Theresa May has made an ‘unforgivable’ mistake in her negotiations with the EU which has weakened Britain unnecessarily, former EU trade negotiator Miriam González Durántez has told ITV News.
On Monday, Mrs May updated MPs on the negotiations, saying she believed a deal was still within reach. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called her statement ‘groundhog day.’
Ms González Durántez – who was speaking in the first of ITV News’ Ask A Woman interview series where Julie Etchingham talks to women from all walks of life about their experiences and the advice they would offer to young women today – said she believes the Prime Minister has made “two very fundamental mistakes” over Brexit which the country is “paying the consequences for“.
“In political terms, giving the Article 50 notice without knowing…what she wanted to do in terms with the relationship with the European Union, that was a by the book mistake. That really was unforgivable and it has weakened this country to a point where it wasn’t necessary at all. We could have done this negotiation from more of a position of strength, and that is her own doing and that is her responsibility and at some point she will have to pay the bill for doing that.”
“What is much more important…instead of trying to bring the country together, she stood there by the door of Number 10 and she basically said to half of this country, that not only they even have the right to think differently but they couldn’t even say it, it’s that kind of silencing, the ‘citizens of the world are the citizens of nowhere’.
“I am disappointed I have waited my whole life…to see women in power so that they would do politics differently and it wouldn’t be so tribal, it would bring people together, all the things we always say: ‘women have this emotional intelligence, women negotiate more’…[here] was an example as to how this doesn’t really depend on gender.”
“Two years on, this country continues to [be] divided“.