Koko teksti 
Keskiviikko 27. maaliskuuta 2019 - Strasbourg Lopullinen versio

7. Eurooppa-neuvoston 21. ja 22. maaliskuuta 2019 pidetyn kokouksen päätelmät (keskustelu)
Puheenvuorot videotiedostoina

  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle dichiarazioni del Consiglio europeo e della Commissione sulle conclusioni del Consiglio europeo del 21 e 22 marzo 2019 (2018/2977(RSP)).

Mi scuso con Donald Tusk e con Jean-Claude Juncker per questo ritardo ma, come sapete, il pacchetto "Mobilità" genera intense discussioni e molte divisioni, quindi nell'interesse comune, del Consiglio e della Commissione, sono stato costretto ad informare l'Aula delle mie decisioni.


  Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. – Mr President, the Spring European Council discussed the economic situation in Europe in light of increasing global competition. The leaders agreed that a strong economic base is key to Europe’s prosperity and to our role on the world stage. Consequently, we have taken a number of initiatives.

First, the European Council agreed that the single market should be further deepened and strengthened, with particular emphasis on the digital and service economy. Unjustified barriers must be removed, and new barriers must not be created. The Commission has been invited to develop, by March 2020, a long—term action plan for better implementation and enforcement of the single market rules.

Second, we discussed how to address the challenges faced by European industry. Given its significance for millions of jobs in Europe, the Commission has been invited to present a vision of the EU’s industrial future, including concrete measures.

Third, the EU needs to further develop its digital economy, with a special focus on data and artificial intelligence. In this context, we supported a concerted approach on the security of 5G networks. Yesterday, the Commission put forward a recommendation in this area.

Last but not least, trade. The European Council will continue to promote an ambitious and balanced free trade agenda that ensures a level playing field. The leaders called to resume the discussion on the public procurement instrument, as well as to pursue rapid implementation of all the elements of the US-EU Joint Statement of 25 July 2018.

We also discussed our economic relations with China. Apart from next month’s EU-China summit, there are also other meetings and summits with the Chinese leaders. Therefore, it was crucially important to agree a coordinated, European approach. We worked out a positive stance that offers ambitious cooperation on bilateral and global issues, including trade. We both have a key economic interest in maintaining significant trade flows, which are possible thanks to the rules-based trading system. However, for this system to continue to operate, it needs to be quickly updated. For the EU, this means serious reform of the WTO that would cover industrial subsidies, as a priority. We want to persuade China to address this, and I am convinced that we shouldn’t give up. As regards bilateral issues, we would like to finalise talks on the investment agreement already next year. We will discuss all of this with China at the upcoming summit. And, of course, I can’t imagine not having human rights on the agenda. I may be old—fashioned but I still think that human rights are at least as important as trade.


Additionally, leaders are determined to tackle climate change. Despite differences, it is clear how urgent the matter is, and the leaders will come back to this in June. In the meantime, we have instructed Ministers to step up work on the EU’s long—term climate strategy in order to implement the goals set down by the Paris Agreement.

Turning to Brexit, as requested by Prime Minister May, the European Council decided to approve the so-called ‘Strasbourg Agreement’. Leaders also considered the UK’s request for a short extension of the Article 50 period. Our decision on extension envisages two scenarios. First, if the Withdrawal Agreement is passed by the House of Commons this week, the European Council agreed to a technical extension until 22 May. Second, if the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved by the House of Commons this week, the European Council agreed to an extension until 12 April, while expecting the United Kingdom to indicate a way forward. As I said after the European Council, 12 April is a key date in terms of the UK deciding whether to hold European Parliament elections. 12 April is the new cliff—edge date. Before that day, the UK still has a choice of a deal, no deal, a long extension or revoking Article 50.

Here, let me make one personal remark to the Members of this Parliament. Before the European Council, I said that we should be open to a long extension if the UK wishes to rethink its Brexit strategy, which would of course mean the UK’s participation in the European Parliament elections. Then there were voices saying that this would be harmful or inconvenient to some of you. Let me be clear: such thinking is unacceptable. You cannot betray the six million people who signed the petition to revoke Article 50, the one million people who marched for a People’s Vote, or the increasing majority of people who want to remain in the European Union. They may feel that they are not sufficiently represented by the UK Parliament, but they must feel that they are represented by you in this Chamber because they are Europeans.



  Jean-Claude Juncker, président de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, nous avons devant nous une semaine riche en événements, ce qui ne m’encourage pas à commenter la suite des événements.

Je ne reviendrai pas sur le Conseil européen de la semaine dernière dont le président vient de présenter élégamment toutes les conclusions.

Nous avons beaucoup discuté de la Chine, ce qui s’est révélé moins compliqué que les débats sur la Grande-Bretagne. Je disais à certains d’entre vous que la Grande-Bretagne est une énigme qui ferait passer celle du sphinx pour un jeu d’enfant. Nous verrons cette semaine comment les choses vont se développer.

Comme je le disais, nous avons beaucoup parlé de la Chine. La Commission avait présenté, le 12 mars, une stratégie «chinoise». L’accueil de ce document a été favorable. Aucun chef d’État ou de gouvernement ne s’est exprimé contre les lignes générales de cette stratégie, que nous avons soumises à la méditation du Conseil européen.

Mme Merkel et moi avons eu l’occasion hier, à l’invitation du président Macron, de rencontrer le président chinois. Nous avons été très clairs: nous voulons bien faire comprendre, en Europe comme en Chine, que nous sommes des partenaires stratégiques, des concurrents et des rivaux. J’ai constaté, lors de certains entretiens, que nos amis chinois n’aimaient pas le mot «rival». Mais c’est un compliment! Nous sommes des rivaux et des concurrents. Par conséquent, il s’agit de faire en sorte que l’Europe n’apparaisse pas comme une Europe offerte, mais comme une Europe ouverte, ce qui entraîne comme conséquence immédiate que nous revendiquons le droit pour les entreprises européennes de mener leurs activités dans des conditions de concurrence normales en Chine, tout comme la Chine peut soumettre ses propositions aux Européens sans limitation aucune.

Nous respectons la Chine, mais nous voulons aussi que la Chine nous respecte et que nos relations commerciales se fondent sur une réciprocité totale.

Ce qui est le plus pressant maintenant c’est de trouver rapidement un accord en matière d’investissement. Nous exigeons que la Chine respecte nos indications géographiques et nous souhaitons par ailleurs que le groupe de travail Chine-UE qui se consacre à la réforme de l’OMC puisse avancer rapidement et non à un train de sénateur.

Sur le Brexit, je ne dirai rien parce que tout a été dit.


  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, thank you so much first of all for the good decision on Brexit, Mr Tusk. The decision of the Council was a good decision. First of all because the principle was included that there is no prolongation without the clarification that we need from our British friends – more clarity about what they want to achieve. We also created certainty for the 440 million Europeans on the question of the European elections, i.e. legal certainty or political certainty.

I want to pick up on your general remark about those who are fighting for a second referendum, those who are fighting for staying inside of the European Union. We are on their side; we want them to be successful and wish them all the best, but for the moment we still have the situation that Great Britain wants to leave the European Union. That’s the legal situation at the moment.

Having this in mind, it’s also important to explain to our citizens why a country which is leaving the European Union should have a major say in the future of European Union. So that is also one of the questions on the table which we have to answer to our citizens. That’s why the Council’s decision to ask for clarity and for no prolongation without clarification was a good step, and we wish now to all our friends in the House of Commons good luck. Hopefully they can manage it in a better way than the government did in the last month. The options are on the table. The options are clear, clearly described, and they have to choose now, so let’s see.

The second thing is about economy, and there I want to share with you that we, as the EPP, fully support the principles of strengthening our economy, investing in the single market, investing in trade and investing in innovation. There is no doubt about this. The priority is the Chinese question, which is on the table in the ongoing discussions about and preparations for the summit, and I’m really grateful that we all share the same basic starting point. That means that the cooperation with China must be based on principles, on values – on what we believe in. There is a competition going on, on the political systems, on the way we think as a society, on how we organise a society, and on what are the basic values of a society. That’s why that must always be the starting point for our dialogue with China.

The second thing we as EPP believe in is a pragmatic approach on climate change. China is still committed to the Paris Agreement, so they are on our side. On the free trade principle, China is a partner for us; they are committed to free trade. So that’s why we share a pragmatic approach towards a Chinese relationship.

But the third point is also important: we shouldn’t be naive, and that means defining and protecting our key industries in the European Union. We also think, as the EPP, that we have to rethink our competition law in today’s European Union. Establishing, for the future, some kind of European ‘champions’ to adapt to the global dimension of competition in our legislation is also key issue.

Ich möchte noch eine letzte Frage ansprechen, nämlich die Frage der Grundrechte in der Europäischen Union. Herr Präsident, sehr geehrter Herr Tusk, wir haben seit einigen Monaten jetzt die Artikel-7-Fragen mit Polen und Ungarn auf dem Tisch liegen, vom Parlament und von der Kommission angestoßen. Bisher gab es keine Gelegenheit, im Rat über diese Vorgänge zu reden. Ich bedauere es sehr, dass dazu bisher keine Gelegenheit war. In meiner Partei – das haben Sie vielleicht, das haben viele mitbekommen – hatten wir sehr intensive Debatten über diese Frage. Wir haben entschieden, Fidesz, die ungarische Regierungspartei, zu suspendieren, ihr alle Mitgliedsrechte in der EVP zu entziehen und damit das Signal zu setzen, dass es nicht unser Weg ist, der in Ungarn gegangen wird. Wir haben auch den Artikel 7 hier im Parlament als EVP mehrheitlich unterstützt. Und deswegen hätte ich schon die Bitte, dass endlich mal auch im Rat über diese Fragen gesprochen wird, dass das endlich mal thematisiert wird – öffentlich! Dass sich Staats- und Regierungschefs gegenseitig attackieren, ist das eine, aber sich an einen Tisch zu setzen und mal intern offen darüber zu reden, ist das andere. Deswegen hätte ich die Bitte, dass das gemacht wird. Genauso, wie wir uns als Parteien darum kümmern – die Liberalen, die Sozialdemokraten mit den rumänischen Freunden und so weiter, wir in der EVP mit unseren Fragen –, das ist der richtige Ansatz, dass wir uns den Themen zuwenden und auch Entscheidungen fällen, wenn es denn notwendig ist.

Ich würde mir wünschen, dass wir darüber hinaus auch einen weiteren Schritt gehen. Wir erleben beim Artikel 7, dass er eben nicht wirkmächtig ist, dass er nicht zu schnellen Ergebnissen führt, was wir uns alle wünschen. Und deswegen würde ich mir wünschen, dass wir jetzt den nächsten Schritt gehen, nämlich einen verbindlichen Rule-of-law-Mechanismus der Europäischen Union installieren, so wie es dieses Haus bereits vorgeschlagen hat – viele Kollegen haben daran gearbeitet –, dass wir einen verbindlichen Mechanismus aufbauen, der Unabhängigkeit bei der Bewertung sicherstellt, der sicherstellt, dass regelmäßig – vielleicht jährlich – ein Bericht vorgelegt wird, und der sicherstellt, dass nicht nur mittel- und osteuropäische Staaten geprüft werden, sondern die gesamte Europäische Union bei den Grundrechten in den Fokus genommen wird. Wir brauchen dann ein quasi automatisches Verfahren, dass die Abweichungen dem EuGH vorgelegt werden. Und ich würde auch für diesen Mechanismus vorschlagen, dass zukünftig klargestellt wird, dass er sanktionsbewehrt ist, sprich die Fonds auch dafür verwendet werden, um die Rechte Europas durchzusetzen. Wir können mit China nur überzeugend in den Wettbewerb der Systeme treten, in den überzeugenden Wettbewerb der Grundrechte treten, wenn wir das im Inneren der Europäischen Union mit Leben erfüllen und diese Werte in die Zukunft führen. Und deswegen, Herr Ratspräsident, sehr geehrter Herr Tusk: Ich hätte die Bitte, dieses Thema jetzt endlich mal auf die Tagesordnung des Europäischen Rates zu nehmen, dass über die Fälle, die wir in Europa haben, auch dort gesprochen wird.



