EP reaffirms EU position on Brexit
At its plenary meeting on 18 September 2019, the European Parliament (EP) reaffirmed its support for an "orderly Brexit" based on the Withdrawal Agreement already negotiated between the EU and the UK. A corresponding resolution was adopted by the EP with 544 votes in favour, 126 against and 38 abstentions. In the resolution, the EP emphasises that the Agreement safeguards the rights and life choices of European and British citizens, provides a financial settlement mechanism for the UK’s obligations, and addresses the UK’s request for a transition period. The document also underlines that the existing Withdrawal Agreement takes into account the UK’s red lines and the EU’s principles, providing a fair and balanced solution.
MEPs confirm that they are open to examining “alternative solutions” if they are legally and operationally credible and in line with EU guiding principles. MEPs stress, however, that they will not consent to a Withdrawal Agreement without a backstop. From the EP's point of view, the UK would have to assume full responsibility for a “no deal” exit and the serious consequences that this would entail.
The EP expresses particular concern about safeguarding the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU, saying that this "remains Parliament’s top priority". The EP is still open to a possible extension of the Article 50 negotiation period, if requested by the UK, provided it is justified and has a specific purpose, such as avoiding a “no-deal” departure, holding general elections or a referendum, revoking Article 50, or approving the Withdrawal Agreement.
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