as Europol the same but didn’t guarantee it.

Jeremy Corbyn (Labour)

After Theresa May’s interview inside Number 10 Downing Street, the Leader of the Opposition gave an interview to Andrew Neil where he revealed lots about his views of how domestic policy should change after Brexit similar to the six demands Kier Starmer set out. He reiterated his long standing position that if the Scottish Parliament agrees to a Brexit vote then he would not oppose that in Westminster. However, the most revealing aspect was when questioned about the border with Northern Ireland, Corbyn said that he would support it if the Northern Ireland Assembly did so. If he agrees so much with Parliamentary sovereignty why did he not stand down after a vote of no confidence in him.

Paul Nuttall (Ukip)

After both Corbyn and May, Nuttall along with Tim Farron and Jonathan Bartley took part in a three-way interview. The Ukip leader when asked about how he was going to oppose Brexit despite having no MP’s responded that they had succeeded in gaining a referendum without any. What Nuttall disclosed was the fact that he agreed with the vast majority of what Theresa May set out today in her letter to the European Council. This either says a lot about the lack of prominence for Ukip or the way the Conservative Party is shifting.

Nicola Sturgeon (SNP)

Probably the most inevitable aspect of today was the fact that Nicola Sturgeon mentioned the Scottish independence referendum that she has planned. The First Minister made it clear that she didn’t think that Article 50 should be triggered accusing the Prime Minister in an article for the Guardian of being unable to ‘shake off the agenda of the Ukip-tinged right wing of her own party’. It is now clear that the First Minister will look for a second referendum, it is also equally clear that the Prime Minister will reject one. For now.

Tim Farron (Liberal Democrats)

The decimated Liberal Democrats have relaligned themselves as the party to stop Brexit. Also writing in the Guardian, Tim Farron made this argument in an attempt to build a cross-Brexit division he wrote that Saturday’s March for Europe demonstrated that ‘the anger is not ebbing, it is growing, and among some who voted leave as well as remain’. This is a bold statement by Farron who is trying to increase the party’s stagnating rating in the polls despite large sucesses in by-elections. Farron also argues that there should be another referendum on the deal that is offered by the European Union.

Other leaders

  • Leanne Wood  Plaid Cymru leader tweeted a message out when the letter was sent saying:
  • Kezia Dugdale Scottish Labour leader along with Carwyn Jones Welsh First Minsiter, and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown set up a taskforce in order to look at post-Brexit devolution.
  • Nigel Dodds of the Democratic Unionist Party said in the House of Commons to Theresa may that he wanted to ‘congratulate her and her Government on actually delivering on the will of the people of the United Kingdom’.
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