PM speech in Florence ignores UK expats whilst aiding EU citizens in Britain

Published:  25 Sep at 6 PM
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Theresa May’s speech in Florence was seen as a possible opportunity for clarity on the Brexit negotiations chaos, but is being denigrated by UK expat protest groups as containing less substance, more soundbites.

The volunteer group Remain in Spain was the first to voice its disappointment, with chairwoman Sue Wilson commenting the speech could not be seen as facilitating progress in the stalled negotiations. The EU27, she added, were unlikely to find anything in it which suggests a move forward at this time, as little progress has been made to date. Wilson also commented that many of the group’s members now feel far prouder of being Europeans than they do of being British citizens.

May, it seems, now has no authority, either on the world stage or in the UK, with the EU holding all the cards and the British government still believing it can still have its cake and eating it. Placards held by the crowds of anti-Brexit protestors outside the venue said it all, simply stating their rights were neither being respected or represented. A ‘Stop Brexit National March’ is due to be held in Manchester on 1 October, and will feature political heavyweights including Richard Corbett, Bonnie Greer, Alison McGovern and others.

British media in general criticised the speech as being crammed full of u-turns away from previous referendum promises. Up for the chop were turning the UK into a tax haven, putting the actual leaving date on ice for at least two years and pledging tens of billions of pounds as a divorce settlement. The speech made it clear the PM and her cabinet still don’t have a plan which will at least get the UK out of the EU without wrecking its economy and causing misery for millions.

One glaring omission in the speech was May’s ignoring of the human rights of UK citizens in the EU whilst offering to include the rights of EU citizens in the UK in the actual exit treaty. For the hundreds of thousands of Brits in Europe faced with a choice between a rock and a hard place, this favouring of their counterparts in the UK wasn’t exactly unexpected, but was seen as yet another blow from the Prime Minister of their country of birth.
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