  Udo Bullmann, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, werte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wir haben ja noch zwei Tage – immerhin noch zwei Tage bis zu dem ursprünglich vorgesehenen Brexittermin. Zwei Tage. Präsident Tusk, es war richtig, dass der Europäische Rat in dieser Situation Vorsorge getroffen hat und die Reißleine gezogen hat, um das Schlimmste zu verhindern. Aber lassen Sie mich einmal heute fragen, zwei Tage vor dem ursprünglich angedachten Austrittstermin. Ich wende mich an die Brexiteers: Wann habt ihr den Anstand, euch zu entschuldigen bei dem britischen Volk für alles das, was ihr ihm in den letzten zwei Jahren angetan hat? Wann habt ihr den Anstand, euch dahingehend zu erklären, dass ihr nicht wisst, was ihr tut, ...


... dass ihr mit Lügen und dass ihr mit allen möglichen Unterstellungen eine Situation herbeigeführt habt, aus der ihr keinen Ausweg wisst, wo ihr genau wisst: Um zehn Prozent wird das Wirtschaftsprodukt einbrechen, und ihr belügt die Leute, und ihr wisst nicht, wie es weitergehen soll.

Get back control of your stability, get back control of your lies, and apologise to the British people for what you did during the last years. This is my main message today.

Many thanks to President Tusk, many thanks for what you did in defence of European citizenship. This was a very honourable move, and this is what has to be said here.

Ja, wir sind Europäerinnen und Europäer, und niemand darf das britische Volk um seine Möglichkeiten betrügen, an der Gestaltung Europas weiter teilzuhaben, solange ein Austritt nicht erfolgt ist.

I am pretty well convinced. If the government is not able to deliver, if the situation remains blocked, then there is only one chance: ask the people. Ask the people. Yes, I know why you shy away from that. It is because you are afraid of everything happening on London’s streets. Afraid to death because you can’t stand it anymore. This will be the solution and the British people will tell you where to go. They, and nobody else, are the real sovereigns in this situation.

Lassen Sie mich sagen: Ich glaube, dass natürlich die Entwicklung in Großbritannien vieles überschattet, was wir dringend regeln müssen. Ich glaube, der nächste Gipfel am 9. Mai wird sich mit der großen Notwendigkeit, den wirtschaftlichen Aufbruch in Europa neu zu starten, beschäftigen müssen. Es muss ein Aufbruch werden in eine nachhaltige Wirtschaft, in eine Wirtschaft, die den Planeten schont, seine Ressourcen sichert und allen Menschen eine faire Chance auf Teilhabe bietet. Das wird unsere Agenda sein müssen.

Und nur wenn wir selbstbewusst sind, nur wenn wir stark sind, werden wir auch die Situation mit China meistern. Realistisch gesehen heißt das: Ja, da erwächst uns ein sehr starker Partner, den wir natürlich weder übersehen noch links liegenlassen dürfen. Aber ohne Selbstbewusstsein, ohne eine einheitliche, klare, selbstbewusste Linie wird das europäische Modell nicht zu verteidigen sein. Daran werden wir mitwirken, meine Fraktion steht dafür.



  Ryszard Antoni Legutko, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, as always, there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that the Council has managed to set out a clear timetable, and that was accepted by the United Kingdom, and hopefully the solution will be found within the timetable. But let us leave Britain to the Brits. My concern is the European Union.

The bad news is that the EU still seems to continue pursuing the same policy of deterrence, which roughly speaking consist of two elements. First, to punish the United Kingdom by a no deal, so that no one in the future would dare to follow in their footsteps. And secondly, to humiliate the United Kingdom by inducing them to undo Brexit by organising, for instance, another referendum. They’re using the argument that it was a very small majority that decided about Brexit. Well, if it had been the other way round – if the remainers have won by the same small majority – their verdict would have been considered here in this Chamber as absolutely irrevocable and binding for eternity.

(Applause from certain quarters)

Not to mention the fact that organising referenda until one gets the results one wants is a peculiar contribution of the European Union to the theory and practice of democracy.

(Applause from certain quarters)

So this is foul play.

But the bad news is also the tone of self-congratulation which we have heard today. This is not a time for self-congratulation; this is a time for self-appraisal. President Juncker, President Tusk, let us admit it: this has been the most crisis-ridden period in the entire history of European integration. Brexit is one of several crises, and all of you who have taken the major decisions in the European Union are responsible for it – do not delude yourselves. A great share of responsibility is with you, gentlemen, and ladies too.

President Macron recently wrote a letter to everybody in Europe, and he proposed more of the same – more centralisation. The funny part of it is that he called it a ‘European renaissance’. Apparently, he does not understand the meaning of the words he is using – ‘European twilight’ would probably have been a more adequate term.

(Laughter and applause from certain quarters)

Of course, the Brexit clock is ticking and we are all aware of it. We await progress in London, and hopefully this will happen. But we should also be prepared for any outcome and we should be ready to offer any help that we can. This is our problem too, whatever the outcome, and we should be friendly to the decision of the British people – whichever way they go. But the clock is also ticking for the European Union, ladies and gentlemen, and you should be listening to voters across Europe. There are more and more voters desperate for change, and change will happen.



  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, first of all, I want to say to Mr Legutko that he is absolutely wrong when he says that there is a sense of humiliation or punishment from the side of the European Union towards Britain. We have far too much respect for such a great nation as Britain to do that.


You know what the problem is? The problem of humiliation and punishment is because of the mess in the Tory party. There is the humiliation of the British people, sitting in your group.


They are not even there. The only one there is Mr Farage. This is a surprise for me because I thought that he was marching somewhere in Britain, and he is here. A 200—mile march. How many miles have you done? Two miles, you think, something like that? I think so. You remind me more and more – I don’t know if you know him – of Field Marshal Haig in Blackadder. Do you know Field Marshal Haig in Blackadder? In the First World War he was sitting in his office in London, and you are sitting here in Strasbourg when your own people are marching in the rain and in the cold. That is the way you are taking your responsibility.

I want to recall the words of Winston Churchill, who said, if I may quote him: ‘Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm’. I think that quote from Winston Churchill is absolutely applicable today to British politics in the House of Commons and Prime Minister May: this afternoon, in the House of Commons – if the Speaker allows it, because that’s their system – there will be no less than 16 options on the table for a Brexit. So there is certainly no loss of enthusiasm, as in the quote from Winston Churchill.

But, more seriously, after all the negative voting of the last two weeks in the House of Commons – against the deal, against the no deal, against the second referendum, and so on – I think there may be light at the end of the tunnel now. With the approval of the Letwin amendment, there will be for the first time – after two years of negotiation – maybe a solution based on cross-party cooperation between Labour and the Conservatives. I believe that such an existential issue as Brexit can only be decided on with a cross—party agreement in parliament, as we do here in this European Parliament.


I hope that the way forward, giving them time until 11 April, will see a majority in the House of Commons for one of these options between remainers and reasonable Brexiteers, because it’s between them that they have to find a way forward. In my personal opinion, I’m not counting on the hard Brexiteers, because for the hard Brexiteers it’s not the interest of the country which is important, but the power struggle inside the Conservative Party, as we have seen in the last days. I repeat in that respect – and I think that I can say this, Mr President, in the name of the whole European Parliament – that we are open to having this agreement with Britain, and that we are open to change the political declaration in two senses. First of all, in that we can make it more binding for both parties than only a declaration. Secondly, in that we can put inside this political declaration a far more intense relationship between the EU and the UK than the relationship that is foreseen in the political declaration at this moment.

I think that this deep relationship – to respond to your last intervention, President Tusk – will also in some way be the seed for the future. I’m pretty sure that, not now – I’m an optimist, but not as optimistic as you – but within a few generations, there will be the return of Britain into the family of European nations. That’s Britain’s place, to be inside the European Union, not outside the European Union.


But it will not be succeeded now. It will be succeeded later on, and the seed is there – let’s be honest – in the march by one million people in London and the petition by six million people a few days ago.

Finally, my last point, on citizens’ rights: Mr Barnier and Mr Juncker, I know there has been a unilateral commitment by Britain to respect these citizens, as described in the Withdrawal Agreement. There is also, from you to Mr Barclay, a unilateral commitment to do exactly the same for the UK citizens living on the continent. Well, I think it’s now time to look into the possibilities, together with Mr Barclay, you and both Houses, to see how we can formalise that as fast as possible so that in any case, whatever happens – even when the most stupid thing happens, for example a no deal – at least these citizens are not the victims of all these games that we have seen in the last two years.



  Alyn Smith, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, what a sad place we’re in on Brexit. What a tragedy. So many issues we should be working on together utterly distracted by a self-inflicted disaster, entirely because the UK still – even now at this last hour – hasn’t made a decision on what it actually wants. Ms May triggered Article 50 without a plan, and they still cannot find consensus. We see MPs today at Westminster finally trying to reach a settled view. Good. Welcome to the party. In the Scottish Parliament, we’re debating revoking Article 50, because from a Scottish perspective – and every single party in Scotland, except the Conservatives, are united around this view – the best Brexit is no Brexit.


So, colleagues, please don’t close the doors on us now. There are a lot of us in Scotland and elsewhere across the UK working hard to turn this round, to serve our citizens, to remain within this family of nations. But, in what might be my last speech in this place after 15 years serving our European people, we don’t know what’s in the UK’s future. We don’t know what’s in any of our future, and the forces of populism are gathering in all of our nations. We don’t know what’s in the UK’s future, but I do know that Scotland is a European nation. We celebrate international solidarity. We celebrate freedom of movement. If the European Union didn’t exist we would need to invent something like it, and Scotland would want to be part of it.


You, as professionals, must deal with the United Kingdom as you find it. You must respect the UK’s constitution, and I respect that. You must deal with the interlocutors you’re dealt. Sorry about that, but you must deal with them. But, if we in Scotland are removed from our family of nations against our will – against our clearly democratically expressed view – independence will be our only route back.

Chers collègues, I’m not asking you to solve our domestic discussions. I am asking you to leave a light on so that we can find our way home.

(Sustained applause)


  Gabriele Zimmer, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Meine Herren Präsidenten! Eigentlich sind wir es seit Langem leid, immer wieder die gleichen Diskussionen führen zu müssen, keine konkreten Antworten zu bekommen, was nun eigentlich passieren wird und wie wir aus diesem Dilemma – für das es wirklich verschiedene Ursachen gibt – wieder herauskommen. Und wenn wir es dennoch tun, dann tun wir es aus vollem Respekt vor den Menschen, die sich in einem Referendum für den Brexit entschieden haben. Wir tun es in vollem Respekt vor den Menschen, die am Wochenende in London demonstriert haben. Wir tun es in vollem Respekt vor den Menschen, die eine Online-Petition unterschrieben haben. Und wir tun es in vollem Respekt vor den Menschen, die in Großbritannien, in Irland, in der EU von den Folgen des Brexits massiv betroffen sein werden.

Wir tun es auch im Respekt vor dem europäischen Haus, dessen Wahl kurz bevorsteht. Und wir wünschen uns natürlich, dass Wähler und Wählerinnen Vertreter hier in das hohe Haus schicken können. Das hat aber auch nur Sinn, wenn sie für eine längere Zeit hier sind: Für ein halbes Jahr, für ein Vierteljahr ein Mandat auszusprechen, ist relativ sinnlos. Wir tun es in vollem Respekt vor den Menschen, die darauf warten, dass sie endlich Antworten bekommen. Und ich bitte Sie, insbesondere auch Herrn Tusk und Herrn Juncker: Bitte nehmen Sie die Diskussion um die Rechte der Menschen noch stärker in den Fokus, die nach einem ungeordneten Brexit, am Tag danach, nur noch den Status als Drittstaatsbürger hätten, dass wir deren Leben schützen, deren Sicherheit schützen, deren Familienangehörige schützen.

Und ich sage Ihnen auch: Wir müssen gemeinsam im Respekt auch – und ich betone das bewusst – vor den Menschen in Irland, in der Republik und im Norden Irlands, handeln. Und wenn es keine Lösung gibt zwischen einem Austritt aus der Zollunion, einem Austritt aus dem Binnenmarkt, der Verteidigung des Good Friday Agreements in all seinen Teilen, der Vermeidung einer harten Grenze, dann sage ich auch, es gehört zu unserem Respekt, den wir den Menschen in Irland entgegenbringen müssen, dass wir sie, wenn sie ein Referendum über die Einheit ihrer Insel fordern sollten und vorbereiten, dann auch unterstützen.


