Brexit begins... your views on leaving the EU

TRIGGERED: Prime Minister Theresa May.
TRIGGERED: Prime Minister Theresa May.

Brexit negotiations have begun after the Prime Minister launched the official process for Britain to leave the European Union.

Theresa May triggered Article 50 by signing a letter, which was sent to the European Council on Wednesday.

In it, she told President Donald Tusk of the country’s intention to withdraw from the EU.

She wrote: “The referendum was a vote to restore, as we see it, our national self-determination.

“We are leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe – and we want to remain committed partners and allies to our friends across the continent.”

The historic moment came nine months after the country took to the polls for the EU referendum.

And it followed the passing of the ‘Brexit Bill’ in the Houses of Parliament two weeks ago.

The letter began a two year countdown to Britain’s departure.

And it marked the start of a formal negotiation period with EU officials and the remaining 27 member countries.

They are expected to discuss issues including trade, UK citizens living and working in the EU and EU citizens living and working in the UK.

As Mrs May formally commenced the Brexit processed, we launched a poll on our website asking readers how they would vote in an EU referendum nine months on.

Sixty-one per cent of people who completed the survey said they would vote remain, compared to 39 per cent who said they would still vote to leave.

Readers across the Wakefield district, where two thirds of voters voted to leave the EU last June, also shared their comments on our Facebook page.

Andrew Tallett wrote: “Leave - after all the scare tactics , I’ve just had the best three months in business ever.”

Rosie Pollitt said: “I voted leave and I would still vote leave. We need our money for us! “

And Tracey Sedgwick wrote: “Leave. Why is it still getting dragged up and moaned about?

“If it was the other way round we would have just had to deal with it. But because the remainers don’t like it they are all acting like spoilt brats and kicking their feet in a paddy.

“Just get over it. Don’t like it, then move to a country that’s still in the EU.”

Catherine Walker said: “I would vote remain as I did previously.” Marguerite Hogg wrote: “I voted remain and I would do again.” And Matt Shipstone said: “I don’t know anyone from either side who has changed their mind.”

Scott Wakefield disagreed, writing: “I think the Leave vote will have actually increased if we were to vote again!”

How the votes were cast:

People in the Wakefield district voted for Brexit by a resounding majority when the nation took to the polls for the European Union referendum last June.

Results from the Wakefield Council area showed 66.3 per cent of people who voted opted to leave the EU, compared to 33.6 per cent who wanted to stay in.

Nationally, the leave campaign won by 51.9 to 48.1 per cent.