Index 
 Previous 
 Next 
 Full text 
Procedure : 2017/2593(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Select a document: :

Texts tabled :

B8-0237/2017

Debates :

PV 05/04/2017 - 6
CRE 05/04/2017 - 6

Votes :

PV 05/04/2017 - 7.1

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0102

Debates
Wednesday, 5 April 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

6. Negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione prioritaria sui negoziati con il Regno Unito a seguito della notifica della sua intenzione di recedere dall'Unione europea (2017/2593(RSP)).

La discussione che sta per iniziare segna l'inizio di uno dei processi politici più complessi mai affrontati dal Parlamento europeo. Sarà un negoziato delicato, dove noi saremo chiamati a giocare un ruolo centrale, prima di tutto per tutelare gli interessi dei cittadini europei.

Ascolteremo le posizioni di tutti i gruppi politici prima di approvare una risoluzione che definirà le linee guida del Parlamento europeo nella trattativa. Il vostro voto sarà decisivo per l'esito finale delle condizioni di uscita del Regno Unito e per i futuri rapporti con questo paese.

I recenti gravi episodi di terrorismo ci ricordano che tutti i paesi europei sono chiamati a lavorare assieme. Il terrorismo non conosce confini e la sicurezza dei nostri cittadini va sempre anteposta a ogni interesse particolare.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, dear colleagues, last week we officially received the letter. It took nine months to write a letter of six pages, but finally, we received the letter. Today is the day at the European Parliament and today’s signal is that we are ready, we can start and, hopefully, after the vote we can say we are united and we stay together in these negotiations.

First of all, I would like to thank Guy Verhofstadt for his work in preparing our resolution. The message is clear on the procedure: first, divorce and, second, the future treaty. Then we underline what should be the atmosphere in the negotiations; we want to have a fair, constructive atmosphere built on trust. Then we have defined our priorities regarding citizenship: do not play with the legal uncertainty of citizens. We are underlining that, for us, the Northern Ireland question is a decisive one: avoid a hard border in Ireland.

Then we have to talk about money. The top priorities are defined. Finally, we hope that London respects that the EU27 will continue. The Rome Declaration is clear and we have to talk about the future in our Union.

The point is, from our point of view, a decisive difference. It is a very fundamental question: what does leave mean? What does it mean to leave the European Union? For example, on the question of security, I heard last week that Theresa May said that they want to stay in Europol. Europol is a European Agency – it is the European Union who is organising Europol – but they want to stay.

So does leave mean no further access to Europol and to the Schengen Information System, or does leave mean to stay in them? Then we talk about the research union. Cambridge, Edinburgh, Paris and Milan are working closely together. So does this mean that with leave there will be no further cooperation, because at the moment the European Union is financing this?

Then there is the single market. Trade is positive. Does leave mean no more access to the single market? Does leave mean no more cooperation? I feel that London thinks they will find the perfect deal, and that means they take the positive points and they leave the negative points. I have to clarify that this will not happen. Cherry-picking will not happen. A state outside the European Union cannot have the same, or better, conditions than a state inside this European Union.

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Was machen wir hier eigentlich? Beispielsweise Nordirland: Dort haben wir jetzt viele Sorgen von den Kollegen, die aus Belfast zu uns kommen, die äußern, dass der Friedensprozess unter Druck steht, dass wir eventuell Rückschritte machen. Oder Gibraltar: Da kann man darüber lachen, dass es in den letzten Tagen Diskussionen über möglichen Krieg gab. Aber tatsächlich hatte die Premierministerin eines großen Landes, nämlich Großbritanniens, die Notwendigkeit gesehen klarzustellen, dass es keine militärischen Aktivitäten gab. Wo sind wir denn gelandet? Über was reden wir eigentlich? Ich muss mal sagen: Sind wir eigentlich noch ganz bei Trost?

