Mairead McGuinness MEP and first Vice-President of the European Parliament commenting on Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement that she will resign as Conservative party leader on 7th June, and subsequently as Prime Minster once her successor is elected, said the announcement does not take away from the hard facts about Brexit.
“The first, that the timeline is as tight as it has ever been.
“And the second, that the EU negotiated in good faith the Withdrawal Agreement with the UK Government and the issues that are central to that agreement can only be addressed by what is in the withdrawal agreement, which will not be reopened.
“A third worrying element is that the deep divisions in the Conservative Party and in the House of Commons on Brexit have sadly deepened with the passage of time, with little sign or hope of the necessary compromise required emerging.”
She said the incoming Conservative party leader, whoever that may be, will have to face the same dilemmas that confronted Prime Minister, Theresa May.
“Delivering Brexit is easier said than done, due to deeply conflicting views in the UK, and the inevitable trade-offs between contradictory aims.
“The EU and the incoming European Parliament will again be dealing with the debate which has raged for almost three years and was heating up for long before that in the UK.
“I applaud the Prime Minister’s comments about compromise and would have wished that she found a way to compromise before setting out early red lines that have frustrated the process ever since,” McGuinness said.
“Sadly the core ingredient of successful politics, be it in the UK or the EU, is the art of compromise, and this has been downgraded and viewed as a sign of weakness rather than a sign of great strength,” she said.
“We’re seeing the results of that in the House of Commons – and in Northern Ireland where there is no political assembly to reflect the views of the people.
“The incoming British Prime Minister will still face the challenge of ensuring no hard border in Ireland and with the responsibility of protecting the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts.
“The Withdrawal Agreement, including the backstop, remains agreed between the EU and the British Government,” she said.
The MEP said the Brexit situation in the UK has today become “yet more complicated and opaque, which is deeply worrying.”