  Nigel Farage, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, I would have thought as a former Belgian Prime Minister you would know that it was Field Marshal Haig in 1914 who saved the Belgian town of Ypres from German domination...


...who then went on in 1918 to lead Britain in its greatest ever military feat, defeating Imperial Germany on the Western Front. Far from mocking Haig, as a Belgian, he should be a great hero to you. But never mind. Maybe that sums up your anti-Britishness.

Sticking with Belgium, I thought what happened at the summit last week was a national humiliation, an impasse, because we have in Ms May a Prime Minister who hasn’t got the courage, who hasn’t got the vision, to carry out her many repeated promises: to take us out of the European Union this Friday, 29 March. It is not happening, and we are witnessing a slow motion betrayal – perhaps the greatest betrayal of any democratic vote in the history of our nation – and the reason, of course, is this Withdrawal Treaty. And I’ll go back to the First World War: we won the war, but we had the Treaty of Versailles, and this Treaty is the modern—day equivalent. We have a reparations bill of GBP 39 billion we have to pay for nothing in return. We have the annexation of a part of our national territory in the shape of Northern Ireland. This Treaty is a bad piece. It is unacceptable, it is not Brexit, and it will not pass.

I know that you’re all getting terribly excited about what the House of Commons may do over the course of the next week, and we know what they’ll do: they’ll come back with some form of agreement around a customs union and the continued free movement of people. But even if they do that, the one thing that’s inevitable is that we’re headed for an Article 50 extension. And I think you should ask yourselves: do you really want that? Do you really want Brexit to utterly dominate the next couple of years of your business, to the exclusion of your many other ambitions? Do you really want the United Kingdom to contest the European elections – to send back a very large number of Leave MEPs, just at a time when you’re fighting populism, as you see it, across the continent? Do you really want me back in this place?

(Mixed reactions)

Well there we are. And all for what? Because Brexit is going to happen anyway. Mr Tusk, if you think the British people have changed their minds on Brexit, you, sir, are deluded: what we actually now see are opinion poll leads of 15%, and in some cases nearly 20%, in favour of leaving. If we had another referendum, Leave would win it by a bigger margin, so why put yourselves through years of agony?

I pay great tribute to Mr Juncker, to Mr Barnier, and to the Commission. You have prepared your no-deal scenario. It is highly professional. It shows that actually leaving with no deal is not going to cause huge disruption – it even suggests that with no deal there’s no need for a visible border in Ireland. So I would say to all of you, and to the national leaders: reject the British extension beyond 12 April, get Britain out, and then we can all just get on with the rest of our lives.



  Gerard Batten, on behalf of the ENF Group. – Mr President, never before in the long and eventful history of England and the British Isles have we been brought to such a national and international humiliation. Never before have the British been governed by such a pack of traitors, quislings and collaborators. Theresa May has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a way unparalleled in the history of the world. Her so-called deal is an unconditional surrender treaty, except that we have not been defeated by a foreign power. Instead, those entrusted with safeguarding our freedoms and liberties have surrendered them to a foreign power – the European Union.

But the final surrender is not yet complete. Ms May still has some grovelling left to do. If Britain does not leave the European Union on 29 March, then it will mark the official end of democracy in the United Kingdom. Accept that no people that want to be free can be enslaved forever. No EU withdrawal agreement, no EU future relationship agreement, no treaty can bind a people that do not want to be bound. In Britain, any act of parliament may be repealed and set aside; no parliament may bind a future parliament. The English constitution will prove to be stronger and more durable than any EU treaty or agreement. We can still leave on 29 March by the grace of God, but if we do not, then the UK Independence Party will lead the struggle to set Britain free from the European Union in the years to come, and if necessary, we’ll start that in the next European elections in May.


  Diane Dodds (NI). – Mr President, this Friday, 29 March should have been an historic day of significance for the United Kingdom: a day when, after 40 years of membership of the European institutions, the United Kingdom would again be an independent nation – a nation working side—by—side with Europe but free from the federalist agenda of Brussels, and free to grow our own economy and control our own laws and destiny.

After two years of negotiation, our Prime Minister has concluded a draft withdrawal agreement that has twice suffered historic defeats in the House of Commons – a draft withdrawal agreement that would see Northern Ireland leaving on different terms to the rest of the United Kingdom under the backstop; an agreement from which the Attorney General advises that there is no legal right of withdrawal. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) wants to leave the European Union in an orderly fashion, but this deal will endanger the constitutional and economic integrity of the United Kingdom. It is not a price that we, as Unionists, are willing to pay.

Finally, some advice to Mr Tusk and Mr Bullmann: 17.4 million British voters signalled their desire to leave the European Union. I think this House owes them some respect and should acknowledge their democratic choice, instead of focusing on everyone else. To Mr Verhofstadt: the British Parliament has already voted for a unilateral agreement around citizens’ rights. It’s time we caught up in these institutions. And to Ms Zimmer: the Belfast Agreement has a principle of consent. It is only with the consent of the people of Northern Ireland that there will be any moves towards a change in the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. You would do well to remember that.



  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Moich rodaków w kraju powinien zaskoczyć dzisiejszy głos pana Legutki, który mówi z sympatią o brexicie, podczas gdy jego własne ugrupowanie rządzące Polską uparcie zaprzecza, jakoby chciało polexitu, a na razie próbuje wyprowadzić Unię Europejską z Polski, co się nie uda. Lekcja brexitu powinna być zapamiętana również w Polsce, w każdym zakątku Europy. Na razie jedynym pozytywnym owocem brexitu są masowe demonstracje na rzecz Europy na Wyspach oraz milczenie tych, których jeszcze w roku 2016 typowano na potencjalnych naśladowców brexitu. Ale przede wszystkim historia brexitu uczy o tym, jakie są skutki politycznej nieodpowiedzialności, kiedy to stawia się własne społeczeństwo przed egzystencjalnym wyborem i nie umie się potem udźwignąć następstw tego wyboru.




  Roberto Gualtieri (S&D). – Madam President, we are now only two days from the date when Brexit was supposed to happen and we still do not know when, how and even if Brexit will happen. This says a lot about the way the UK Government has conducted the process.

However, it also says a lot about the lies and fantasies the Brexiteers sold before the referendum. These have now come crashing down against the reality and trade—offs that leaving the EU was always going to entail. These realities are all too clear to the million UK citizens who took to the streets of London this weekend demanding a people’s vote and a better future for their country.

What is also clear is the solution to this deadlock is in London, not here in Strasbourg, nor in Brussels. Monday’s vote in the House of Commons gave a glimmer of hope for a way out of this incredible deadlock. The UK Parliament decided to step in and take back control of the Brexit process. We now need to see what they do with this control.

We have always said that the Political Declaration can be reviewed to pave the way for a closer relationship between the EU and the UK. We can do this quickly, and this is not only possible but is something we would welcome. On the contrary, if the House of Commons does not provide a clear cross—party majority for a customs union or the single market nor adopts the current deal, then serious choices must be made. If the UK decides to ask for a long extension, of course this cannot be to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, which is closed and will not be re-opened. But if the UK asks for a longer extension to rethink Brexit to offer a closer relationship or to provide for election or a referendum then, of course, we will support it.

President Tusk, our group has always been clear on this, because we have the sense of historical proportions. Guy, you said you want them back but not now. We have always respected the referendum. But if the UK does not leave we shall celebrate and we will never do anything to prevent this possibility from happening now.


  James Nicholson (ECR). – Madam President, I said at the beginning of this that it would go down to the wire and beyond. I have not been disappointed. I also said at the very beginning that the people that I represent would never accept a border in the Irish Sea, and that still stands, Mr Barnier – I hope you’re listening to that. And I also have to say that the backstop would unravel the fabric of the Belfast Agreement, an international agreement which many in this place champion, but they wilfully forget the principle of consent within that agreement.

There’s a need to listen to everyone in Northern Ireland, not just those who shout the loudest. There’s a very quiet majority of people in Northern Ireland who also want a good way forward for Northern Ireland, for the United Kingdom, and indeed for the European Union. I think we’ve got to move away from positions of the past and find a better future to which we can all work within. I am still concerned, Madam President, that we are still in danger of crashing out. Nobody’s fault – not Mr Tusk’s fault, not Mr Barnier’s fault, not anybody’s fault – but there’s a danger of a crashing—out, and I hope Mr Tusk will ensure that that does not happen. I listened to him with interest, and I say to him: he needs a firm hand.

Can I indulge once more, Madam President, for this could well be – like my colleagues from Scotland – my last speech after 30 years in this Parliament. It’s been quite a long time; I’ve enjoyed it and all the people I have worked with through that time. I sincerely hope that I have represented the people that I represent in Northern Ireland with distinction.



  President. – Mr Nicholson, how thoughtless of me not to respect you as one of the senior Members of this House. Can I say on my own behalf – and I hope on behalf of most in the Chamber – that I will miss you if you go, but ‘if’ is the word I underline.



  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, at the weekend the Prime Minister again attempted to stitch up a vote for her Brexit deal. At her ‘grace and favour’ Chequers home she negotiated with a dozen white men who represent a minority of a minority of her own party. We can guess what she said to them: the massive London march for a people’s vote and the record-breaking petition to revoke Article 50 show that the mood of the country has swung strongly against Brexit, so vote for her deal now or Brexit might be lost and they might also have to fight European elections. This is a terrifying prospect for the Tories as, just like a second referendum, it would provide a democratic opportunity for people to express their views and show their rejection of the Brexit project. The Tories are running scared of the will of the people, but we will not be silenced. Across our country the resistance to Brexit is growing. We look to parliament to send the decision back to us, confident in the knowledge that we have the strongest pro—European movement on our continent and that the country will vote convincingly to stay in the EU.



  Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, Irish Republicans take no pleasure in stating ‘we told you so’. Before the referendum was even called we were in London telling the British Government the damage that Brexit would do to our island.

We were right. We campaigned for the North to remain in the EU, not out of the total love of this place or some of its policies, but because we knew the damage that Brexit would inflict on our island. We were right.

More importantly, the majority of the people of the north of Ireland agreed with us. At the start of the negotiation process, we warned all involved of British negotiation tactics, and I’ll let you all judge how right we were. Their ignorance and arrogance, fuelled by the Democratic Unionist Party, has brought us to the abyss on which we currently stand.

Brexit has been described as a never—ending series of question marks, yet one question provides us with a very simple answer, for Ireland and possibly for the EU, from this utter mess and total shambles. The Good Friday Agreement, endorsed by many here, contains the solution, President Tusk, so build on the Council statement of April 2019, have the necessary conversations, answer the big question, de-dramatize the issue once and for all. If we remove the border, we remove the problem, so plan for Irish unity, based on the principle of consent.



  Rolandas Paksas (EFDD). – Ponia pirmininke, Europos Sąjungos dabartinė valdžia toliau ir toliau tolsta nuo Tautų Sąjungos politikos sampratos, toliau garbina globalizmą, kuris yra tikriausia neokomunizmo ideologija, ir šiai ideologijai nesugeba pasipriešinti visa Europos Sąjungos politinė sistema. Globalizmo įsigalėjimas – tai nuožmūs korporacijų interesai, tai pelnas bet kur ir bet kokia kaina, pelnas nepaisant valstybių sienų, vertybių, pasaulėžiūrų. Globalizmas naikina gamtinę aplinką, žudo kultūrą, palieka po savęs nuskurdintas tautas ir beteisiškumo zonas. Europos Sąjungos valstybių piliečiai jau nebėra savo valstybių šeimininkai. Valstybes nusavino valdžios, piliečius palikdamos lauke už durų. Ponia pirmininke, dešimtims milijonų žmonių Europos Sąjungoje gresia skurdas. Milijonai bedarbių, milijonai vaikų auga šeimose su mažomis pajamomis – tai globalizmo pasekmės. Tik kietas pasipriešinimas tokiai politikai, tik kontrglobalizmas gali pakeisti padėtį. Rytoj gali būti vėlu.


