"An historic and momentous day as Article 50 is triggered," says Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs

Deputy Leader of the Conservative MEPs, Jacqueline Foster, responds to the triggering of Article 50: "An historic and momentous day for the United Kingdom."

The Prime Minister has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty setting in motion the formal process of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Commenting, Jacqueline Foster MEP said:

"This is a momentous and historic day that acts on the democratic will of the British people expressed in the referendum last year. Since that time, our Conservative Government has been clear in its determination to deliver that verdict. I welcome the action of our Prime Minister, Theresa May, today and reiterate my commitment to help where I can to deliver the best possible deal for Britain.

"At this turning point in our national story, we must be optimistic and positive. The referendum was a vote to leave the EU, but it wasn't a vote to leave Europe. We want to continue to be reliable partners, willing allies and close friends with our European neighbours. But we also have the opportunity to be an independent, self-governing, Global Britain, reaching out across the world.

"Here in the North West, it is vital that 'Brexit' is a success and that we approach the negotiations positively, looking for opportunities and not talking ourselves down.  Jobs and our future prosperity rely on the diverse industries we have locally being able to prosper in changed circumstances. From the thriving maritime sector in Merseyside and the nuclear industry in Cumbria to high end aerospace manufacturing in Lancashire and the aviation sector around Manchester, this region, at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse, is hugely important to our national economy.

"The process to leave the European Union starts today - let's get behind the Government and make a success of it!"

You can view the Prime Minister's statement to the House of Commons on triggering article 50 here: