A Brexit Party MEP has prompted derision after complaining that Britain will have no representation at EU level after it leaves.
June Mummery, one of the party’s 29 representatives elected to the European Parliament last year, suggested the loss of MEPs would make it hard to hold Brussels to account.
“The big question now is, who will be here to hold these people to account while they still control Britain’s waters, but the UK has no representation?” she tweeted.
Britain will lose its MEPs, EU commissioner, and seats on the EU council after Brexit – leaving it with no control over the bloc’s polices or political direction.
However, because of the EU’s dominant position in international trade, its policies are expected to have a significant impact on the UK even after Brexit.
The UK will also be directly bound to EU rules during the transition period until 2021, while Brussels has said any trade agreement will likely require some level of permanent alignment on Britain’s part.
Ms Mummery’s comments prompted an immediate reaction from across the political spectrum.
“If only somebody hadn’t lied and said there was no accountability, maybe people would have voted differently,” said SNP MP Peter Grant.
Dr Charles Tannock, a former Conservative MEP from the party’s pro-EU wing, joked: “Surely our British fish under UK sovereign control swimming in UK exclusive economic zone will respect true Brexit and stay out of EU common fisheries policy waters so all will be well?”
Lib Dem MEP Jane Brophy said: “It took a long time but finally a Brexit MEP realised what Brexit means. I fear for our country and all the people that are in for a big shock.”
Labour MEP Rory Palmer added: “[I’m] thinking the Brexit Party briefing for Brexit Party MEPs on what Brexit means might need some work.”
The UK will leave the bloc at the end of this month under a withdrawal deal struck by Boris Johnson in the autumn. Once the UK has left, trade negotiations will start to determine the future relationship between the two orders.