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05 Apr 2017

Brexit: EP emphasises importance of safeguarding interest of people

As the UK and the EU are about to start their negotiations, the European Parliament (EP) has adopted a resolution defining the terms in which it is prepared to approve the agreement resulting from these negotiations. These terms were debated and then adopted by the EP on 5 April 2017 with an overwhelming majority in favour (516 votes in favour, 133 against, 50 abstentions) The EP has made clear that a key principle will be to ensure that the interests of people are safeguarded, referring to what will happen to British nationals living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK. The EP's resolution calls for their fair treatment and says that their interests should be given full priority in the negotiations. It also adds that that their status and rights should be subject to the principles of “reciprocity, equity” and “non-discrimination”.

Other priorities defined by the resolution are the following:

  • The negotiations should be conducted in good faith and full transparency
  • There can be no trade-off between security and the future economic relationship
  • The peace process must continue in Northern Ireland and a hard border with the Republic of Ireland avoided
  • The UK must honour all obligations it has committed to, including those related to the budget
  • The outlines of the future EU-UK relationship can only be discussed once substantial progress has been made on talks on how the UK will leave
  • No cherry-picking: membership of the single market is only possible with free movement of goods, capital, services and people
  • There can be no separate negotiations with individual EU countries or non-EU countries.

The EP points out that the priorities in the resolution will help MEPs to determine whether to approve an eventual Brexit agreement or not. Without the approval of the Parliament the agreement would not be able to enter into force.

For more information:

EP press release

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