Wir müssten eigentlich über Digitalisierung, über die Sicherheitsfragen unseres Kontinents reden und nicht über Debatten der letzten Jahrzehnte. Das zeigt uns, dass wir in die vollkommen falsche Richtung diskutieren, die uns leider Gottes von den Nationalisten und Populisten aufgedrückt wird.

Und ich möchte den Spaniern und auch den Iren zurufen, dass sie dieses Mal eine andere Lage haben. Sie werden nämlich nicht ihre Interessen als Iren beispielsweise allein gegen London durchsetzen können. Oder auch die Spanier werden sich darauf verlassen können, dass sie nicht alleine stehen in der Debatte gegenüber London, wenn es um Gibraltar geht. Wir werden die große Chance haben, dass die EU-27 deutlich macht, dass wir eine große Familie sind und zusammenhalten, dass die irischen Interessen nicht nur irische, sondern europäische Interessen sind und dass die spanischen Interessen europäische Interessen sind.

Und zu guter Letzt: Austritt aus der Europäischen Union. Theresa May formulierte: „Es ist kein Austritt aus Europa.“ Das mag für Menschen gelten, in der Beziehung zwischen Menschen mag das gelten. Wir bleiben Freunde, das ist vollkommen klar. Aber die Idee der Europäischen Union ist eine Idee des Miteinanders. Großbritannien wird zukünftig nicht mehr am Tisch sitzen, wenn die Außenminister über Syrien beraten. Sie werden nicht mehr am Tisch sitzen, wenn wir über die Ukraine beraten. Das heißt: Natürlich tritt Großbritannien aus der politischen Idee Europas aus, und das ist das, was leider Gottes sehr, sehr negativ ist.

Positiv ist, dass wir am Ende des Tages Partner und Freunde bleiben. Aber in den Verhandlungen muss sich Großbritannien auf eine harte Verhandlungsposition der Europäischen Union vorbereiten.

(Beifall von der eigenen Fraktion)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Gianni Pittella, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, anche il pensiero dei Socialisti e Democratici va alle vittime degli attacchi chimici in Siria. Pietà per le vittime. Sono morti venti bambini. Vergogna! Vergogna per i mandanti, vergogna per i responsabili politici e anche per chi, lavandosene le mani, ha dato l'impressione di dare carta bianca al regime siriano.

Quando ci si trova di fronte ad una guerra vera, ci si rende conto della irresponsabilità di certi politici. Non bisogna ridere! Due giorni fa, come ha ricordato il collega Weber, un ex leader conservatore britannico ha paventato il rischio di una guerra tra Regno Unito e Spagna. Sono parole da dilettanti allo sbaraglio. Spero che i cittadini inglesi capiscano in quali mani sono finiti. I Tories hanno voluto il referendum e il giorno dopo il voto non conoscevano nemmeno la procedura per chiedere il divorzio. L'integrità del Regno Unito è a rischio. Volevate riprendervi il controllo, ma di che cosa? Avevate promesso un futuro migliore. Le vostre bugie hanno creato soltanto il caos nel Regno Unito. Noi non mentiremo.

(Applausi)

Questa istituzione è la prima a rispondere. E ringrazio anch'io il collega Verhofstadt e coloro i quali hanno lavorato di più attorno a questa risoluzione. Siamo pronti ad usare il nostro potere di veto se non saranno rispettate le condizioni stabilite nella risoluzione. La nostra priorità è quella di tutelare i diritti acquisiti da quei cittadini europei oggi minacciati dalla Brexit.

Vogliamo dire alcune verità. Primo: un paese fuori dall'Unione europea non potrà mai beneficiare delle stesse condizioni di quando era membro. Dobbiamo discutere le condizioni del divorzio. Solo quando avremo fatto progressi sostanziali si discuterà delle future relazioni. Inoltre rispediamo al mittente qualsiasi ricatto o ricattuccio. Se qualcuno del Regno Unito vuole usare la sicurezza comune come arma di ricatto, si sbaglia!

