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19 Jun 2017

EP highlights its priorities at start of Brexit negotiations

The official negotiations on Brexit, the UK's withdrawal from the EU, are starting today. On this occation, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and EP Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt stressed the need to protect citizens. Any withdrawal agreement concluded between the UK and the EU will require the approval of the European Parliament (EP) to take effect.

EP President Tajani said: "The European Parliament's position is clear. Preserving the rights of the millions of EU citizens affected by Brexit, securing the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement for Northern Ireland and honouring the financial commitments made by the British government will be indispensable in securing the European Parliament's approval of a potential exit deal." The EP President expects the negotiations to be conducted "in an orderly manner and in a spirit of co-operation".

Mr Verhofstadt said: "I am glad that we are sticking to the negotiating timetable which is already quite tight. Let's now, first of all, make progress in the field of citizens' rights and create legal certainty for both our people and our companies."

In April, the EP had adopted a resolution outlining its priorities and conditions for the negotiations on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and giving absolute priority to fair and equal treatment for EU and British citizens. The resolution also stresses that the UK will need to meet all of its financial commitments, and that the EU's four freedoms – of goods, capital, services and people – are indivisible. Finally, the resolution states that any transitional arrangement must not last longer than three years. 

For more information:

EP - press release

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