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Procedure : 2019/2817(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts tabled :

B9-0038/2019

Debates :

PV 18/09/2019 - 7
CRE 18/09/2019 - 7

Votes :

PV 18/09/2019 - 9.6
CRE 18/09/2019 - 9.6
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P9_TA(2019)0016

Debates
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 - Strasbourg Revised edition

10.1. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU (B9-0038/2019, B9-0039/2019)
Video of the speeches
  

Dichiarazioni di voto orali

 
  
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  Alexandr Vondra (ECR). – Mr President, I voted against on the British resolution because it’s a divorce and I think that we should keep in mind the future relationship, which should not result in a conflict. We are trying to force the British Parliament into consenting to the agreement which has already been rejected three times.

I remember when we had a divorce in Czechoslovakia. To have a successful divorce, there must be a kind of generosity. If we had professed the same kind of a generosity as the European Parliament has done, the Czechoslovak split would have resulted in a conflict or even a war. Is that something that we are really seeking?

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Pane předsedající, kolegyně a kolegové, jsem ze stejné země jako kolega Alexandr Vondra, přesto jsem hlasovala pro toto usnesení. Právě proto, že respektuji usnesení britského parlamentu, které říká, že Velká Británie nesmí odejít bez dohody. Právě proto se domnívám, že Evropský parlament zareagoval správně, když navrhuje případné odložení pro případ, že dohoda nebude uzavřena. My nevnucujeme Velké Británii naši dohodu, je to dohoda, kterou podepsala jejich premiérka. Velká Británie může k této dohodě dát pozměňovací návrhy, může jednat o změně, ale ona žádnou změnu nepředložila. Evropský parlament projevuje velkou trpělivost a ochotu, stejně jako vyjednavač pan Michel Barnier projevuje ochotu ke změnám této dohody, pokud nějaké změny Velká Británie navrhne.

 
  
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  Luisa Porritt (Renew). – Mr President, I have voted in support of this resolution today, not because I want to see the Withdrawal Agreement implemented, since any form of Brexit would be damaging and regrettable for all, but because the text acknowledges an extension is possible in order to avoid no-deal and for the UK to hold a democratic event, such as a referendum or general election, as well as to revoke Article 50 outright.

I want to thank the pro-Europeans across this House, who continue to show solidarity with us in the face of the dangerous nationalist populist drive begun by a man in that part of the Chamber, who only turns up here to stamp his feet and collect his allowance. The same desire to put personal ambition over our common and national interests unfortunately now emanates from Number 10 Downing Street. However, there is also a strong, and growing, pro-European movement happening in the UK. It is indeed, perhaps, now the strongest in Europe, as Guy Verhofstadt has previously said. To my pro-European colleagues, who make up the majority in this House, I say we must continue to work together to defeat the forces of nationalism and populism and not let them win.

 
  
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  Matthew Patten (NI). – Mr President, I voted against Mr Verhofstadt’s empire resolution. I believe in a clean -break Brexit. Why do I believe that? 58 % of people in the East Midlands voted to leave. 62 % in coastal communities like Folkestone and Hythe voted to leave. 17.4 million people in the UK – the democratic majority – voted to leave.

For the past three hours here, in the European Parliament, I’ve listened to all sorts of MEPs telling those people they didn’t know what they were doing. Telling those people that they have to listen to the EU and only when they agree with this institution can they even begin to have some sense of democracy. Mr Barnier made it absolutely clear that, whatever the backstop deal may or may not be, there will be no escape from the Customs Union for the 17.4 million people who voted to leave. British democracy must be respected. It’s time to leave. It’s time for a clean-break Brexit.

 
  
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  Antony Hook (Renew). – Mr President, I supported the resolution today because it recognises the prospect of Britain revoking Article 50 to stop Brexit. I believe that this will happen, because Boris Johnson has no majority in the UK Parliament. That is why he has tried to shut Parliament down and is blocking a people’s vote on the specific Withdrawal Agreement. The 2016 referendum was vague and with much misinformation: lies about money and lies that Turkey would join this European Union. I see no Turkish MEPs here. Boris Johnson said it would be easy and make us better off. He no longer pretends that is true.

