March 29, 2018

May kicks off Brexit tour of the UK: Here’s where she’s going

By Shoshana Kedem

With just one year to go before the UK leaves the European Union, the country’s Prime Minister Theresa May has kicked off a day-long tour of all four regions of the UK.

Starting in Scotland, May will crisscross the country visiting mainly pro-remain regions, in an effort to bridge Brexit divisions.

On the 15-hour tour, she will visit Barry in Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, Ayrshire in Scotland, Newcastle in England, and Belfast in Northern Ireland, before finishing up in west London to have tea with Poles.

The whirlwind tour is aimed at uniting the nation rife with Brexit divisions.

May said:

I am determined that as we leave the EU, and in the years ahead, we will strengthen the bonds that unite us, because ours is the world’s most successful union.

The UK contains four proud and historic nations, but together we amount to so much more than the sum of our parts and our Union is an enormous force for good.

A Downing Street official said the trip is about meeting people and businesses.

Read more: With 12 months to go, Londoners are feeling downbeat over the state of Brexit

Here are the stops on May’s Brexit tour itinerary

Ayeshire, Scotland

May set off for Scotland at 7am this morning, where she will meet textile workers at a factory in Ayeshire, a region where jobs across a number of sectors, including textiles could be hit hard by Brexit.

The majority of the region voted to remain, 63%, in line with Scotland as a whole where 62% wanted to stay in the EU.

Newcastle, England

In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where 50.7% of people voted to stay in the EU, May will meet parent and toddler groups.

The region held an anti-Brexit protest last weekend, with protesters wielding posters calling to “Stop Brexit” and a large float with the slogan “Brexit is a monstrosity” emblazoned upon it.

Belfast, Northern Ireland

May will then travel to Belfast to have lunch with farmers, amid tensions that the farming industry in Northern Ireland — where 90% of their lamb products are exported — will be hard hit by tariffs and the loss of EU subsidies.

A large 62% majority of Belfast voted to remain in the EU. Ahead of the visit, May said she rejected a EU proposal for an administrative border on the Irish Sea by keeping Northern Ireland in the EU customs union.

Barry, Wales

May will fly from Belfast to the Vale of Glamorgan in south Wales where she will host a round table with business in the town of Barry.

Just over half (50.7%) of people in the region voted to remain in the EU, while the Welsh government is calling for a so-called soft Brexit where the UK remains in the single market and customs union.

Speaking ahead of the visit, May addressed concerns of the Welsh government that Westminster will grab power from devolved regional administrations after Brexit.

May said devolved administrations will have more “decision-making powers” when powers are transferred from the EU, and she said her government is “absolutely committed” to the devolution settlements.


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