  Nicolas Bay (ENF). – Madame la Présidente, Emmanuel Macron a beau jeu de dénoncer en conférence de presse la naïveté des Européens en matière commerciale. Ce sursaut de lucidité ne l’a pas empêché d’apposer sa signature aux conclusions du dernier Conseil européen, alors même que ce texte préconise tout et son contraire. Il y est notamment évoqué le fait que l’Union européenne doit préserver ses intérêts contre les pratiques déloyales des pays tiers. On incite même à faire pleinement usage «des instruments de défense commerciale».

Très bien, sauf que ce même document appelle explicitement à la conclusion de nouveaux accords de libre-échange, tandis que le Conseil européen rappelle son attachement à un système commercial ouvert et souhaite «résister à toutes les formes de protectionnisme», fût-il européen. Voilà qui doit bien faire rire les Américains et les Chinois, qui rachètent nos entreprises à la découpe.

Il faut mettre fin à ce vaste marché de dupes qui place les nations d’Europe entre le marteau américain et l’enclume chinoise. Nous sommes englués dans les vieux dogmes de la libre circulation des capitaux et des biens, dans la concurrence libre et non faussée. L’Union européenne n’est pas un espace protégé, mais un terrain de jeu pour les États—Unis ou la Chine qui, eux, n’ont aucun complexe à défendre leurs intérêts et à protéger leur économie.


  Mike Hookem (NI). – Madam President, while some compared Ms May’s dash to the European Council last week with Chamberlain’s Munich mission, I think it’s more like ‘rage in our era’ than ‘peace in our times’.

However, the real depth of public anger at the political establishment’s Brexit betrayal continues to go unnoticed, and as the EU elite continues to try and ride roughshod over the will of the European people, the stirrings of serious unrest are becoming manifest in equal measure. The fact is, the people of Europe have had enough of lies being used as the building blocks for an EU superstate, while the governments of Europe are deaf to their concerns.

If you’re complacent enough to think Britain’s vote to leave the European Union was just a protest vote cast by the fickle British, then you’re kidding yourselves. Brexit was the starting gun for a new European political era, and as Paris burns, the Dutch people scream for change at the polls and this Parliament braces for a Eurosceptic invasion, the superstate dream is shattered.

(Applause from certain quarters)


  Françoise Grossetête (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, je ne m’attarderai pas sur la question du Brexit, qui a déjà été longuement évoquée. Le Brexit prend l’Union en otage et l’empêche de construire son avenir. Nous sommes clairs depuis le début, face à ce qui est une véritable crise politique britannique. Nos concitoyens concernés et nos entreprises concernées ressentent une grande lassitude de ces tergiversations. Il est temps de trancher rapidement cette question.

Alors, heureusement, le Conseil s’est quand même penché sur la croissance et sur l’avenir industriel de l’Union, avec un accent particulier sur l’intelligence artificielle. Nous devons déjà rattraper notre retard sur le numérique pour préserver la place des Européens dans l’économie de demain, car la Chine a pris une place prépondérante face à laquelle un urgent besoin d’union se fait ressentir.

Je me félicite du rôle moteur que joue la France en la matière. Le Conseil a adopté un ton plus ferme, mais nous savons que les divisions pointent encore. Et j’ai bien entendu le président Juncker qui nous disait que l’Europe ne doit pas être offerte mais ouverte.

Par contre, en ce qui concerne le climat, les engagements pris sont insuffisants, alors que le Parlement avait fait des propositions ambitieuses pour 2050. L’Europe et donc sur une pente glissante, et nos États membres semblent sourds à l’urgence. À quand le réveil?


  Maria João Rodrigues (S&D). – Madam President, this European Council, the spring European Council, was the last one before European elections, and yes, we expect a lot from the European Council. 20 years ago, we were able to define a grand plan to deal with Europe and globalisation. This was the Lisbon Agenda, followed by the Lisbon Treaty. The time has come again to define a grand plan for Europe and the world. Yes, the world is changing a lot. When it comes to China, it is very important to say – as we just said – that we want to have a strategic partnership with China, but working in both directions and respecting our values.

We also know that fighting against climate change and promoting sustainable development goals will become an absolute priority for the next agenda. Most of all, if we speak about European sovereignty, we Europeans need to master the current digital revolution. We need to promote the European way to drive the digital revolution, and this should be said to our Chinese partners in the next summit.

A European way of digital revolution means protecting privacy, our security and our freedom. This also means using digital tools, not to undermine democracy, but to enrich democracy. This means that digital innovation should be at the heart of promoting new services and new products to meet human needs – citizens’ needs. Most of all, we need to make sure these will be translated into more and better jobs, and that we can update our social protection systems to protect citizens throughout this big transformation.

I’m pretty confident that, for Europeans, knowledge, culture, our creativity is by far the main asset. These should inspire the kind of artificial intelligence which must be developed. So we need to invent this new phase of the future. There is a lot of life beyond this deathly path of Brexit.


  Mara Bizzotto (ENF). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'Europa degli immigrati e delle tasse, l'Europa di Juncker, della Merkel e di Macron è al capolinea. Il 26 maggio gli italiani manderanno a casa lei, Presidente Juncker, e i Commissari come la Vestager, che hanno rovinato i risparmiatori italiani.

Noi, con il nostro leader Matteo Salvini, siamo pronti a cambiare da cima a fondo questa Europa schiava delle banche e delle lobby di potere. Noi vogliamo costruire una nuova Europa; un'Europa diversa, un'Europa che difende i confini, che ferma l'immigrazione clandestina, che tutela il made in Italy e i nostri lavoratori.

Cari Juncker e burocrati europei, in questi anni avete combinato disastri e avete umiliato il popolo italiano e i popoli europei e gli italiani, con grande orgoglio, finalmente tra poche settimane vi manderanno a casa. Noi della Lega saremo il primo partito d'Europa, perché il voto del popolo italiano sarà una vera rivoluzione di democrazia e di libertà.


  Kazimierz Michał Ujazdowski (NI). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Myślę, że powinniśmy zakończyć dyskusję o brexicie, która jest pełna emocji, i używania tej kwestii do walki wewnętrznej. Nigel Farage zdążył już skrytykować traktat wersalski jako upokarzający dla Wielkiej Brytanii. To są absolutne nonsensy.

Warto wrócić do agendy posiedzenia Rady Europejskiej. Ja chcę powiedzieć, że wysoko oceniam te postanowienia, które dotyczą kwestii geopolitycznych, szczególnie podtrzymania sankcji wobec Rosji. To jest warunek solidarności europejskiej. Jeśli mamy mówić o solidarności w sensie realnym, to kwestia bezpieczeństwa Europy Wschodniej powinna być traktowana jako bezpieczeństwo całej Europy.

Co do rozstrzygnięć odnoszących się do kwestii gospodarczych, konkurencyjności gospodarki, to trzeba zadbać o to, żeby były one absolutnie konsekwentne, bo dokument powiada o tym, że przykładamy zasadniczą wagę do budowy jednolitego rynku i do znoszenia barier krępujących rozwój przedsiębiorczości, ale praktycznie rzecz biorąc na każdej sesji Parlamentu Europejskiego mamy do czynienia z uchwalaniem aktów, które powiększają bariery krępujące wolność gospodarczą. Dzisiaj też będziemy głosować nad regulacjami dotyczącymi transportu europejskiego, więc warto być w tej sprawie konsekwentnym i już od tej chwili usuwać bariery krępujące wolność gospodarczą Europy.


  Esteban González Pons (PPE). – Señora presidenta, mi colega Esther de Lange ha hecho la fotografía: estamos debatiendo sobre el Brexit y todos los escaños de los representantes del Brexit están vacíos. Vienen a Europa a cobrar, pero no a trabajar.

El Parlamento británico debe comportarse como un Parlamento de adultos y tomar una decisión, porque hay millones de personas pendientes de ellos. Es hora de que el juego político se acabe. Es hora de decidir «dentro» o «fuera», no cabe otra decisión. Y si no existe la posibilidad de que el Reino Unido se quede y si ni siquiera se van a plantear quedarse en el futuro, no podemos volver a celebrar elecciones europeas en Reino Unido.

Si es solo para seguir negociando, nosotros no hemos tenido aquí diputados de Canadá cuando hemos negociado un acuerdo con Canadá, ni diputados de Japón cuando hemos negociado un acuerdo con Japón. Por lo tanto, no podemos tener diputados británicos solo para negociar un acuerdo con los británicos, salvo que también haya diputados españoles, franceses, neerlandeses o alemanes en el Parlamento británico.

No se puede estar en los dos lados de la negociación. No nos jugamos el presente, nos jugamos las futuras generaciones.


  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, οι αποφάσεις για τις κατ’ ευφημισμόν ελεύθερες και δίκαιες εκλογές δεν εξυπηρετούν τη δημοκρατία αλλά αντιθέτως την αδιαφάνεια και την κομματοκρατία. Δημιουργούνται ανύπαρκτοι εχθροί, ώστε οι ευρωπαϊκές ελίτ να μην αντιμετωπίσουν την αλλαγή και τα λάθη που οι ίδιες διέπραξαν. Η απάντηση σαφής: Μόνο πατριωτικά κινήματα μπορούν να αποφέρουν μια υπεύθυνη διακυβέρνηση επ’ ωφελεία των εντολέων πολιτών και την επιστροφή στη συνεργασία μεταξύ ανεξάρτητων κυρίαρχων κρατών. Επιπλέον, επισημαίνω πως, ενόσω καταδικάζετε την παραπληροφόρηση, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση επιδιώκει ανοιχτά την προώθηση πολιτικών ιδεών και την καλλιέργεια συγκεκριμένης νοοτροπίας και αντιλήψεων. Όπως και οι πληρωμένοι πράκτορες της τουρκικής ΜΙΤ παραπληροφορούν αλωνίζοντας ανενόχλητοι μέσα στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, όπως οι Αλβανοί δήθεν Τσάμηδες ως γνήσιοι δωσίλογοι εξυπηρετούν το ιδεολόγημα της Μεγάλης Αλβανίας, όπως όσοι πολιτικοί προδότες παρέδωσαν το όνομα της Μακεδονίας στους Σλαβοαλβανούς Σκοπιανούς, παραχαράσσοντας την Ιστορία και παραποιώντας την αλήθεια. Σε αυτά η Ευρώπη δεν είναι θεατής αλλά συμμέτοχη εναντίον της ασφάλειας και των ζωτικών συμφερόντων κρατών μελών όπως η Ελλάδα. Προφανώς η απειλή βρίσκεται εντός των τειχών. Γι’ αυτό το Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο καλώς αποχωρεί και καλώς ο Salvini σάς γυρίζει την πλάτη.


  Elmar Brok (PPE). – Madam President, nobody wants to punish the British people. Nobody wants to humiliate them. We would like to have them in the European Union; they were always very good partners. But now, to use the argument that we want to punish and humiliate them, it shows that the Brexiteers in this House have lost any other argument and want to get support with this argumentation of punishment.

I think we are ready to come to a proper deal on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement, and we can do something on a political declaration.

Aber ich glaube, dass es wichtig ist, dass nun das House of Commons zu einer Entscheidung kommt. London muss mit London reden, Sie müssen unter sich eine Einigung erzielen. Das ist der Weg. Das ist auch der Weg, der britischen Bevölkerung eine bessere Zukunft zu geben. Ich meine, dass es aus diesem Grunde unbedingt notwendig ist, dass dies jetzt endgültig entschieden wird, wie der Europäische Rat den Spielraum eröffnet hat, oder dass wir dann eine lange Verlängerung haben, wenn das nicht möglich ist – immer auf der Basis des Withdrawal Agreements, dass nicht neu verhandelt werden kann. Aber dann, wenn ein Parlament nicht entscheidungsfähig ist, soll das Parlament die Entscheidung dem Volke geben, durch Neuwahl oder durch Referendum. Das ist der normale demokratische Weg.