The 2016 decision is old and stale. Britain in 2019 is a different place, and young people want the European Union. No one voted for food or medicine shortages, for blocked ports or motorways, which our government admits are real risks. We can do so much better than Brexit, we are a great country and we will put this behind us.

 
  
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  Catherine Bearder (Renew). – Mr President, today I voted in favour of Parliament’s Brexit motion. I don’t like May’s deal and I don’t like Brexit – I hate it – but any deal should go in front of the people. It’s their future, but Boris is playing with it for his own party’s sake. What voters want is for Brexit to stop.

My party, of Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats, are committed to the EU and its citizens. When we become the Government, we will revoke Article⁰50 to stop Brexit altogether. Our aim is to stay inside the European Union. This motion recognises our responsibility to Brexit’s citizens. They chose to build lives somewhere else, as is their right. Their lives have been in turmoil. EU governments must now all work to sort this out quickly. Citizenship is a right. We are setting up another Windrush scandal and it must not happen. I and the Lib Dems are – and always will be – committed to doing what is best for the UK and the EU. We need time to vote on the deal or to choose to stay with all the benefits of full membership.

 
  
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  Barbara Ann Gibson (Renew). – Mr President, I voted in support of this resolution and urged Parliament’s support. I would like to make clear that I do not support any Brexit deal. Whether deal or no-deal, I believe with all my heart that any Brexit is bad for the UK and for the European Union, and I will continue to campaign to stop Brexit. But this motion is important because it specifically recognises that the UK Parliament enacted a law to require the Prime Minister to ask for an extension, and it supports an extension being granted to avoid a no-deal exit, hold an election or referendum, or revoke Brexit altogether.

Boris Johnson is not acting in the interests of UK citizens. He has shut down Parliament. He states that he will break the law to bring about Brexit, no matter the consequences. He is acting as a dictator and we need time to defeat him through the democratic process.

 
  
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  John Howarth (S&D). – Mr President, well, this wasn’t the plan, was it? Instead of sunlit uplands, the best we are offered is survival. Instead of the easiest trade deal in history, we face negotiating from the weakest position possible, of no deal at all. Instead of the restoration of the sovereignty that we never in fact lost, we face the harsh reality of a powerful neighbour making rules in which we will have no say but which market reality will dictate that we have little option but to follow.

Entire industries sacrificed, market shares squandered, world leadership trashed, the rights and freedoms of every British citizen diminished: that’s the reality of this Brexit. Not at all what was said on the tin!

What on earth has been won? Britain outside the European Union will discover soon enough that national sovereignty in the modern world has serious limitations. We hear a lot about democracy, but without accountability democracy withers. Take your false promises and your reality back to the British people and let them decide the reality of Brexit.

(Aplause)

 
  
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  Michael Heaver (NI). – Mr President, dear oh dear, well, after that delusional guff, let me reassure everyone in the Chamber that Nigel Farage does indeed still speak for the pro—Brexit majority in my country. And, as for this resolution, dear oh dear, a ‘regrettable event’ is what you’re calling Brexit. Well, maybe for you, with the UK cash cow out the door, but the British people clearly don’t agree with you. Look around: the biggest party in this Chamber, the Brexiteers, we’re standing up and we’re making sure that the pro—Leave majority are represented.

As for the Withdrawal Agreement being fair and balanced: as they say in my country, you must be having a laugh. We’ve seen straight through it. The Brexit Party is highlighting why it’s wrong for our country, why it’s the worst deal in history and we are fighting hard now for a clean-break Brexit. And you need to face up to the fact that, in our country, support for no-deal is rising. We’ve got the establishment on the run. We beat you in 2016 and we’ll do it again. The Brexit Party is here to stay and we will leave the European Union.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Lucy Nethsingha (Renew). – Mr President, first, I would like to thank this wonderful democratic institution for your support for the UK and your patience in backing a further extension of Article 50. A no-deal Brexit would be utterly terrifying for many UK and EU citizens. The risks are highest for the most vulnerable. One such group are those living in the UK who depend upon medicines imported from Europe. There are large numbers of people whose health depends on the smooth and reliable importation of medicines which have a short shelf-life and require refrigeration. No one can guarantee that these medicines will be able to get through in the transport chaos that would follow a no-deal Brexit.

