'Democracy betrayed' - North East MEP slams 'disgrace' over EU withdrawal on what should have been Brexit Day

Jonathan Arnott
Jonathan Arnott

A North East MP has slammed the Government and MPs handling of Brexit on the day the UK was supposed to leave the EU.

Prime Minister Theresa May was forced to ask EU leaders to delay Article 50 after she failed to get her Brexit deal passed by Parliament. She will make another attempt to get part of the deal through the House of Commons today.

If she succeeds to get her deal passed, the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on May 22. If not, she has an earlier deadline of April 12, and may have to ask EU leaders for a further extension.

North East MEP Jonathan Arnott today condemned the situation as a "disgrace".

“I never thought I would see democracy so blatantly trashed by those elected to represent us and it will not be forgotten by the British voters who opted to leave. They have been betrayed and it is shameful," he said.

“Today is the day the United Kingdom should have been leaving the EU - and just look at the appalling mess we are in.

“It is a disgrace that this country finds itself in such an uncertain and chaotic situation because of incompetent and self-serving MPs.

“As we are all well aware 17.4 million people voted in June 2016 to leave the European Union, no ifs or buts, just to leave and today was supposed to be Brexit Day."

Mr Arnott, a former school teacher, was elected to the European Parliament in 2014 as a Ukip MEP.

He quit the party in 2018 stating he had lost confidence in then leader Henry Bolton. He now sits on the European Parliament as an Independent Euro-MP for the North East. His office is based in Hartlepool.

He said: “We had the fiasco of the eight inconclusive parliamentary votes on Wednesday and now we hear that MPs are to vote again today on part of the deal negotiated with Brussels,” said Mr Arnott.

“But it will not be what is described as “a meaningful vote’ and won’t include a vote on our future relationship with the EU.

“No-one could have foreseen what a complete mess of negotiations would be made by our politicians in Westminster. But perhaps we should, given that so many have always been in favour of remaining shackled to the failing economic bloc that is the EU."