  Birgit Sippel (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Am 19. März wurde in Italien die Mare Jonio beschlagnahmt, Teilen ihrer Crew – wie auch bei der Iuventa – drohen für die Rettung von Menschen bis zu zwanzig Jahre Haft. Im Rat dazu: kein Wort. Kein Wort auch zu den Berichten der UNO oder der Women’s Refugee Commission zu täglicher Folter und Vergewaltigung – auch in den sogenannten offiziellen Lagern in Libyen.

Aber wir können und werden nicht schweigen, wenn Mitgliedstaaten unsere humanitären und christlichen Werte mit Füßen treten, ihre Verantwortung verweigern. Sie sehen weg, wenn Menschen sterben, Herr Tusk hört auch nicht zu, und sie bestrafen die Retter. Beenden Sie endlich die Blockade im Rat! Unterstützen Sie Seenotrettung! Beschließen sie die Reform von Dublin, wie wir sie hier im Hause mit Mehrheit beschlossen haben! Denn nicht die Rettung von Menschen gehört bestraft, sondern die menschenverachtende Verweigerung von Hilfe.


  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Madam President, for 122 days the withdrawal deal has been on the table and here again, today, we are in a crucial week of important votes in the House of Commons, awaiting this time when the outcome of the vote will be determined and citizens will see a way forward. The limits of uncertainty – both economic and political – were pushed to the limit during Brexit, and not by the European Union. We, the European institutions and the Member States, have spared no efforts to provide as much certainty as possible to this process. The Strasbourg agreement, approved last Thursday by the European Council, provided one more layer of legal certainty – not only to the withdrawal agreement, but to the whole process. So let me finish by saying that if the option for a longer extension is seriously discussed, if there is in UK a cross-party debate and decision on a renewed political declaration, we urge you – the British political parties – to do it in a way respecting citizens and their rights and avoiding the creation of uncertainties for them.



  Jo Leinen (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Der Europäische Gipfel hat sich zu Recht nicht nur mit dem Brexit beschäftigt, und man merkt auch dieser Debatte an, wie viel Zeit und wie viel Energie dieses Thema von anderen wichtigen Themen auf der Agenda wegnimmt, nämlich dem Klimaschutz und dem Umgang mit der Weltmacht China.

Beides gehört zusammen: China ist ein Partner im Klimaschutz, aber China ist auch ein Wettbewerber für Klimaschutztechnologien. China hat eine klare Strategie für den Ausbau von neuen Technologien. Sie sind Führer bei Solarzellen für Autobatterien. Und da frage ich mich: Wo ist die Europäische Union? Haben wir eine Strategie für Klimatechnologien? Haben wir eine Industriepolitik in diesem Bereich für Speichertechnologien, Herstellung eigener Autobatterien, für neue Technologien für die Grundstoffindustrie, zur Erzeugung von Stahl, von Zement, auch von Basischemie? Das haben wir alles nicht, und das müssen wir erarbeiten.

Und China – wir werden den Gipfel haben – ist ein Partner, aber es ist auch ein echter Systemwettbewerber, und die zehn Punkte sind echte Markierungspunkte für einen neuen Umgang. Wir müssen uns auch schützen, ohne protektionistisch zu sein.


  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Madam President, my summary of Brexit is as follows: ‘Brexit, oh Brexit, is driving us mad, everything about it is awfully bad. Backwards and forwards it boringly grinds, as May tries valiantly for a meeting of minds.’

Hopefully that meeting of minds can be achieved this week in the House of Commons. Above all, in doing so, they may take cognisance of the one million people who marched in London last weekend. There’s a big difference between marching and signing a petition and that should be noted.

Above all, we hope that the House of Commons can take a decisive decision to avoid a crash—out at all costs. We don’t want a no—deal scenario. If that could be avoided, then we could live with anything else, be it a withdrawal agreement, an extension, or whatever. But if they do not come to that decision, the confusion will remain and everybody will continue to be worried.

Then it will be, to borrow the words of Oliver Goldsmith: ‘And still they gazed and still the wonder grew’ … how the swashbuckling Brexiteers just hadn’t a clue.


  Seb Dance (S&D). – Madam President, I’m afraid I can’t follow that sonnet, but would say that I find it utterly astonishing that today not a single member of the governing party in the UK is down to speak, because they are terrified of what their government is doing and because it is now, of course, in hock to the kind of people that have now vacated the Chamber – save for one, Mr Farage – who have promised the earth consistently, who have said that Brexit means one thing and then it has turned out to be quite another – a bit like the march actually – promising people one thing, charging them the earth for it, and then disappearing, presumably in a private jet, to come here to Strasbourg to lecture us on what should be happening.

You will never, ever, take responsibility, Mr Farage, for the mess that you have landed your country in. You are responsible for the national humiliation we see today. No one else. It’s high time that you and every other Brexiteer took responsibility for the lies and the misleading campaign that you have consistently led in our country to bring it to its knees.

I say to you, Mr Tusk, thank you for your message of solidarity. It is very well heard and very well received. There is a mass pro—European movement in Britain and we are not going anywhere. We want to defeat these people. We are on the right side of history and we are proud to have you with us.

I have one small point of order, Madam President. Earlier today, Mr Batten called people ‘traitors’ and ‘quislings’. That kind of language is completely unacceptable in this Chamber – or in any Chamber for that matter – and he should apologise.


  President. – The House supports you.


  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Presidente Tusk, caro chefe das negociações Michel Barnier, o primeiro ponto que eu queria deixar claro para todo o Parlamento britânico hoje - não é preciso dizê-lo ao Sr. Farage, porque ele já o sabe - é que toda a União Europeia está aqui de boa-fé e de boa vontade relativamente ao povo britânico e aos negociadores britânicos.

O segundo ponto que queria deixar aqui e que tem que ficar claro é que a questão do Brexit não é apenas uma questão de definição, de uma negociação e de direitos, não é apenas um plano a dizer que direitos têm os cidadãos britânicos e que direitos têm os cidadãos europeus, cada um no território do Reino Unido ou da União Europeia. É também o apoio no terreno às empresas e aos cidadãos e isso está a falhar neste momento, está a falhar porque, como nós estamos a deixar derrapar os prazos, a incerteza e a instabilidade de cidadãos e de empresas é enorme.

Eu estive com a comunidade britânica no Algarve, com os empresários portugueses do turismo, o presidente do meu partido esteve com as comunidades portuguesas no Reino Unido e devo dizer que, independentemente das nossas discussões que aqui temos sobre o quadro, o enquadramento e os tratados, neste momento há centenas de milhares, senão milhões de pessoas, a sofrer com a incerteza e a instabilidade em que nós estamos a lançar as vidas das empresas e dos cidadãos.


  Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, o Conselho decidiu bem sobre o adiamento do Brexit. Uma extensão curta do artigo 50.º só é aceitável até 22 de maio e se o acordo de divórcio com o Reino Unido for aprovado na Câmara dos Comuns esta semana. Se isso não acontecer, o Reino Unido tem, no máximo, até 12 de abril para clarificar, de uma vez por todas, o que pretende fazer. E há uma boa razão para isso, é que a União Europeia não pode aceitar que a imensa trapalhada do Brexit contamine as eleições europeias e provoque uma guerra jurídica e uma crise da legitimidade em torno do Parlamento Europeu que vai ser eleito.

Por isso, como relator para a recomposição do Parlamento, inscrevi uma cláusula que diz que a nova composição do Parlamento só entra em vigor se o Brexit se tornar legalmente efetivo. É isso que devemos usar agora, se o acordo não for aprovado e o cenário do no deal for afastado, como espero, a única extensão do artigo 50.º aceitável, como disse o Presidente Tusk, é uma extensão longa que permita aos cidadãos britânicos participar nas eleições e dê tempo ao Reino Unido para definir uma nova estratégia para o seu futuro.


  Richard Ashworth (PPE). – Madam President, on behalf of a million people on the streets in London, on behalf of six million people who have signed the petition and on behalf of 63% of the British population who did not vote for Brexit, I want to say thank you to President Tusk. I want to say thank you to this House for the support you’re showing and I want to reassure you that Nigel Farage does not speak on behalf of that 63% of the population.


May I add, as a comment, to the European people that, for over 25 years now, no British Prime Minister ever explained to the British people what Europe did, what the benefits are and why it matters. They never defended against the untruths which were spoken and they never took ownership of the decisions that they took in Council. Because of that, the British press ran a 20—year campaign based on populist mistruths, lies and deceit. The consequence of that we see today: Britain as a sad nation divided like never before and a House of Commons in crisis. So let Brexit stand as a cautionary tale to the people of Europe.

To the people of Europe I say this: you are the generation who have lived through the longest period of peace and the greatest level of prosperity ever. Never take it for granted. Value it. Fight for it. Defend it every day.

(Prolonged applause)


  President. – Thank you, Mr Ashworth. My decision was the right one to allow you to speak. I think we are all heeding your warning, because I think you said it with deep emotion and affection for your country.

Catch-the-eye procedure


  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Paní předsedající, musím říct, že vystupovat po kolegovi Ashworthovi vůbec není lehké. Já si nesmírně vážím Vašich slov a věřte, že každý Brit by měl slyšet to, co tady zaznělo dnes od pana Farage, od pana Legutka, že je to Evropská unie, která zastrašuje Brity. Jako by britský parlament nehlasoval již dvakrát o dohodě, která je důstojná, která umožňovala důstojný odchod. Jako by to nebyli Britové, kteří se rozhodují o sobě. My o Vás nerozhodujeme. Británie rozhoduje o sobě. Měli by si to uvědomit.

Já chci v toto chvíli poděkovat panu předsedovi Tuskovi za jeho slova o přípravě summitu EU-Čína, protože to, že lidskoprávní podmínky musí být součástí obchodních dohod, považuji za velmi důležité a Evropský parlament o tom zde několikrát hlasoval ve svých urgentních zprávách. Je nanejvýš důležité, aby Evropa, evropské státy měly k tomu společný přístup, protože nerozumím dohodě prezidenta Macrona o hedvábné stezce bez těchto podmínek.


  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, presidente Tusk, muchos en este Parlamento Europeo hemos sido muchas veces críticos con el Consejo. No esta vez. Ha hecho lo correcto señalando una fecha cierta. No más extensión —el 12 de abril— para que el Parlamento británico encuentre un plan de salida —un exit plan—, pero no de la Unión Europea, sino del laberinto del que no saben salir.

Hemos mostrado muchas veces toda nuestra simpatía con los millones de británicos que marchan por permanecer en la Unión Europea, pero nunca la bastante exigencia con los demagogos irresponsables que han causado tantísimo daño al pueblo británico engañándolo y manipulándolo. Y, por supuesto, hay que decir con toda claridad que ahora es el momento, no hay más extensión.

La mala noticia es que no nos han dejado hablar prácticamente de ninguna otra cosa. La buena noticia es que el reloj de arena ya está corriendo en su contra. Un mensaje a la House of Commons: que decidan, que se aclaren. O salida o revocación, sin la cual no debe haber elecciones europeas en el Reino Unido. Pero que lo hagan cuanto antes y respondan del daño causado.


  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, Brexit se pokazao potpuno kaotičnim procesom. Britanci su prije gotovo tri godine izabrali izlazak, a u ovom trenutku još nije sigurno hoće li se on, kada, i pod kojim uvjetima ostvariti. To je sramotno. Ne samo za britansku vladu, koja nije sposobna ispuniti zahtjev vlastitih građana nego i za Europsku uniju kojoj volja naroda ništa ne znači.

I prije Brexita, europski establishment ignorirao je volju Europljana izraženu na demokratskom referendumu. Sve ovo je već viđeno, a lekcije, očito, nisu naučene. Brexit se koristi za slanje poruke ostalim članicama da ni ne pomišljaju na izlazak, jer ako je jedna Britanija imala problem s time, što bi tek bilo s manjim državama koje nisu otoci na rubu europskog kontinenta i koje su prihvatile zajedničku valutu. Pregovori se nisu vodili u dobroj vjeri i to će nam se svima obiti o glavu. A kad računi dođu na naplatu onda će se, naravno, kriviti onu drugu stranu.


  Hilde Vautmans (ALDE). – Voorzitter, ik denk dat we hier een heel goed debat hebben gehad over de Raad en de brexit.

