Procedure : 2018/2573(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0134/2018

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 13/03/2018 - 3
CRE 13/03/2018 - 3

Votes :

PV 14/03/2018 - 8.1
CRE 14/03/2018 - 8.1
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

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to wind up the debate on the framework of future EU-UK relations

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

on guidelines on the framework of future EU-UK relations (2018/2573(RSP))

Raymond Finch on behalf of the EFDD Group

European Parliament resolution on guidelines on the framework of future EU-UK relations (2018/2573(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 2 March 2018,

–  having regard to the draft withdrawal agreement published by the Commission on 28 February 2018,

–  having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV) on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations,

–  having regard to the study of 22 November 2017 drawn up for its Committee on Constitutional Affairs entitled ‘Smart Border 2.0 – Avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland for customs control and the free movement of persons’,

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

–  having regard to Article XXIV (4) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and to the interpretation and application thereof by the WTO,

–  having regard to the aims, principles and obligations outlined in the TEU and in particular in Articles 2, 3(1), 8 and 21 thereof,

–  having regard to the Belfast Agreement of 1998,

–  having regard to Case 120/78 of the Court of Justice of the European Union, Rewe-Zentral AG v Bundesmonopolverwaltung fur Branntwein, commonly referred to as the Cassis de Dijon case,

–  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 UK general election;

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

C.  whereas the UK Government indicated in the same notification that its future relationship with the European Union would not include membership of the internal market or of the customs union;

D.  whereas in the interpretation and application of its rules the WTO states 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’;

E.  whereas UN General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV) states: ‘Every State shall refrain from any action aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and territorial integrity of any other State or country’; whereas the same resolution also states: ‘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’;

F.  whereas Article 3(1) of the TEU states that ‘the Union’s aim is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples’, and Article 2 states that the Union is founded on the values of respect for, inter alia, ‘democracy’;

G.  whereas Article 8 of the TEU requires the European Union to develop a ‘special relationship with neighbouring countries’ based on ‘prosperity’ and ‘cooperation’;

H.  whereas Article 21 of the TEU states: ‘The Union shall [...] work for a high degree of cooperation in all fields of international relations, in order to: [...] (b) consolidate and support democracy, the rule of law, human rights and the principles of international law; (c) preserve peace, prevent conflicts and strengthen international security, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter [...]; (e) encourage the integration of all countries into the world economy, including through the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade’;

I.  whereas the Union is already prepared to enter into bilateral agreements with third countries, such as Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA, which include mutual recognition of standards and regulators, most recently demonstrated in respect of: (a) financial services, by Parliament’s approval by a large majority of the EU-US Bilateral Agreement on prudential measures regarding insurance and reinsurance; (b) medicine, by way of the EU-Israel Agreement on conformity assessment and acceptance of industrial products; and (c) manufacturing, by way of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA);

J.  whereas the EU has failed to examine, pursue and seize the opportunities for mutual recognition arising from the Cassis de Dijon case;

1.  Calls for the future relationship between the Union and the UK to be concluded at the same time as the withdrawal agreement and contained in a separate treaty; notes, in this regard, that it is necessary to understand and agree the future relationship in detail at the same time as concluding provisions in the withdrawal agreement relating to the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland; stresses that failing a parallel agreement to such a treaty on the future relationship, any provisions of the withdrawal agreement that extend beyond the transition period (including those relating to Northern Ireland) and any payments should be conditional upon and subject to the final agreement on the Union’s future relationship with the UK;

2.  Warns that inserting into the withdrawal agreement any provisions on permanent future relations that extend beyond the transition period, or provisions which relate either to ‘mixed competences’ or to exclusive competences of the Member States, could expose the Commission to a legal challenge before the CJEU for using the wrong procedure under the TEU to conclude the withdrawal agreement;

3.  Deplores the attempt by the Commission to divide the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by keeping the latter permanently in the customs union after the withdrawal date; insists that the Commission must immediately begin free trade negotiations with the UK in parallel to the current negotiations on withdrawal;

4.  Reminds the Commission that the negotiation, conclusion and text of the framework for future relations between the EU and the UK must be consistent with the principles outlined in UN General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV) on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;