That any government is even contemplating putting such vulnerable citizens deliberately at risk is a truly shocking situation. It is the need to prevent this risk that has led Members from across the House of Commons and in this House bitterly to oppose a no-deal Brexit. There is no mandate for a no-deal Brexit and no one voted to deny themselves or their neighbours crucial medicines. The risks of a no-deal Brexit are very real but, in the longer term, any Brexit deal puts the UK citizens in a worse position.

 
  
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  Martin Edward Daubney (NI). – Mr President, first of all like I’d like to say it’s wonderful to see a few of the British MEPs turning up for the vote earlier. Where were they for the entire debate? They were probably in the bar having croissants. The rest of it has been a blizzard of lies, smears, half-truths and blatant misrepresentations. And, as for the ludicrous assumption that Britain operates under a dictator, dictators don’t offer general elections, do they?

(Cheers from certain quarters)

And when they do offer general elections you do not accept them because you know that Corbyn and Labour will be obliterated across the Midlands, North and Wales, especially in Ashfield where I intend to stand and help destroy Jeremy Corbyn and the ruthless mess he’s left, where he has abandoned the working classes. Seventy percent of people in Ashfield, my local constituency, voted to leave. Corbyn doesn’t care about them, this House doesn’t care about the British voice. This Parliament does not understand the British people. It does not represent the British people and it will not stop 17.4 million voices from being heard. We’re leaving. Auf Wiedersehen. Bye. Au revoir.

(Applause from certain quarters)

 
  
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  Rory Palmer (S&D). – Mr President, let me say it as it is, because the wording of this resolution in places is mealy-mouthed. On the issue of citizens’ rights and the protection of EU nationals in the UK, that is not just a cause of concern. The treatment of those people has been a total disgrace and it brings shame on my country, the country that I love, the country equally loved by those EU nationals who have made their homes, set up businesses, worked in our public services and paid taxes in the UK for decades. They deserve better than this shambolic ‘settled status’ scheme.

So my message to those EU nationals in the UK who I’m proud to represent in the East Midlands, and to friends from across the other Member States here, is: my country is better than this. Those EU nationals deserve better than this.

 
  
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  Jane Brophy (Renew). – Mr President, I voted in favour of this resolution but I do not want Brexit at all. One of the most crucial points in this resolution for me, as a UK health professional for over two decades, concerns the employment status and social entitlements of EU and UK citizens.

The ability of staff from the EU to work for the UK health service – the NHS – remains severely threatened by Brexit. Three years ago, 11% of staff employed by the NHS were from other EU Member States. That figure has now halved to just over 5.5%. This huge reduction in numbers is due to people being fearful about the right to remain in the UK if Brexit were to happen, and uncertainty about social entitlements in the event of a no—deal Brexit.

So, this resolution is welcome. It will offer assurance to EU workers living and working in the UK that their rights will remain the number one priority in the EU.

 
  
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  Judith Bunting (Renew). – Mr President, this is the hardest vote that I have ever cast. I wholeheartedly welcome Parliament’s commitment to an extension of Article 50, but any withdrawal agreement must go back to the British people. In a referendum, if it was put to the people now with the option to remain, I am confident that we would now win the vote to stop Brexit. Why? Because this time, young people will come out to vote. Youngsters in Britain are angry. Around three-quarters of kids who were too young to vote back in 2016 and have now reached that voting age, say that they back remain. So, wherever you come from, other Europeans, please go back to your leaders and ask them in Council to support any bid for an extension. Please give British youngsters a chance to decide their own future.

 
  
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  Phil Bennion (Renew). – Mr President, I’d like to explain why I voted in favour of a resolution which supports the Brexit agreement already negotiated between the UK and the EU, but remains stuck in the UK Parliament. It is because this resolution also keeps open the possibility of the UK reviewing its position through a people’s vote, or indeed a change of government. It does this by supporting a further extension of Article 50 for the UK to consider its position.

A no—deal Brexit would be a disaster for the British farming industry and for British farmers. Ninety—seven percent of our lamb exports are to the EU27, and we also export considerable levels of beef, cereals and other foodstuffs. Losing this marketplace would not be in the interest of my constituents. My first duty, therefore, is to prevent a no—deal Brexit. Then, to go on to secure continued UK membership of the European Union.

