Local MEP Alex Mayer has described the triggering of Article 50, the formal process for the UK to leave the EU, as a deeply sad day when Britain finds itself on the wrong side of history.
Ms Mayer said: "As Britain prepares to leave the European Union I fear for our future prosperity and place in the world. This is a backwards step which ultimately will make our country weaker, poorer and more isolated. I certainly didn't come into politics to make people's lives worse so when I see our country hurtling headlong down the wrong track I call it out.
“Local businesses face huge uncertainty about Britain’s trading relationship with Europe as Theresa May tries to dump the UK out of the single market, a decision which was never on the table during the referendum.
“Right across our region people need answers. What will happen to the thousands of organisations that receive billions of pounds of European funding? What's the future for EU citizens living in the UK? Who will pick fruit and veg on farms? How will groundbreaking research collaboration fare?
“The Tory Party has once again been seized by the hard line Europhobes. They say they want to take back control but in reality they are destabilising Britain and putting us out of control. Their inability to grasp reality, compromise and work constructively with our nearest neighbours means we are in very real danger of leaving the EU with no deal at all. That will play havoc with our prosperity.”