EU Parliament sets out conditions for approving Brexit deal
(STRASBOURG) - The European Parliament, whose approval is needed for any agreement for the UK to withdraw from the EU, adopted Wednesday its key principles and conditions for doing so.
Protecting the interests of the citizens most affected by Brexit headed the list of priorities in the debate in Strasbourg, which underlined the crucial role of MEPs during the negotiations. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also took part in the debate.
MEPs urged all parties to remain committed to the Northern Ireland peace process and avoid a hard border. They said Northern Ireland's special circumstances needed to be addressed as a matter of priority in the withdrawal agreement.
The resolution also warned the UK against any attempt to limit rights linked to the freedom of movement before it effectively withdraws from the EU
MEPs warned that it would be a breach of EU law for the UK to negotiate trade agreements with third countries before it left the EU, and warns against the UK engaging in bilateral talks with one or some EU member states on the withdrawal proceedings or the EU-UK future relationship.
The UK will continue to enjoy its rights as a member of the EU until its departure. At the same time, however, it will also have to shoulder its obligations, including financial obligations stemming inter alia from the current long-term EU budget. Such financial commitments could run beyond the date of departure, the resolution adds.
MEPs stress the importance of securing equal and fair treatment for EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU. They also point out that the UK remains an EU member until its official departure, and that this entails rights but also obligations, including financial commitments which may run beyond the withdrawal date.
The resolution warns against any trade-off between security and the future EU-UK economic relationship, opposes any sort of cherry picking or a piecemeal economic relationship based on sector-specific deals, and reiterates the indivisibility of the four freedoms of the single market - free movement of goods, capital, services, and people.
Finally, the resolution says that only when “substantial progress” has been made in talks on how the UK is to leave the EU can discussions begin on possible transitional arrangements. These arrangements must not last longer than three years, while an agreement on a future relationship can only be concluded once the UK has left the EU.
Further information, European Parliament