The UK formally announced its intention to withdraw from the EU in March, signalling the start of lengthy talks between the UK and the EU to determine the terms of their new relationship.
MEPs welcomed the unity of the 27 Member States and the EU institutions with regard to Brexit and also called for a reform of the EU to benefit all its citizens.
An overwhelming majority of the house (516 votes in favour, 133 against, with 50 abstentions) adopted a resolution officially laying down the European Parliament’s key principles and conditions for its approval of the UK's withdrawal agreement. Any such agreement at the end of UK-EU negotiations will need to win the approval of the European Parliament.
Parliament is holding a hearing on the situation and rights of EU citizens in the UK on 14 May, which will be a key issue in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
The UK government announced today it is invoking article 50 of the Treaty of the EU, which serves as formal notification of its intent to withdraw from the Union. Starting today the UK and the EU have two years to negotiate a withdrawal agreement. In addition the two will need to start determining the future trade relations, though this is expected to take significantly longer. Read on to find out more about the procedure and the role played by Parliament.
Antonio Tajani stressed the importance of a deal to safeguard people’s rights in the wake of Brexit during a meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May this morning. "The European Parliament's message is clear: strongly defending their interests is our first priority,” he said. The Parliament President was in London to discuss the institution’s position on the Brexit negotiations, which was adopted in plenary on 5 April. He also invited May to address the Parliament.
The Conference of Presidents endorsed a motion for a resolution drawn up by the leaders of four political groups and the Constitutional Affairs Committee, in which they set out their conditions for a final approval by the European Parliament of any withdrawal agreement with the United Kingdom. The draft resolution will be debated and voted on by the full house next Wednesday.
The UK and the EU will soon start talks to determine the terms of their new relationship and any resulting agreement would have to be approved by the European Parliament. Tomorrow MEPs debate Parliament’s priorities and vote on them afterwards. A key principle will be to ensure that the interests of people are safeguarded . Watch our video for a reminder of the benefits of being an EU citizen.
"Brexit will be a particular challenge for Ireland and its people," said Parliament President Antonio Tajani after welcoming Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny to the Parliament on 2 March. Tajani also expressed his "understanding for the deep political and economic ties that link Ireland and the UK”. Describing Ireland “as a small European country that has been transformed by its EU membership”, Kenny stressed the “fundamental role" that the European Parliament would play in any Brexit deal.