Saturday 21 October 2017

May's moment of conviction as she declares Brexit to MPs

Britain's decision to leave the EU has come after a history of PMs flitting between the continent and the US

'Theresa May gave a convincing and powerful account of the restored will of the British people, and of its elected representatives. She did this by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union' Photo: REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
'Theresa May gave a convincing and powerful account of the restored will of the British people, and of its elected representatives. She did this by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union' Photo: REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Bruce Arnold

In her letter to President of the European Council Donald Tusk (the man who chairs meetings of the heads of state and government of the EU), and in her statement to Parliament that followed last Wednesday afternoon, Theresa May gave a convincing and powerful account of the restored will of the British people, and of its elected representatives. She did this by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.

In contrast, three of Europe's leaders made lamentable and dismal responses. Tusk fumbled over a handful of words and left the platform in Brussels holding her letter as though it were poison. He totally failed to do the gracious thing. This was to acknowledge that hers was an entirely legitimate response to EU law, supported by a majority of the British people. President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker was even worse, delivering, in a single word, "sad", his evident confusion over how to behave and what came next.

Angela Merkel was formal, but spoke beyond her remit, taking an entitlement to make a judgment of Britain on behalf of the other 27 EU members.

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