Tim Farron, the Lib Dem leader, has interpreted the article 50 letter as a “blatant threat” to the EU to withdraw security cooperation if the UK does not get a good trade deal.
In a statement Tim Farron said:
It is shameful that Theresa May has threatened to withdraw security co-operation from our closest neighbours and allies. With growing terrorist threats from around the world, it is imperative that we work together with European allies for our mutual security. She is prepared to put the safety of British and European citizens on the line just so she can deliver her hard Brexit.
Security is too important to be used as a bargaining chip and this will backfire in any negotiations, which rather than building up alliances will leave Britain even more isolated.
The Lib Dems point out that the word “security” is mentioned 11 times in the letter, and “trade” just six times.
Farron also criticised what the letter had to say on trade. He said:
Theresa May admits that we will lose influence over the very rules by which British firms exporting to our largest market will have to abide by. So much for taking back control. The Conservative party used to be the party of business, but by going for this reckless hard Brexit she has thrown British business into a state of uncertainty and powerlessness.
Read more in the Guardian here