In the face of widespread criticism re how the UK government is handling key Brexit commitments - such as the 'divorce bill', citizens' rights and the Irish border - Theresa clearly hoped to kick-start Brexit talks with the speech.
Sue Wilson, Chair of Bremain in Spain, comments: "If May's intention was to facilitate progress in the negotiations, I fear she will be disappointed. As per usual, we have more soundbites than substance. Again, she appears intent on talking about future arrangements rather than concentrating on separation priorities. I can't believe anything she said today would persuade the EU27 that sufficient progress has been made to move forwards. Instead of negotiating on the future relationship in October, it's likely that those talks will be postponed for weeks, if not months. All the time, the clock is ticking, as Michel Barnier keeps reminding us."
Wilson adds: "May said that the UK had never entirely felt at home in the EU. On the contrary, many of us feel prouder of being European than British, thanks to Brexit. Also, how did May manage to speak for so long and say so little? This was hardly the 'valuable certainty' she promises - more like worthless ambiguity."
"It's abundantly clear that May has no authority left on the UK or the world stage. The sooner she and her government realise that the EU holds all the cards, the better."
Theresa May's speech in Florence was attended by a crowd of protesters, including British citizens in Italy who are members of British in Europe, the largest coalition of citizens' groups throughout the EU27. Bremain in Spain is also a member of British in Europe. The protestors were carrying placards stating that their voices had been denied and requesting that their existing rights as EU citizens be maintained. Theresa said little to reassure them, speaking again of her controversial plan to make EU migrants register their presence in the UK as part of her plan to control borders.
With citizens' rights in mind, Bremain in Spain will be participating in the 'Stop Brexit National March' in Manchester on Sunday 1 October. At this anti-Brexit event, Sue Wilson will address the crowd alongside 10 other speakers, including Alistair Campbell, AC Grayling, Bonnie Greer, Alison McGovern and Richard Corbett. Sue will be speaking about the rights of UK citizens in the EU and the importance of making our voices heard. Wilson concludes: "We're sick of feeling invisible. We'll make as much noise as possible outside the Tory Party Conference Centre - our voices must be heard, even if we have to shout!"
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Notes for editors
Bremain in Spain is a group campaigning for the UK to remain in the European Union and to protect the rights of British migrants living and working in Spain. Run by a team of volunteers and chaired by Sue Wilson - a resident of the Valencian Community - the group advocates a tolerant and outward-looking society. It believes this is best achieved by the UK remaining a member of the EU. Bremain in Spain is part of the British in Europe coalition of 10 UK citizens' groups across the EU. It is also affiliated to Britain for Europe and European Movement.
For further information please contact
Sue Wilson, Chair
Bremain in Spain
Tel: + 34 696 056 328
Deputy Press Officer
Tel: + 44 7549 504281
Facebook: Bremain in Spain
Published for Bremain in Spain by Press Dispensary
+ 44 1273 741410