Theresa May used her statement on Downing Street to accuse European politicians of seeking to influence the result of the UK’s General Election in June
There were nine mentions of the word “Brexit”, and all of the reaction to the speech has focused on the Prime Minister’s accusations, but you can hear what else May had to say – including on the economy, extremism and Scottish independence – in the full video of the speech below.
May’s speech came after meeting the Queen to mark the dissolution of Parliament, and she warned of how difficult it might be for the election’s victor to get the “best possible” Brexit deal for UK.
“In the last few days we have seen just how tough these talks are likely to be,” she said.
“Britain’s negotiating position in Europe has been misrepresented in the continental press. The European Commission’s negotiating stance has hardened.
“Threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials.
“All of these acts have been deliberately timed to affect the result of the General Election that will take place on June 8.”
— Kamal Ahmed (@bbckamal) May 3, 2017
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Prime Minister was deploying distraction techniques.
“Theresa May is playing party games with Brexit in the hope of winning advantage for the Tories in the General Election.
“By winding up the public confrontation with Brussels, the Prime Minister wants to wrap the Conservative Party in the Union Jack and distract attention from her Government’s economic failure and run-down of our public services.
“But Brexit is too important to be used as a political game in this election.”
1/4 UK needs best possible Brexit deal and has limited leverage, so for PM to poison atmosphere for partisan reasons is deeply irresponsible
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 3, 2017
He added: “The Prime Minister says that no deal would lead to a different economic model for Britain.
“In plain terms, that means wiping out employment rights and consumer protections and giving still more tax breaks to the rich and big corporations.
“That’s the threat and the risk that comes from this Tory Government.
Only Labour can be trusted to negotiate a Brexit deal that puts jobs and living standards first.
“Labour will negotiate a Brexit for the many, not the few.”