I want to tell something to Mr Farage; I really wanted to tell it to you already a long time. Stop telling lies. Even today, you continue to tell lies. And then I also want to tell it to Mr Ashworth: I think you gave the right message. I think we have to fight for Europe. I think we have to renew Europe. I think that’s the lesson we all have to take here in the European Parliament, and that’s what I really want – that all of us do campaigning for elections in May. Fight for Europe. Protect Europe, and know what Europe does for us.



  Henna Virkkunen (PPE). – Arvoisa puhemies, brexit on suuri tragedia ja se osoittaa, mihin populismi äärimmillään voi johtaa.

Nyt on niin, että Britannian poliittinen umpisolmu alkaa vaikeuttaa jo koko Euroopan unionin toimintaa, ja meidän kannaltamme on äärimmäisen tärkeää, että siellä parlamentti kykenisi nyt löytämään yhdessä hallituksen kanssa jonkinlaisen ratkaisun ja ulospääsyn, koska epävarmuus tässä on kaikkein vaikein tilanne.

Tietyllä tavalla brexit myös on konkretisoinut sen, mistä Euroopan unionissa on kyse. Liian usein ihmiset ehkä olettavat tänä päivänä, että meillä on mahdollisuus asua, matkustaa, työskennellä ja vapaasti liikkua Euroopan unionissa ja että yrityksillä on mahdollisuus viedä ja tuoda palveluitaan ja tuotteitaan. Mutta tämä kaikkihan perustuu meidän yhteisiin lainsäädäntöihimme ja sopimuksiin, ja silloin kun jäsenmaa eroaa, kaikki raukeaa. Se on monella tavalla nyt tullut konkreettiseksi kaikille Euroopan unionin kansalaisille.

On tärkeää, että varaudumme Euroopan unionin puolella kaikkiin vaihtoehtoihin, mutta myös meidän on tuettava sitä prosessia, että Britanniassa päästäisiin nyt kestävään ratkaisuun. Näyttää siltä, että uusi kansanäänestys olisi se kaikkien realistisin tapa päästä tässä asiassa eteenpäin.


  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, io non parlerò di Brexit ma di clima. L'appello di Greta e di milioni di giovani in protesta in tutto il mondo per il loro futuro è stato accolto pienamente da quest'Aula ma ampiamente disatteso dal Consiglio europeo.

Certo, è stata riconosciuta la necessità di intensificare gli sforzi globali per affrontare i cambiamenti climatici. Ma, al di là dei programmi, nei fatti il vertice europeo non è riuscito a definire una linea chiara sul sostegno alla decarbonizzazione entro il 2050, obiettivo che non viene nemmeno menzionato ma solo subordinato alla competitività industriale e a quell'oscura specificità degli Stati membri che nasconde, in realtà, la prerogativa sovrana di ciascun Paese di scegliere il proprio mix energetico e dunque, in certi casi, di preservare il ruolo del carbone e delle fonti fossili più inquinanti nell'economia.

Secondo alcune ipotesi scientifiche l'uomo si è già estinto sei volte sulla terra e non è difficile crederlo. La casa sta bruciando ma continuiamo a pensare che il problema sia di qualcun altro.


  Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Myślę, że nikt na tej sali nie wierzył, że Brytyjczycy podejmą decyzję o wyjściu z Unii Europejskiej. Nie wierzyliśmy, patrząc na historię, że ulegną populizmowi i słowom, które na tej sali sączył pan Farage. Dzisiaj mamy kompletny chaos. Zarówno Brytyjczycy, jak i gospodarka brytyjska codziennie ponoszą ogromne koszty tej decyzji. Mam nadzieję, że przykład Wielkiej Brytanii, brexitu i tego chaosu będzie dobrą lekcją dla tych wszystkich w Europie, którym marzy się wyjście z Unii Europejskiej, którzy by chcieli sączyć ten jad nienawiści do Unii Europejskiej. I mam nadzieję, że po najbliższych wyborach na tej sali nie będzie populistów, nie będzie tych, dla których pieniądze i diety z Unii Europejskiej są miłe, natomiast Unia Europejska jest tym, co należałoby opuścić i zniszczyć.


  Georgi Pirinski (S&D). – Madam President, at the beginning of this session, President Tusk highlighted an initial text in the conclusions of the Council, namely ‘a strong economic base is of key importance for Europe’s prosperity and competitiveness’. And he pointed out that the Commission is invited to present by the end of 2019 a long—term vision for the EU’s industrial future with concrete measures to implement it.

Now, Mr President, I appeal to you – and through you to President Tusk, who for the moment has left, but I see he’s coming back – and to Vice—President Katainen: think carefully what this wording means. By the end of 2019, the Commission shall be presenting a long—term vision. This cannot be a technocratic exercise, Mr President. This should take into consideration the de—industrialisation of Central and Eastern Europe over the past decades. If we want to have a balanced industrial future, it has to take into consideration this central challenge for industry, jobs and growth.

At the beginning of this meeting, Mr President, you had to tackle the issue of mobility. Now, this is an example of services from Eastern Europe being driven out of the market by using legitimate social and labour concerns. This is something which should be avoided at all costs, and I do invite you to personally pursue and oversee how this industrial future paper will be transmitted from one Parliament to the other, from one commission to the other, because this is key to the future of Europe.




  Joachim Starbatty (ECR). – Herr Präsident! Ich habe mir die Debatte hier angehört. Ich finde, wir haben sehr viele Pharisäer in diesem Haus, und manche sind Oberpharisäer. Es wird auf die Briten hingewiesen, aber es sind dieses Haus und dieser Rat, die die Briten nach draußen getrieben haben. Man hat für Griechenland jede rote Linie überschritten, um sie in der Eurozone und in der EU zu halten, und man hat Cameron verwehrt, das Prinzip der Freizügigkeit zu diskutieren. Wenn man darüber diskutiert hätte und Cameron eine Antwort bekommen hätte, dann wäre der Brexit auch ganz anders ausgefallen. Denn es war die Freizügigkeit, die die Briten dazu gebracht hat, für den Brexit zu stimmen. Das sollte man nicht vergessen. Wenn ich diese pharisäerhaften Anschuldigungen hier höre – ja, Herr Bullmann, da gehören Sie mit Ihren Anschuldigungen mit dazu und auch Herr Guy Verhofstadt –, man kann es wirklich nicht ertragen, auf welchem hohen Ross diese Herren sitzen!

Das Problem in Großbritannien ist ja, dass sie wählen müssen zwischen einer Mitgliedschaft zweiter Klasse und dem Ausbrechen des Nordirlandkonflikts. Das ist ja das Problem! Wenn sie das Nordirlandproblem nicht hätten, dann ginge es. Aber sie haben ein Dilemma, aus dem sie nicht herauskommen. Sie werden nicht herauskommen! Die Briten werden niemals eine Mitgliedschaft zweiter Klasse akzeptieren, nicht bestimmen zu dürfen, Geld zu zahlen, den EuGH akzeptieren zu müssen und keine freie Hand für Freihandelsverträge zu haben.

Deswegen ist es richtig – und wir sollten sie dabei unterstützen –, dass noch mal ein Referendum zustande kommt. Und dann sollte dieses Hohe Haus und auch der Rat sagen: Ihr Briten, wir gehen auf eure Bedingungen ein, wir diskutieren das Prinzip.

Herr Präsident, Sie haben jemand zwei Minuten reden lassen. Lassen Sie mich einen letzten Satz sagen.

Wir müssen den Briten sagen, dass sie willkommen sind. Wir müssen den Briten sagen, dass sie ein Recht haben, ihre Verhältnisse, die sie wirklich betreffen, so zu regeln, dass sie zufrieden sind. Dann kommen sie zurück.


  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, ο τρόπος με τον οποίον η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση χειρίζεται το θέμα του Brexit είναι ενδεικτικός της εσφαλμένης πολιτικής που εφαρμόζει για την αντιμετώπιση και όλων των σοβαρών θεμάτων που έχει να αντιμετωπίσει. Αντί να αναλογιστεί και να προσπαθήσει να διορθώσει τα λάθη τα οποία διέπραξαν και υποχρέωσαν τον βρετανικό λαό να επιδιώξει την έξοδό του από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, επιθυμεί να τιμωρήσει και να εξευτελίσει τον βρετανικό λαό. Με το ίδιο πνεύμα, με την ίδια φιλοσοφία επιδιώκει να τιμωρήσει την Ουγγαρία και την Πολωνία με εφαρμογή των διατάξεων του άρθρου 7 εναντίον τους, το κόμμα Fidesz του κυρίου Orbán και επίσης με αυτό το πνεύμα επί εννέα συνεχή χρόνια τιμωρεί την Ελλάδα και τον ελληνικό λαό, τον οποίο έχει εξαθλιώσει με τα συνεχή μνημόνια που του έχει επιβάλει, και δεν επιθυμεί να μειώσει το επαχθές χρέος το οποίο έχει υποστεί ο ελληνικός λαός. Τιμωρία λοιπόν και μόνο τιμωρία! Αυτή είναι η φιλοσοφία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως και γι’ αυτόν ακριβώς τον λόγο μετά από δύο μήνες θα εμφανιστεί σ’ αυτό το Ευρωκοινοβούλιο η αρχαία θεά της τιμωρίας, η Νέμεσις, υπό την παρουσία πολλών πατριωτικών κομμάτων στον χώρο αυτόν.


  Μαρία Σπυράκη (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, όπως ξέρετε και από τη μητέρα σας, οι αρχαίοι Έλληνες έλεγαν «ουδέν κακόν αμιγές καλού». Τι συμβαίνει λοιπόν με το χάος που πάει να δημιουργηθεί από το Brexit; Μπορούμε να δούμε μέσα από ’κει ότι αποκαλύπτονται οι επιπτώσεις του λαϊκισμού. Τα απόλυτα ψέματα που σέρβιρε ο κύριος Farage, οι απόλυτες ψευδαισθήσεις που σέρβιραν οι ομοϊδεάτες του. Τι συμβαίνει λοιπόν μέσα απ’ το χάος του Brexit; Βλέπουμε τον κίνδυνο να συμπεριφερθούμε τιμωρητικά απέναντι στους πολίτες του Ηνωμένου Βασιλείου και δεν πρέπει να το κάνουμε. Πρέπει να τους δώσουμε όλες τις ευκαιρίες να επιλέξουν. Τι συμβαίνει μέσα από το χάος του Brexit; Βλέπουμε τον κίνδυνο να πληγώσουμε και εμείς τους εαυτούς μας με μία άτακτη κίνηση, με μία ασύντακτη κίνηση Brexit. Τι νομίζω ότι οφείλουμε να κάνουμε; Να δείξουμε πως είμαστε το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο. Να δώσουμε στους πολίτες του Ηνωμένου Βασιλείου την ευκαιρία να συμπεριφερθούν με νηφαλιότητα. Να κρίνουν και να αποφασίσουν ξανά για το δικό τους μέλλον. Να στηρίξουμε ένα δεύτερο δημοψήφισμα.


  Marek Jurek (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pan przewodniczący Weber mówił tutaj, że skoro art. 7 Traktatu o Unii Europejskiej tak nie działa, nie przynosi tych efektów, których życzyłyby sobie dominujące państwa, dominujące siły polityczne w Unii, to należy obejść ten artykuł, to należy działać tak, żeby przyniósł takie efekty: nie takie, jak przewiduje Traktat, ale takie, jakich życzy sobie prawdopodobny przyszły przewodniczący Komisji Europejskiej. A może po prostu należałoby uszanować stanowisko rządów państw Europy reprezentowanych w Radzie Europejskiej? Skoro nie ma większości, która chciałaby kontynuować te awantury przeciwko Polsce i Węgrom, to może warto przyjąć do wiadomości, że Traktat o Unii nie chciał takich łatwych decyzji, które będą dzielić Europę. Jeżeli dla pana przewodniczącego Webera nie liczą się rządy prawa, jeżeli się nie liczy pluralizm stanowiska wszystkich państw Unii Europejskiej, jeżeli nie liczą się najbardziej elementarne prawa mniejszości, to znaczy prawa opozycji, tych, którzy mają mniejszościowe stanowisko, to może jedność Europy przynajmniej się dla niego będzie liczyć i to, żeby naprawdę nie pogłębiać już podziałów, których jest naprawdę zbyt wiele.