Seconda verità: qualsiasi accordo futuro col Regno Unito sarà condizionato al rispetto degli standard sociali, ambientali e fiscali dell'Unione. Non tollereremo mai che alle porte dell'Unione europea si crei un maxi paradiso fiscale. Non ci sarà nessun trattamento di favore nei confronti della City, e non accetteremo alcuna corsa al ribasso per i diritti dei lavoratori.

Terza verità: oggi la pace nell'Irlanda del Nord – e questo dovrebbe preoccuparvi! – è più fragile, e noi dobbiamo preservarla. E tutti gli impegni finanziari assunti, come succede in tutte le famiglie, quando si esce di casa e si va in un'altra casa, bisogna pagare le bollette della luce, del gas, dell'energia. E questo riguarda tutti, non è un trattamento di sfavore nei confronti di qualcuno.

E infine, la Brexit ci ha insegnato che l'Unione europea non può essere solo la somma di interessi nazionali uniti da un mercato unico. Noi siamo innanzitutto una comunità di valori, primo tra tutti la solidarietà. La Brexit sia l'occasione per ritrovarci ancora più uniti attorno al nostro destino comune.

(Applausi)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. – Data la delicatezza della discussione, non concederò domande "cartellino blu" durante la mattinata di oggi. Ci sono tantissimi iscritti per gli interventi. Ogni gruppo ha il diritto di esprimere le proprie posizioni a favore o contro la Brexit, ma questa discussione non deve trasformare quest'Aula in uno stadio di calcio dove ci sono tifosi da una parte o dall'altra.

Come sono sempre stato equanime nel presiedere quest'Aula, se sono flessibile per quanto riguarda i tempi nei confronti dei presidenti dei gruppi, lo sarò nei confronti di tutti i presidenti dei gruppi. Ho sempre presieduto l'Aula con grande equilibrio, intendo farlo anche oggi. Quindi vi invito ad affrontare la discussione con serietà, entrando nei contenuti – tanto non cambiano le decisioni politiche se qualcuno alza la voce o non la alza, quello che conta sono i contenuti.

Ogni gruppo politico avrà il diritto di esprimersi più volte su questa questione. Non è un caso che sia stato deciso dalla Conferenza dei presidenti di avere al termine della discussione gli interventi, ancora una volta, dei presidenti dei gruppi. Quindi sarà una discussione completa, e ognuno potrà esprimere compiutamente le proprie idee e le proprie posizioni.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Helga Stevens, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, today, I hope, begins the process of shaping a better future for the peoples of Europe. The peoples whose jobs, businesses, economy and security all depend on us to take the EU in the right direction. A new direction. The UK leaving must not be a missed opportunity to create positive change. That is why the ECR Group adopted last week its vision of a reformed and decentralised European Union. I can recommend it to you.

Britain is an island, not a boat. It will remain where it is, it will remain one of our most important economic, political and security partners. The United Kingdom and the European Union are friends, not enemies. This should not be a nasty break-up but the beginning of a deep and special partnership between long-standing allies.

We need to start work on a comprehensive deal right now, a deal that looks at everything: cooperation on security, trade, education, research, transport and, yes, money. Everything from the start. There is no time to lose.

If we do anything less, history will judge us harshly as having been small and petty when the challenges of our age required us to be bold and visionary. Mr Verhofstadt, you spent a great deal of time in your campaign for president of the Parliament distancing yourself from the backroom deals of the past. Yet, once again, the pleas for openness and transparency feel like the same old empty promises – promises which those outside of Brussels are increasingly frustrated with.

The negotiation and process of this resolution have sought to exclude the opinions of some political groups and Members in this Parliament. When you do that, you do not just exclude the voices of those Members, but also the voices of their electorates. Mr Verhofstadt, no one is asking you to agree with everyone, but you could at least listen to what they have to say.

That is not to say that we do not agree with anything in the joint motion. We do. We agree, for example, that it is essential that the rights of EU citizens in the UK and of UK citizens in the EU are dealt with quickly and fairly. But we do not share other key points.

