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.
The slow pace of the Brexit negotiations has resulted in poor progress on several crucial topics, said EP Brexit Coordinator Guy Verhofstadt to MEPs.
“Ireland is crucial to the Union”, said European Parliament coordinator for Brexit Guy Verhofstadt on a fact-finding mission to Belfast, the border area and Dublin.
Parliament is fighting to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK and of British citizens in the EU after Brexit.
The settlement of the UK’s financial obligations is one of the thorniest issues in the ongoing Brexit negotiations.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
"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.