 
  
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  Chris Davies (Renew). – Mr President, I don’t want a managed Brexit: I want to stop Brexit. In this House we stand for European values that I regard also as British and liberal values. We stand for an economy that benefits all. We stand for environmental measures that protect all. I don’t want my country to be shut out of the rooms where decisions about the future of our continent will be made. I don’t want my country to run away from the issues facing our continent. I want us to be at the heart of the European Union. I want us to be a leader, not a leaver. My view is simple and blunt: bollocks to Brexit!

(Hubbub)

 
  
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  Alex Agius Saliba (S&D). – Mr President, as the Brexit deadline looms over our heads, concerns and risks of having a disorderly no-deal exit of the UK are becoming a sad and lousy reality. No agreement would be a recipe for disaster – a catastrophe that should be avoided. Unfortunately, the uncertainties and political instabilities are growing by the hour. Our first priority in this situation remains to safeguard the rights and choices of the EU citizens resident in the UK and the British citizens resident in the EU. A hard Brexit would economically be highly damaging to business, threatening thousands of jobs, both in the UK and in the Union.

Our second priority must be to assist business and workers to ensure that burdens and costs are kept at a minimum. Finally, the highly damaging implications that a no-deal exit would have for the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland should be kept to a minimum. Working together to undertake all reasonable efforts and engage in constructive dialogue to avoid a no-deal scenario must always come before petty party politics.

 
  
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  Dinesh Dhamija (Renew). – Mr President, as a businessman, I cannot understand why any entrepreneur would want to give up a market of 512 million people for a 65 million market. The low-hanging fruit is so great with 500 million people, with seasonality and everything else. As the founder of eBookers.com, I saw my sales go up to a billion dollars in five years, and the reason is that we had a market of 300 million people. None of my competitors who were just selling to 60 million people in the UK could keep up. What will most entrepreneurs do if we Brexit? Open an office in Dublin or Amsterdam or Frankfurt or Paris and move jobs to these cities. Talk about shooting ourselves in the foot!

 
  
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  Caroline Voaden (Renew). – Mr President, Mr Patten over there clearly doesn’t understand that 62% of voters is not the same as 62% of people – lying once again.

As we saw in the Windrush scandal, our government knows a thing or two about cruelly splitting families and this is exactly what they plan to do again. Europe is a family of nations and peoples and allowing the Tories to wrench us out of this family will cause untold harm, both to the UK and to our European friends and partners. Just as Brexit will divide the European family of nations, I fear it will be the death knell of the British family of nations.

Born in England, raised in Scotland, I consider myself a child of two nations, of two unions: British and European. Our United Kingdom is 218 years old and Johnson, Farage and their braying lackeys are about to sabotage it. These saboteurs have betrayed the people of Northern Ireland and ridden roughshod over the rights of Scotland and I have a warning for them – the English have tried many times to infringe the rights of Scotland and we risk seeing a generation of William Wallaces if Johnson is allowed to continue.

 
  
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  Sheila Ritchie (Renew). – Mr President, I voted for this. On 2 December, the Belfast Agreement – the last peace agreement made inside Europe – will have its 20th birthday. It’s guaranteed by this European Union. Saturday is International Peace Day. I fear for that peace if we are thrown out as a consequence of the lies, self interest and distortion of the Leave campaign and the ever absent Nigel Farage – a man who simply doesn’t care.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já bych se rád vyjádřil k hlasování, které již proběhlo. Já samozřejmě respektuji rozhodnutí britských občanů v rámci brexitu, na druhou stranu jsem zároveň rád, že toto usnesení, proto jsem je také podpořil, umožňuje odklad brexitu, pokud se k tomu samozřejmě Spojené království rozhodne. Je třeba zde i respektovat rozhodnutí, ke kterému dospěl Evropský soudní dvůr, že aktivaci článku 50 je možné jednostranně stáhnout. Pro mě je důležité, abychom chránili práva občanů EU žijících na britských ostrovech, a samozřejmě nechceme žádnou tvrdou hranici, která by ohrozila mírové soužití na irském ostrově. To jsou asi dva limity, které toto usnesení rovněž obsahuje, a já jsem je proto rád podpořil. Na druhou stranu k tomu, co zde říkají kolegové z levé části spektra, z Brexit Party: já jim chci připomenout, že oni získali své poslanecké mandáty jenom díky evropskému volebnímu systému, protože podle národních pravidel téměř nikdo, žádný poslanec Brexit Party by nebyl zvolen.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – A Uachtaráin, bhí mé an-sásta leis an díospóireacht a bhí againn anseo ar maidin maidir leis an Ríocht Aontaithe ag fágáil an Aontais. Thaispeáin na Feisirí go dtuigeann siad cad atá i gceist leis, go dtuigeann siad an tábhacht a bhaineann leis an gcúlstad mar a mhínigh an tUasal Barnier dóibh é, agus go dtuigeann siad an tábhacht a bhaineann le Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta agus go gcaithfimid é sin a chosaint. Agus an vóta a bhí anseo againn ó chianaibh - 544 i bhfabhar, 126 i gcoinne - is móramh mór é sin.

