Happy Birthday Brexit! Politicians speak out one year on since St Albans and Harpenden voted in the EU referendum

One year on since the historic referendum.

One year on since the historic referendum. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

St Albans and Harpenden politicians have been speaking out one year after Britain voted to leave the EU.

The anniversary coincides with the beginning of the Brexit negotiations, which has drawn strong responses from both Leave and Remain voters.

St Albans MP and Brexiteer, Anne Main, said in the House of Commons: “I think it behoves us all, whichever side of the argument we were on, to recognise that, overwhelmingly, the country voted to proceed with its decision to leave the European Union.”

She said after the debate: “We as parliamentarians need to be closely scrutinising the legislation with great intensity in order that we get it right.

“If we don’t play political games with Brexit then I am confident that we can get the best possible outcome for our country.”

Harpenden MP and Remain voter, Bim Afolami, said: “It is important for the government to have input from businesses large and small as to how Brexit will affect them, so that we can get the best deal possible.

“I am keen to hear from as wide a variety of voices as possible.”

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A point of contention is what will be included in the final Brexit deal: what EU benefits should be retained and should Britain should pay for the privileges?

UKIP MEP for the East of England, Tim Aker, said: “Saying that the Prime Minister must accept any deal is like an idiot going into a car showroom and driving out with a car he never wanted.

“Only by saying we will walk away can we have any chance of a good deal. Without that we have no hand of getting our borders back, getting our laws back, getting our money back and not paying a penny piece to the EU.”

Mrs Main has published a report, putting forward the idea of equivalence - where the UK would keep its laws very similar to those of the EU, which she claims is made much easier by the government’s Repeal Bill.

The report reads: “Given the importance of the UK as a financial centre for the rest of Europe, we believe that it is in both our interests to negotiate a mutually beneficial deal.”