When the British Prime Minister danced on stage to deliver a crucial keynote speech to the Conservative conference in Birmingham, on Wednesday, no-one was listening more keen that those campaigning for the rights of British citizens in Europe.
But while Mrs May sought to quell discord within her own party and reassure Britain that the end of austerity was in sight with Brexit, she did little to assuage fears from British residents in Spain worrying about what effects Brexit, deal or no deal, would have on them.
“Literally dancing on to stage in Birmingham – to the sounds of the famous Europop tune, 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA – Mrs May casually set about promising a continuation of her parochial dedication to Brexit and implied that those against her Chequers agreement are “unpatriotic”,” said a statement from the campaigning group Bremain in Spain.
Alastair Stewart, Bremain advisor, commented: “What we heard today was nothing short of a lie. To pretend that austerity can end with Brexit is to misunderstand fundamentally her own policies, or commit an act of unprecedented deception.”
Stewart continued: “The absence of any clear assurances for British citizens living in Europe was as stark as it was deliberate. It's an inconvenient truth for May to acknowledge that millions of people will be affected by the most muddled and confused policy ever conceived by a British government. In this scenario, her dancing moves clearly reflect her government. Robotic, inappropriate and doomed to ridicule.”
Sue Wilson, chair of Bremain in Spain said: “May has been obsessed with reducing immigration since failing to meet her own ridiculous targets while Home Secretary. She wants to end freedom of movement once and for all, despite the demands of business and the wishes of much of the British public. Not only has EU immigration brought huge financial benefits to the UK, it has also enriched the culture and diversity of our once-tolerant and open-minded society beyond measure.”
Wilson concluded: “Once again, citizens' rights were conspicuous by their absence. It has always been abundantly clear, despite a tide of false promises, that this government cares nothing for the welfare of Brits in the EU. May is willing to pay the high price of sacrificing our rights to curb the rights of EU citizens in the UK. How can the government claim that Brexit is all about “opportunity”, when it is removing our opportunity to live, love, work, study, retire in another country and denying those opportunities to future generations?
“May and her advisors might have considered 'Dancing Queen' an appropriate theme tune. Personally, I think 'Waterloo' would be more appropriate!” quipped Wilson.