Freisin, bhí mé an-sásta gur éist na Feisirí liom agus go bhfuil siad sásta síneadh ama a thabhairt don Phríomh-Aire, Boris Johnson, má lorgaíonn sé é sin. Dá bhrí sin, ní fhéadfaimis níos mó a dhéanamh ag an tráth seo. Is féidir a rá gur lá maith é don Aontas - drochlá, b’fhéidir, don Bhreatimeacht - agus is maith sin.

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, they may not have intended to, but colleagues in this House have just made an orderly Brexit with a deal much less likely. The UK has accepted in the Withdrawal Agreement a number of disagreeable and difficult concessions – a continuing role for the ECJ, asymmetric arbitration mechanism, a GBP 39 billion bill that no international tribunal would uphold. The only thing which it wouldn’t accept is replacing a status that has an exit mechanism, i.e. EU membership, with one that doesn’t, i.e. the backstop, and by insisting on that point in this declaration, this House has made it almost impossible to see a way that the two sides could have orderly and amicable withdrawal resolutions.

I have to say, this idea that we’re suffering a Brexit crisis is based on something that you all fail to notice – that Brexit hasn’t happened! What we’re seeing is the opposite of the Brexit crisis. We’re seeing an un-Brexit crisis. We’re seeing a crisis caused by the refusal of our opposition parliamentarians to do what they promised when they sought election. There will be a reckoning for them when the election comes. I just hope that the legitimacy and authority of our parliamentary institutions isn’t collateral damage.

 
  
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  Romana Tomc (PPE). – Spoštovani predsednik, zelo mi je žal, da britanski politiki tekmujejo z brexitom. Brexit je postal sredstvo in ne cilj, in to je slabo. Tukaj ne bo nihče zmagal in zdi se, kot da se vsi, razen izjem, trudimo, da bi bila škoda čim manjša.

Lahko je, da podaljšamo datum za izstop, vendar le v primeru, ko je to utemeljeno, v primeru konkretnega razloga, kot so npr. volitve, referendum ali potreben čas za ratifikacijo sporazuma. Poleg tega pa se moramo ob vsem tem procesu tudi zavedati, da je treba narediti vse, da zaščitimo naše interese, naše državljane, naše vrednote. Na Otoku si zelo prizadevajo, da bi črno piko nalepili evropskim politikom. A bi si jo pravzaprav morali prilepiti sami sebi.

In če pride do izhoda brez dogovora, bodo namreč oni edini tisti, ki bodo morali odgovarjati svojim državljanom.

 
  
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  Irina Von Wiese (Renew). – Mr President, when I moved to the UK from Germany over 20 years ago, I came to a global Britain that welcomed me with open arms. Britain’s EU membership has afforded me rights and guarantees and allowed me to build a life in the country I love. But today three million EU citizens in the UK face a climate of fear and uncertainty. Boris Johnson promised that they would not be disadvantaged by Brexit. He has broken this promise like so many others.

The settlement scheme is not fit for purpose. It has been marred with technical problems and has left many, particularly the most vulnerable, unable to prove their eligibility. We must have a system that is easy to use, a system whereby people can simply register – not one where they have to find dozens of documents dating back many years – otherwise we risk another Windrush scandal on a much greater scale. This is why I voted for the resolution. But let’s face the fact: the only way to guarantee citizens’ rights in Britain is to stop Brexit.

 
Last updated: 8 November 2019Legal notice