(Fine della procedura catch-the-eye)


  Michel Barnier, négociateur en chef pour le Brexit. – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, au terme de ce débat important, nous avons écouté, avec le président Juncker et le vice-président Katainen, chacune et chacun d’entre vous avec beaucoup d’attention. Je me permets de dire quelques mots, en vous remerciant, Monsieur le Président.

Jeudi, à l’invitation du président Donald Tusk, que je remercie personnellement, j’ai une fois de plus pris part et assisté aux débats du Conseil européen, dont il est question ce matin, et je peux témoigner une fois encore sur cette négociation extraordinaire, liée au Brexit, de la gravité et de la responsabilité qui est celle de chacune et de chacun des dirigeants européens autour de cette table, et de la manière grave, responsable, objective avec laquelle ils décident et ils travaillent sur cette négociation.

Voilà maintenant près de deux ans que la mission de conduire cette négociation m’a été confiée par le président Juncker et le président Tusk, avec la confiance du Parlement. Depuis deux ans, Mesdames et Messieurs, et je veux le dire aujourd’hui, j’ai, comme vous – et cela a été le principal point de vigilance du Parlement, considéré que la question de la sécurité des droits des citoyens devait être notre priorité, comme l’ont dit tour à tour, notamment Guy Verhofstadt, Manfred Weber, Roberto Gualtieri, Udo Bullmann ou Gabriele Zimmer tout à l’heure, et d’autres encore.

Comme l’a dit le président Tusk, la priorité restera la sécurité des droits des citoyens, ces quelque 4,5 millions de personnes, 3,5 millions de citoyens européens qui vivent et travaillent au Royaume-Uni et qui participent, Monsieur Farage, à l’économie de votre pays, et 1,5 million de citoyens britanniques qui vivent et travaillent dans l’un ou l’autre de nos pays. Cette sécurité des droits des citoyens restera, Monsieur Verhofstadt, notre priorité, que ce soit dans l’espoir d’un accord que nous attendons, mais aussi dans l’hypothèse d’un no deal, que nous ne souhaitons pas mais à laquelle nous nous préparons. Et nous trouverons le moyen de garantir ces droits.

Depuis deux ans, nous travaillons avec le même respect pour le Royaume—Uni. J’ai pour votre pays, Mesdames et Messieurs, de l’admiration, je l’ai souvent dit ici. Pour son histoire, pour sa culture, pour un certain nombre d’hommes et de femmes qui l’ont dirigé dans l’histoire, mais aussi pour la solidarité qui a été la vôtre dans les heures les plus graves, au vingtième siècle, à notre égard.

C’est donc avec ce respect que nous travaillons. Et dans cette notion de respect, Monsieur Farage, j’inclus évidemment le respect de la décision souveraine d’une majorité de citoyens britanniques. Nous respectons cette décision, même si nous la regrettons, et nous la mettons en œuvre patiemment, rigoureusement, consciencieusement, méthodiquement depuis deux ans, voilà ce que nous faisons. Monsieur Farage, personne à Bruxelles n’est en train de vouloir voler le Brexit et de vouloir détourner le vote du peuple britannique.

Mais ce n’est pas à Bruxelles que nous faisons le choix de quitter l’Union européenne, c’est vous qui faites ce choix et c’est vous qui devez prendre vos responsabilités et faire face aux conséquences de ces décisions, personne d’autre.

Alors, depuis deux ans, nous mettons en œuvre la décision, avec ce respect, et je veux dire à M. Legutko qui n’est pas là pour m’écouter, que, à aucun moment depuis deux ans, à aucune seconde, il n’y a eu dans notre attitude et dans mon attitude la moindre trace de volonté d’humiliation ou de revanche sur le Royaume-Uni, bien au contraire.

Depuis deux ans, je le dis à la présidente McGuinness, qui présidait tout à l’heure, mais aussi à Sean Kelly, à M. Nicholson, que j’écoute toujours avec attention, à Mme Anderson ou à Mme Dodds, nous cherchons patiemment des solutions concrètes et opérationnelles au problème le plus grave créé par le Brexit, qui se trouve évidemment en Irlande, et le risque pour la paix et pour la stabilité de cette île à laquelle nous avons contribué depuis une vingtaine d’années, depuis l’accord du Vendredi Saint, voilà ce que nous faisons, rien d’autre.

Mr Nicholson, just a few words in the case of a no deal. In all scenarios, the Good Friday Agreement will continue to apply. The United Kingdom will remain a co-guarantor of that agreement and is expected to uphold it in spirit and in letter. The Commission is ready to make additional resources available to Ireland – technical and financial – to address any additional challenges.

Le respect de l’accord du Vendredi Saint restera donc la ligne pour éviter une frontière dure mais, évidemment, il faudra bien effectuer des contrôles quelque part d’une manière ou d’une autre, parce qu’il s’agit bien du respect du marché intérieur, c’est-à-dire de notre marché intérieur, mais aussi du respect du marché intérieur britannique, Monsieur Farage.

Depuis deux ans, nous travaillons sur cette négociation qui reste une négociation négative. Il n’y a aucune valeur ajoutée au Brexit. Personne, pas même M. Farage, n’a été capable de me démontrer la valeur ajoutée du Brexit. Personne! C’est une négociation négative, perdant-perdant! Nous devons donc intelligemment trouver un accord pour limiter les conséquences de cette négociation. Puis, en finir d’une manière ou d’une autre le plus tôt possible parce que, comme l’a dit Mme Rodriguez tout à l’heure, il y a énormément à faire au-delà et en dehors du Brexit sur l’agenda positif qu’a évoqué le président Tusk et que le président Katainen évoquera tout à l’heure. C’est cela qui compte! Dans cet agenda positif, au-delà du divorce que nous voulons le plus ordonné possible, j’accorde une place importante à la construction d’une relation forte et durable avec le Royaume-Uni, un grand pays qui restera en toute hypothèse un ami, un allié et un partenaire.

Je dirais en conclusion que la décision du Conseil européen a été prise en toute conscience, pour faire face à cette situation parfois imprévisible à la Chambre des communes. Vous devez comprendre cette décision comme la volonté pour les Européens que le Royaume-Uni puisse prendre maintenant, en toute souveraineté, ses propres décisions et faire face à ses propres responsabilités. C’est au Royaume-Uni de choisir, d’une manière ou d’une autre. Et ce qui a été décidé par le Conseil européen, avec cette double décision de délai au mois d’avril puis au mois de mai, c’est précisément la possibilité pour le Royaume-Uni de prendre ses responsabilités. C’est maintenant à lui, qui veut partir, de choisir son avenir et d’assumer enfin les conséquences de ses décisions.

Parce que cette négociation n’est pas une négociation commerciale, il ne s’agit pas de marchander, ni de faire des concessions de part et d’autre. Cela n’a jamais été notre état d’esprit. Ce processus est un processus de sortie. Le Royaume-Uni quitte l’Union européenne, veut quitter le marché unique, veut quitter l’union douanière, en en prenant la responsabilité et en en assumant les conséquences. Même s’il peut toujours rester, comme l’a dit le président Tusk, tout est possible jusqu’au 11 avril.

Je veux dire que ce choix-là a des conséquences et que le Royaume-Uni doit les assumer en toute responsabilité et en toute souveraineté. C’est cette possibilité qui lui est offerte par la décision du Conseil européen.


  Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, even though the debate has concentrated almost purely on the Brexit issue, I will not comment more on that, because our chief negotiator, Mr Barnier, has already explained everything relevant so elegantly.

I would like to comment on a couple of other points which were also part of the European Council agenda, namely industrial policy and especially the EU-China relations. Very briefly, on industrial policy, the Commission has already set up a working group. It’s kind of an expert group which has been working on the future of the industrial policy of Europe. The target is 2030 and this group has already been working more than a year. I am co-chairing it together with Commissioner Bieńkowska and we will come out with concrete proposals by the summer. So this paper is at the disposal of the next Commission and the next Parliament. The aim is to identify the most crucial points, how to modernise the European industry.

Another very important topic is the EU-China relationship. We appreciate a lot that the Council paid attention to our proposals and endorsed many of our proposals because the EU and China are strategic partners and strategic partners usually do things together, not only speak together on the issues. This situation is currently a little bit problematic. We share many views with the Chinese authorities on various policy issues and we have also done some things together, but there are many issues which we have mostly been talking about, but not doing that much and this happens mostly in the field of economy.

China is a political superpower – a foreign policy superpower, a military superpower. It’s also a technological leader. It’s a business leader in many areas and that’s why there is no point to say that China is only a developing country. China for sure is a developing country in many respects, but taking into account its power in the world’s economy today we have all the reasons to expect reciprocity. This is what the EU is expecting from the Chinese side – a strategic partnership based on reciprocity, especially when we talk about market access policies.

The European Council also asked the Commission to come with concrete proposals on how to improve our business and economic relationship with China, and this is under our work at the moment. We are preparing, for instance, state aid rules to third country acquisitions. As everybody knows, we have very strict state aid rules when it comes to intra—EU acquisitions, but the same rules don’t apply with a third country, and this is problematic. We want to make sure that there is a level playing field, that there is hard competition, but not unfair competition. So we have to make sure that our single market is open for everybody, but is fair for everybody. We cannot allow unfair competition to happen or take place in Europe.

We also, like President Tusk said earlier, expect to finalise our investment agreement negotiations with China by 2020. This is of utmost importance. It will help Chinese and European investments to flourish. Also, we expect China to accept the geographical indications agreement, which has already been negotiated but unfortunately not approved yet.

Honourable Members, as I said, we are strategic partners. We work very closely in many political areas, but economic cooperation is one of the particular areas where improvements are needed in order to maintain a level playing field and in order to allow European companies to do the same things in China as Chinese companies are doing in Europe.


  Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. – Mr President, just two remarks. The first one for clarification, dear Maria, this was not the last European Council before the elections to the European Parliament. It is pretty likely that we will meet still in April to discuss Brexit, and for sure we will also meet on 9 May in Sibiu to discuss our long-term EU strategy. It will be in an informal meeting, but also dedicated to absolutely crucial topics.

Mr Farage, you have presented passionate arguments against the second referendum. But the truth is that the second referendum took place in 2016, because the first one took place in 1975. Then, a vast majority of the British public decided that the place of the UK was in the European Communities. It was you who thought three years ago that it would be possible to organise a referendum in order to invalidate the previous one. Please be consistent today too.



  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)


  Clara Eugenia Aguilera García (S&D), por escrito. – En el Parlamento Europeo hemos sido muchas veces críticos con el Consejo Europeo. No esta vez. Ha hecho lo correcto señalando una fecha cierta. No más extensión —el 12 de abril— para que el Parlamento británico encuentre un plan de salida —un exit plan— pero no de la Unión Europea, sino del laberinto del que no saben salir. Hemos mostrado muchas veces toda nuestra simpatía con los millones de británicos que marchan por permanecer en la Unión Europea, pero nunca la bastante exigencia con los demagogos irresponsables que han causado tantísimo daño al pueblo británico engañándolo y manipulándolo. Y, por supuesto, hay que decir con toda claridad que ahora es el momento, no hay más extensión. La mala noticia es que no nos han dejado hablar prácticamente de ninguna otra cosa. La buena noticia es que el reloj de arena ya está corriendo en su contra. Un mensaje a la Cámara de los Comunes: que decidan, que se aclaren. O salida o revocación, sin la cual no debe haber elecciones europeas en el Reino Unido. Pero que lo hagan cuanto antes y respondan del daño causado.