5.  Rejects the need for a transition period with the UK once it formally withdraws from the Union; insists that if such a transition period is to occur it must end at the latest by 31 December 2020;

6.  Stresses that both the ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ campaigns in the referendum acknowledged, accepted and advocated that a vote to leave the European Union would entail leaving the customs union and the single market;

7.  Demands that any agreement on the future relationship with the UK be consistent with the values of democracy, as expressed in Articles 2, 8, 10 and 21 of the TEU, and good neighbourliness, as expressed in Article 8 of the TEU;

8.  Notes that, in order to be consistent with Articles 2, 10 and 21 of the TEU:

(a)  any participation in the customs union must respect the principle of ‘no taxation without representation’;

(b)  the UK Parliament must have the right to reject the application to the UK of legislation passed by the EU during the transition period or thereafter;

(c)  the jurisdiction of the CJEU over the UK must end at the date of withdrawal;

(d)  there can be no restriction after the date of withdrawal on the rights of the UK to negotiate, conclude and ratify trade agreements with other third countries (provided that such agreements do not come into effect during the transition period) or to otherwise conduct its international relations as it sees fit;

9.  Insists that the Commission must respect the result of the UK referendum by not impeding the UK Government’s intention to honour the instructions given to it by the public in the referendum to end the free movement of people at the date of withdrawal;

10.  Insists that the Commission should not interfere with any immigration controls or administrative procedures the UK seeks to put in place after withdrawal; considers that administrative fees for EU citizens applying for a permanent right to remain in the UK are justified and reasonable provided they are consistent with those charged to nationals from other third countries;

11.  Considers that the duty of sincere cooperation after the withdrawal date, whether for the transition or thereafter, should be reciprocal and consistent with the ability of the UK to conduct its international relations as it sees fit;

12.  Stresses that from the date of withdrawal the UK must be free to enter into international relations as it sees fit, including the expression of its own views in international organisations and the negotiation of trade agreements with other third countries (provided those agreements do not come into force during the transition period); stresses that negotiating the future relationship while preventing the UK from conducting its international relations as it sees fit would be seen as a breach of UN General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV), and in particular, as expressed therein, a breach of:

(a)  the principle of ‘sovereign equality’;

(b)  the duty ‘[not] to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State’;

13.  Encourages the EU-27 to propose a reciprocal approach to the future relationship between the EU and the UK in general and in respect of insurance, reinsurance, financial services, manufacturing and medicine, based on mutual recognition of standards and regulators, such as, for example, those recently agreed in the EU-US Bilateral Agreement on prudential measures regarding insurance and reinsurance;

14.  Asks the Commission, with regard to the principle of mutual recognition, to urgently assess the application of the ruling in the Cassis de Dijon case, which would create an additional, flexible parallel track to real free trade with a genuine minimum, or even absence, of both tariffs and non-tariff barriers;

15.  Rejects any attempt by the Commission to enforce the jurisdiction of the CJEU in the UK during any transition period or thereafter, specifically in regard to the application of rulings made after the date of withdrawal;

16.  Reiterates that, unless otherwise agreed as part of the withdrawal, there is no legal obligation for the UK to pay a one-off financial settlement or continue membership contributions to the MFF after withdrawal, given that the treaties establishing the European Union will cease to apply from that date; 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 [legally] enforceable obligation to make any financial contribution at all’;

17.  Stresses that if the Commission maintains that budgetary commitments oblige the UK, as a net contributor to the EU, to continue making payments for the remainder of the MFF, it follows that obligations to make payments out of that budget to net recipients must also be binding; notes that otherwise, in the event that the EU were dissolved, a substantial amount of money from net contributors would remain unclaimed;

18.  Condemns the EU’s common fisheries policy and calls on the EU-27 to respect international law (UNCLOS) with regard to the post-Brexit implementation of the UK’s full 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ); demands that the EU strive to establish tripartite talks (EU-UK-Norway) in order to determine a fair allocation of maximum sustainable yield from March 2019; rejects attempts to undermine the UK’s sovereignty post-Brexit by threatening unreasonable trade barriers against UK fish and fish products that could harm both SMEs and large businesses across the European bloc;


o    o

19.  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.

Last updated: 8 March 2018Legal notice