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Not enough progress on Brexit: EU Parliament

Not enough progress on Brexit: EU Parliament

Juncker - Barnier - Photo © European Union 2017 - source EP

(STRASBOURG) - There was not enough progress on withdrawal terms, particularly on citizen's rights, to start talks on the United Kingdom's future relationship with the EU, the European Parliament said on Tuesday.

At the Parliament, MEPs, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU's chief negotiation Michel Barnier discussed the terms and conditions for the UK leaving the European Union.

The Parliament's resolution, passed by 557 votes to 92, said that the government leaders of the EU 27 Member States should postpone their assessment of Brexit on 20 October as "sufficient progress" has not been made on three key aims unless the fifth round of talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU delivers a major breakthrough.

The resolution sets out Parliament's input to the 20 October EU27 summit in Brussels, when government leaders will assess progress in the Brexit negotiations. Any withdrawal agreement at the end of the UK-EU negotiations will need to win the approval of the European Parliament.

MEPs in general welcomed the 'clarifications' and 'conciliatory tone' of British Prime Minister Theresa May's recent speech in Florence.

But there was impatience at delays in 'converting goodwill into concrete plans needed to truly take negotiations forward with the European Union'. EP President Antonio Tajani said the debate showed a clear desire for constructive engagement with the United Kingdom, but "the vote on today's resolution confirmed the Parliament's unity in support of the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Parliament was concerned with what he called the "delays encountered so far. I hope that the next few months will allow for sufficient progress to be achieved in order to fulfil the preconditions for starting discussions on our future relationship with the United Kingdom," he added.

MEPs said they expect the UK government to table, without delay, specific proposals to:

  • safeguard the full set of rights that 4.5 million EU and UK citizens currently enjoy,
  • honour the UK's financial obligations to the EU in full,
  • resolve the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland border issue, in full compliance with the Good Friday Agreement.

An additional condition for concluding the first phase of negotiations is a guarantee that EU law will be respected until the UK's official withdrawal from the EU.

On citizens' rights, the Parliament's Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said: "The proposal from our side to solve this is simple. Let EU citizens retain rights they enjoy now in the UK and let's do exactly the same for the UK citizens living on the continent. I even ask myself, why are we still discussing this? This could and should be concluded immediately."

Further information, European Parliament

EP resolution of 5 April 2017 on negotiations with the UK following its notification to withdraw from the EU

Red lines on Brexit negotiations

Brexit: Protecting the rights of citizens

Brexit negotiations: What Think Tanks are thinking. September 2017


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