Procedure : 2017/2847(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0539/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 03/10/2017 - 3
CRE 03/10/2017 - 3

Votes :

PV 03/10/2017 - 4.1
CRE 03/10/2017 - 4.1
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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to wind up the debate on the state of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the state of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom (2017/2847(RSP))

Jonathan Arnott on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on the state of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom (2017/2847(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the notification given by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to the European Council on 29 March 2017 in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to the UK Prime Minister’s speech of 22 September 2017,

–  having regard to the report of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union entitled ‘Brexit and the EU budget’ published on 4 March 2017,

–  having regard to Article 25 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020 (hereinafter ‘MFF regulation’),

–  having regard to UN Resolution 2625 (XXV): Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,

–  having regard to Article XXIV(4) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade),

–  having regard to the obligations outlined in the TEU,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas 51.8 % of UK voters (17.4 million people) voted to leave the European Union on 23 June 2016; notes that the turnout for this referendum was higher than for the last general election;

B.  whereas the UK stated in its withdrawal notification of 29 March 2017 its intention to fall outside the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union;

C.  whereas the UK Government indicated in the same notification that its future relationship with the European Union would include neither membership of the internal market nor membership of the customs union;

D.  whereas the UK Government should be encouraged to unilaterally grant rights of permanent residence to EU citizens already resident in the UK, and whereas other Member States should be encouraged to reciprocate in respect of UK citizens already resident in the EU;

E.  whereas WTO rules state that ‘a customs union should facilitate trade within the customs union, but it should not do so in a way that raises barriers to trade with third countries’;

F  whereas UN Resolution 2625 (XXV) states that ‘no State may use or encourage the use of economic political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind’; whereas the same resolution also states that ‘every State has the duty to promote, through joint and separate action, realization of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter’;

G.  whereas Article 8 of the TEU requires the European Union to develop a ‘special relationship with neighbouring countries’ based on ‘prosperity’ and ‘cooperation’; whereas this principle has to date been absent from the Commission’s negotiating strategy;

1.  Rejects any proposal for a transition period with the UK after it formally withdraws in March 2019; expresses deep concern that the EU-27 and their citizens will have greater influence over future EU laws, which will be applicable in the UK, than the UK Government and its citizens during this period; deplores the fact that this would also result in the UK not fully leaving the EU for at least five years after the British public voted to leave; considers that negotiations on a future arrangement must be concluded by the end of March 2019 at the latest;

2.  Believes, therefore, that the current negotiating timetable, drawn up by the Commission, needs to be changed; insists that the first priority of the negotiations must be to conclude, as part of the framework of the future relations, a no-tariff free trade agreement between both parties in order to guarantee economic stability for businesses and employees across Europe and in the UK;

3.  Notes that the UK has a significant trade deficit with the European Union; notes that the UK market is also the biggest importer of EU goods; considers, therefore, that a free trade agreement with the UK is in the financial interest of the Member States;

4.  Believes that if negotiations are not concluded by the end of March 2019 then talks should cease and the UK should leave with no deal; considers that no deal would be better than an agreement that is not in the UK national interest;

5.  Asks the Commission whether it has made any preparations in the event of no deal being concluded between the UK and the EU; demands that the Commission publish, without delay, the potential impact of a no-deal scenario for the EU;

6.  Reiterates that there is no legal obligation for the UK to pay a one-off financial settlement or continue paying into the EU budget after withdrawal from the Union; notes that the House of Lords select committee concluded that ‘all EU law – including provisions concerning ongoing financial contributions and machinery for adjudication – will cease to apply, and the UK would be subject to no enforceable obligation to make any financial contribution at all’;

7.  Reiterates that Article 25 of the current MFF regulation states that ‘Before 1 January 2018, the Commission shall present a proposal for a new multiannual financial framework’; insists that the Commission must not include the UK within this proposal for the next MFF period; stresses that further financial contributions from the UK will result in taxpayers’ money continuing to be spent on wasteful and dangerous EU projects such as EU militarisation;

8.  Believes that there can and should be a swift resolution to reciprocal rights of residence in respect of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU-27; stresses that after the UK formally leaves the EU such rights should be adjudicated by the judicial authorities of the relevant jurisdiction in accordance with the exclusive exercise of the sovereign rights of that jurisdiction without subordination to those of a third party;

9.  Insists that the EU is liable for any potential costs for the relocation of the European Banking Authority and the European Medicines Agency;

10.  Stresses that withdrawal negotiations must not be used as a mandate to question the sovereignty of Gibraltar, nor must Gibraltar be used as a bargaining chip for the acceptance of a final deal;

11.  Stresses that there is no desire for a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland; considers that the best way to ensure that a hard border is not implemented is for a free trade deal to be concluded between the UK and the EU as soon as possible; considers that the EU is the only actor unwilling to conclude such a deal and is therefore jeopardising the current border arrangements and the peace process;

12.  Notes the conflict of interest that the Council has chosen to establish at the heart of the Brexit negotiations by appointing the Commission as negotiator (it being in the financial interest of the Commission to have no deal at the end of the Article 50 process because it would result in EU tariffs on imports from the UK, most of which would become own resources received by the Commission); considers, accordingly, the Council’s choice of negotiator a breach of the EU’s obligation to: a) act in good faith (pursuant to UN Resolution 2625 (XXV)), and b) operate its customs union in such a way as to not raise barriers to trade with third countries (pursuant to WTO rules);

13.  Rejects any attempt by the Commission to enforce the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the UK or for it to be used in any form of arbitration after the UK’s withdrawal from the Union;

14.  Insists that the EU must not obstruct or delay any proposals by the UK Government that seek to bring in controls on immigration of EU citizens to the UK in line with the will of the British people;

15.  Insists that the EU must not obstruct or delay any negotiations by the UK Government that seek trade agreements with third countries, provided that such agreements are intended to commence on a date after the end of March 2019;

16.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

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