Burnham-On-Sea’s MP has welcomed this week’s news that the UK has triggered the process of leaving the EU.

Britain’s EU ambassador formally started the two-year exit process by handing a letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk, triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Burnham’s MP James Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “After nine months of debate, I welcome that Article 50 has now been enacted and that we have therefore confirmed our intention to leave the EU in two years’ time.”

“The delivery of the Prime Minister’s letter will be a cause for celebration for some and dismay for others but people on both sides of the debate will hopefully be reassured by the tone that Mrs May sets. That tone has so far been matched by the response from Brussels.”

“We have not made any threats but we have been clear on our priorities. We have also been clear that it is in the mutual interests of the UK and the EU to forge and deep and special relationship that will see us work closely together as partners once we are no longer members of the EU.”

“The negotiating process will be long and complex but a punitive deal is mutually damaging and I’m certain that in private both sides will work constructively to avoid that.”

“The Prime Minister has been clear that she will seek a deal that works for all parts of the UK. In Somerset, we have particular needs in order to properly support our tourism and agricultural industries – replacing the Common Agricultural Policy will be particularly challenging.”

“Ministers have already been very willing to listen to the feedback I’ve been getting from businesses and residents across the Wells Constituency and I look forward to making sure that our needs are properly reflected in the work of the Government as we go through the negotiating process that lies ahead.”