Parliament to vote on new Brexit resolution next week
Parliament’s political group leaders are set to endorse a draft resolution on future EU-UK relations.
The 13-page draft will be debated and put to a vote next week during the plenary in Strasbourg.
According to a parliamentary insider, who has seen the draft, the resolution notes that any “deep and comprehensive” trade deal must entail “a binding interpretation role” for the European Court of Justice and “does not allow cherry-picking of sectors.”
The draft resolution was prepared by Parliament’s Brexit steering group, setting out the institution’s position on a possible framework for EU-UK future relations. Parliament has the right to sign off any agreement reached between the two sides.
The EU treaty states that any agreement on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will need the approval of Parliament, which also must be informed regularly on the progress of negotiations between the UK and the 27 other member states.
Parliament will vote on the agreement by a simple majority of the votes cast.
The steering group comes under the aegis of the Conference of Presidents and its purpose is to coordinate and prepare the assembly’s deliberations, considerations and resolutions on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
It is chaired by ALDE group leader, Guy Verhofstadt, and includes senior MEPs such as EPP Polish member Danuta Hübner and her party colleague Elmar Brok, a German MEP.
Verhofstadt and Parliament President Antonio Tajani are expected to outline the resolution later on Wednesday.
Speaking ahead of this, the Belgian MEP said, “On the rights of EU citizens, the European Parliament welcomes the inclusion of future partners in the draft treaty, as we have long pushed for.
“A transition period will only be possible if we can agree a withdrawal treaty. Any transition agreement must respect the full acquis of the European Union; we cannot accept that, compared to goods and services, citizens are discriminated against and treated differently because of the transition.”
Elsewhere, Stefaan De Rynck, the senior adviser to the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has expressed reservations over UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposals for the future UK-EU economic relations.
On May’s suggestion to agree mutual recognition of UK and EU regulations on goods, to ensure frictionless trade post-Brexit, De Rynck said, “The EU has moved away in the wake of the financial crisis from mutual recognition of national standards to a centralised approach with a single EU rule book and common enforcement structures and single supervisory structures.”
On the UK’s plans to remain part of some key EU agencies, De Rynck said that there was little precedent for third parties to participate in European agencies, as they “operate in a context where single market principles operate,” but while their work is technical, “it can become political.”
Responding to suggestions that the EU draft legal text of the withdrawal agreement sought to impose a border in Ireland, De Rynck said, “Who is asking for a border? Brexit is asking for a border,” adding that the fall-back option in the Commission’s draft last week was necessary, since it would have been “complacent for the EU to leave such a sensitive issue as a backstop solution to the very last moment of the negotiations.”