  José Blanco López (S&D), por escrito. – En el Parlamento Europeo hemos sido muchas veces críticos con el Consejo Europeo. No esta vez. Ha hecho lo correcto señalando una fecha cierta. No más extensión —el 12 de abril— para que el Parlamento británico encuentre un plan de salida —un exit plan— pero no de la Unión Europea, sino del laberinto del que no saben salir. Hemos mostrado muchas veces toda nuestra simpatía con los millones de británicos que marchan por permanecer en la Unión Europea, pero nunca la bastante exigencia con los demagogos irresponsables que han causado tantísimo daño al pueblo británico engañándolo y manipulándolo. Y, por supuesto, hay que decir con toda claridad que ahora es el momento, no hay más extensión. La mala noticia es que no nos han dejado hablar prácticamente de ninguna otra cosa. La buena noticia es que el reloj de arena ya está corriendo en su contra. Un mensaje a la Cámara de los Comunes: que decidan, que se aclaren. O salida o revocación, sin la cual no debe haber elecciones europeas en el Reino Unido. Pero que lo hagan cuanto antes y respondan del daño causado.


  Soledad Cabezón Ruiz (S&D), por escrito. – En el Parlamento Europeo hemos sido muchas veces críticos con el Consejo Europeo. No esta vez. Ha hecho lo correcto señalando una fecha cierta. No más extensión —el 12 de abril— para que el Parlamento británico encuentre un plan de salida —un exit plan— pero no de la Unión Europea, sino del laberinto del que no saben salir. Hemos mostrado muchas veces toda nuestra simpatía con los millones de británicos que marchan por permanecer en la Unión Europea, pero nunca la bastante exigencia con los demagogos irresponsables que han causado tantísimo daño al pueblo británico engañándolo y manipulándolo. Y, por supuesto, hay que decir con toda claridad que ahora es el momento, no hay más extensión. La mala noticia es que no nos han dejado hablar prácticamente de ninguna otra cosa. La buena noticia es que el reloj de arena ya está corriendo en su contra. Un mensaje a la Cámara de los Comunes: que decidan, que se aclaren. O salida o revocación, sin la cual no debe haber elecciones europeas en el Reino Unido. Pero que lo hagan cuanto antes y respondan del daño causado.


  Iratxe García Pérez (S&D), por escrito. – En el Parlamento Europeo hemos sido muchas veces críticos con el Consejo Europeo. No esta vez. Ha hecho lo correcto señalando una fecha cierta. No más extensión —el 12 de abril— para que el Parlamento británico encuentre un plan de salida —un exit plan— pero no de la Unión Europea, sino del laberinto del que no saben salir. Hemos mostrado muchas veces toda nuestra simpatía con los millones de británicos que marchan por permanecer en la Unión Europea, pero nunca la bastante exigencia con los demagogos irresponsables que han causado tantísimo daño al pueblo británico engañándolo y manipulándolo. Y, por supuesto, hay que decir con toda claridad que ahora es el momento, no hay más extensión. La mala noticia es que no nos han dejado hablar prácticamente de ninguna otra cosa. La buena noticia es que el reloj de arena ya está corriendo en su contra. Un mensaje a la Cámara de los Comunes: que decidan, que se aclaren. O salida o revocación, sin la cual no debe haber elecciones europeas en el Reino Unido. Pero que lo hagan cuanto antes y respondan del daño causado.


  Maria Grapini (S&D), în scris. – Am dorit să iau cuvântul doar pentru a vă reaminti că în decembrie, când ați fost în România, ați declarat public că România trebuie să fie în Schengen.

Ce ați făcut pentru a vă ține de cuvânt? Cum puteți să vă terminați mandatul fără să faceți ce ați spus?

Mulțumesc domnului Tajani, care a transmis poziția Parlamentului, care a votat admiterea României și Bulgariei în spațiul Schengen. Mulțumesc și domnului Președinte Juncker, care a transmis, de asemenea, solicitarea de admitere din partea Comisiei.

De ce ignorați Regulamentul Schengen și solicitarea celor două instituții, Parlamentul European și Comisia Europeană? Vă cer, domnule Tusk, să decideți până la terminarea mandatului admiterea României și Bulgariei în spațiul Schengen.


  Ian Hudghton (Verts/ALE), in writing. – This debate takes place amidst continuing chaos at Westminster, where the UK Government has lost control of its relentless pursuit of exiting the EU – against the wishes of the people of Scotland. The SNP has made the case – based on the clear opinion of 62% of Scottish voters representing each and every council area in the country – to remain a member of the European Union. Yet Westminster has treated the views of Scotland with contempt. The Scottish Government has continuously argued that the aggressive hard Brexit or bad deal position favoured by the UK Government has been wrong—headed, but the UK’s devolved administrations have been ignored throughout. Westminster today is debating various alternatives to Theresa May’s reckless strategy. May is in office but not in power. SNP MPs will support an amendment that will see a series of indicative votes on Brexit next steps, including the option to revoke the Article 50 application. The crisis highlights what the Westminster government really thinks about Scotland. They have continually ignored strong Scottish opinion on remaining an EU member, and put the narrow interests of the Tory Party first. Scotland deserves better and the argument for Scottish independence gets stronger every day.


  Agnes Jongerius (S&D), schriftelijk. – 12 april, de dag dat het Verenigd Koninkrijk onze Unie mogelijk gaat verlaten, komt steeds dichterbij. De Britse regering moet nu op de kortst mogelijke termijn duidelijkheid verschaffen en met een concreet plan komen of en hoe zij de Unie willen verlaten. Hoe de Britten de Unie ook willen verlaten, de rechten die mensen nu hebben, moeten in die situatie gewaarborgd worden. Het kan niet zo zijn dat gegevens van Europeanen zomaar op straat komen te liggen als het Verenigd Koninkrijk niet meer onder de Europese privacywetgeving valt. Ik vind het belangrijk dat de standaarden die wij in de EU hebben opgebouwd ook na de brexit gewaarborgd worden. Inkomens, werknemersrechten en sociale voorzieningen in het Verenigd Koninkrijk moeten beschermd worden in de uiteindelijke overeenkomst. Wij willen geen eiland voor de kust dat tornt aan de sociale standaarden die wij met elkaar hebben opgebouwd.

Samen, het Verenigd Koninkrijk en de lidstaten van de EU, delen we een rijke geschiedenis. Keer op keer blijkt dat wij door samenwerking stappen verder komen. Of het nu gaat om vrede of om welvaart. Die samenwerking moet ook na de brexit worden voortgezet, want alleen op die manier kan een vechtscheiding voorkomen worden.


  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D), por escrito. – En el Parlamento Europeo hemos sido muchas veces críticos con el Consejo Europeo. No esta vez. Ha hecho lo correcto señalando una fecha cierta. No más extensión —el 12 de abril— para que el Parlamento británico encuentre un plan de salida —un exit plan— pero no de la Unión Europea, sino del laberinto del que no saben salir. Hemos mostrado muchas veces toda nuestra simpatía con los millones de británicos que marchan por permanecer en la Unión Europea, pero nunca la bastante exigencia con los demagogos irresponsables que han causado tantísimo daño al pueblo británico engañándolo y manipulándolo. Y, por supuesto, hay que decir con toda claridad que ahora es el momento, no hay más extensión. La mala noticia es que no nos han dejado hablar prácticamente de ninguna otra cosa. La buena noticia es que el reloj de arena ya está corriendo en su contra. Un mensaje a la Cámara de los Comunes: que decidan, que se aclaren. O salida o revocación, sin la cual no debe haber elecciones europeas en el Reino Unido. Pero que lo hagan cuanto antes y respondan del daño causado.


  Javi López (S&D), por escrito. – En el Parlamento Europeo hemos sido muchas veces críticos con el Consejo Europeo. No esta vez. Ha hecho lo correcto señalando una fecha cierta. No más extensión —el 12 de abril— para que el Parlamento británico encuentre un plan de salida —un exit plan— pero no de la Unión Europea, sino del laberinto del que no saben salir. Hemos mostrado muchas veces toda nuestra simpatía con los millones de británicos que marchan por permanecer en la Unión Europea, pero nunca la bastante exigencia con los demagogos irresponsables que han causado tantísimo daño al pueblo británico engañándolo y manipulándolo. Y, por supuesto, hay que decir con toda claridad que ahora es el momento, no hay más extensión. La mala noticia es que no nos han dejado hablar prácticamente de ninguna otra cosa. La buena noticia es que el reloj de arena ya está corriendo en su contra. Un mensaje a la Cámara de los Comunes: que decidan, que se aclaren. O salida o revocación, sin la cual no debe haber elecciones europeas en el Reino Unido. Pero que lo hagan cuanto antes y respondan del daño causado.


  Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández (S&D), por escrito. – En el Parlamento Europeo hemos sido muchas veces críticos con el Consejo Europeo. No esta vez. Ha hecho lo correcto señalando una fecha cierta. No más extensión —el 12 de abril— para que el Parlamento británico encuentre un plan de salida —un exit plan— pero no de la Unión Europea, sino del laberinto del que no saben salir. Hemos mostrado muchas veces toda nuestra simpatía con los millones de británicos que marchan por permanecer en la Unión Europea, pero nunca la bastante exigencia con los demagogos irresponsables que han causado tantísimo daño al pueblo británico engañándolo y manipulándolo. Y, por supuesto, hay que decir con toda claridad que ahora es el momento, no hay más extensión. La mala noticia es que no nos han dejado hablar prácticamente de ninguna otra cosa. La buena noticia es que el reloj de arena ya está corriendo en su contra. Un mensaje a la Cámara de los Comunes: que decidan, que se aclaren. O salida o revocación, sin la cual no debe haber elecciones europeas en el Reino Unido. Pero que lo hagan cuanto antes y respondan del daño causado.


  Alfred Sant (S&D), in writing. – To assert a meaningful role on the global stage, the European Union needs a strong economic base for prosperity and competitiveness. The Heads of State and Government say they stand for a long-term vision of the EU’s industrial policy, one that boosts investments in technology, research and innovation. However they fail to link this priority to the allocation of resources to research in the fundamental sciences. Their commitment places Europe midstream in the flow from fundamental science to applied research. So, our best graduates in fundamental science drift towards the US and Asia. Meanwhile, economic and social divergences within the Union continue to grow. The European Council remains elusive on this. Economic reform programmes must dedicate more efforts to correct existing regional and national imbalances and to bridge gaps between Member States in the area of social policy. The European Council fails to commit towards change on issues related to equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions, social protection including the elimination of precarious employment of young people, and the need to counterbalance the growth of profits by an improvement in remuneration levels. Economic reforms only make sense if they imply social progress for the working and middle classes, for young people and pensioners.


  Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – As ditas reformas impostas no quadro do semestre europeu passam invariavelmente pela desregulação laboral, pelo ataque às funções sociais do estado, por liberalizações e privatizações.

Estas conclusões reafirmam, também, a agenda de desregulação do comércio internacional, que abre mercados e oportunidades de negócios ao grande capital ao mesmo ritmo com que acentua a pressão sobre os trabalhadores e os povos para a perda de direitos sociais e laborais. Reafirmam a intenção de aprofundamento do Mercado Único e da União Económica e Monetária, que têm promovido a desigualdade e a divergência no seio da União Europeia, prejudicando países como Portugal.

Em Portugal, esta agenda - defendida no Parlamento Europeu por PS, PSD e CDS - encontra nestes mesmos partidos os seus defensores e executores. Os resultados estão à vista: na falta de resposta a problemas estruturais do país e na resposta limitada, mesmo na atual conjuntura, aos justos anseios e aspirações de vastos sectores da população. Basta de imposições!


  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D), por escrito. – O Conselho Europeu foi correto ao manter uma atitude coordenada e flexível em relação ao processo de saída do Reino Unido da União Europeia (UE). Os dois cenários de calendarização propostos para escolha do governo e do parlamento inglês mostram que a União não quer pressionar o povo inglês nem os seus representantes, respeita a decisão tomada no referendo sobre o tema, mas não é insensível às vozes crescentes que se pronunciam por um novo referendo e expressam o seu desejo de permanecer na UE. Sublinho também que, para além do tema-chave do processo do Brexit, o Conselho debateu temas-chave para reforçar a parceria europeia e a sua voz global, designadamente o aprofundamento do mercado interno, a modernização e a competitividade da indústria, o desenvolvimento da economia digital e o fomento de uma agenda comercial ambiciosa. A melhor resposta que a UE pode dar à situação de incerteza colocada pelo Brexit é reforçar as linhas estratégicas que permitem afirmar os seus valores na nova ordem global.



Päivitetty viimeksi: 28. kesäkuuta 2019Oikeudellinen huomautus