We believe the European Parliament should seek to support the EU negotiator not make life more difficult by making excessive demands in advance. That just looks like the same old tired tactics, which undermine the credibility of this Chamber. The three-year limit on transitional arrangement seems arbitrary. We might want different lengths for different issues. We deeply regret that all the work prepared by Parliament’s committees was just brushed aside.

Mr President, fellow Members, my hope is that the EU will emerge from Brexit renewed and able to prevent the departure of other Member States. The next two years should be about building the faith of the peoples of Europe in the decisions we are making. If the EU is to come back stronger and if we really want to win back the confidence lost by our citizens, then this is not only the moment to determine how we will work with the UK in the future, but also how we can get the EU back on track.

I call on all colleagues to listen to the recent statements by several European leaders who show that there are alternatives to ever more Europe. We need to follow the path to a decentralised confederal Europe. There simply is no support for more centralising Euro-federalism. With or without Britain, we need a new direction for Europe.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I have the feeling that it was a very sad moment on Wednesday of last week when the British ambassador gave his letter to President Tusk. That was my feeling anyway: a very sad moment.

It is true, naturally, that the relationship between Britain and Europe was never an easy relationship, let us recognise that. It was never a love affair and certainly not a question of wild passion. I think it was a little bit like a marriage of convenience, if I can use that term.

It was already clear, dear colleagues, from the beginning. In the 1950s Britain decided against membership of the European Coal and Steel Community. Attlee and Labour did not want it, and it was Churchill and the Tories who were in favour, it is good to recall this. And in 1955 at the start of the Common Market, Britain walked away from the negotiating table.

In the early years of the Union it was the British Prime Minister Macmillan who looked at the continent with nothing less than suspicion. What were they cooking up there in Brussels, were they really discussing coal and steel and customs union, or were they also talking politics in Brussels, plotting on foreign policy? Oh, God forbid, defence matters even!

So British Prime Minister Macmillan wrote to his foreign minister, and, I quote, I have the quote here: ‘For the first time since Napoleon the major continental powers are united in a positive economic grouping, but considerable political aspects’, and to his own surprise, Macmillan had to admit this new experiment, and I quote further, ‘was not directed against Britain.’ So when Britain finally joined the European Union in 1973 after, as we all know, several blockades by General de Gaulle, the headlines were festive. You have to read all the British press in 1973, it was a great day for Britain to join the European Union.

Let us be honest about this, it was only a short honeymoon, as we know, because Margaret Thatcher asked for her money back and her successor John Major called the euro, and I quote again, ‘a currency as strange as a rain dance, with the same impotence’. Well, I have to tell you that the pound slipping against the euro, as we see today was not exactly what Major expected at that moment.

But all the rest, let us be honest with each other, is history. Perhaps let us recognise that it was maybe impossible to unite Great Britain with the Continent, and naive maybe to reconcile the legal system of Napoleon with the common law of the British Empire, and perhaps it was never meant to be.

(Applause)

But, and this is important – and I hope you are applauding this also – our predecessors should never be blamed for having tried, because it is important in politics, as it is in life, to try new partnerships, new horizons, to reach out to the other, to the other side of the channel. I am also convinced and 100% sure about one thing: that one day or another, dear colleagues, there will be a young man or a young woman who will try again, who will lead Britain into the European family once again.

(Applause)

And a young generation that will see Brexit for what it really is: a catfight in the Conservative party that got out of hand. A loss of time, a waste of energy, and I think, a stupidity.

Although I continue to think that Brexit is a sad and regrettable event, I also believe it is important to remember something. Remember what Britain and Europe in these more than 40 years have achieved together. It is true, we may not have had the most passionate relationship, but it was not a failure either, not for Europe, and certainly not for Britain and the British.

Let us not forget, Britain entered the Union as the sick man of Europe, and thanks to the single market, came out the other side. Europe also made Britain punch above its weight in terms of geopolitics, as in the heyday of the British Empire. And we, from all sides, must pay tribute to Britain, to Britain’s immense contributions as a staunch and unmatched defender of free markets and civil liberties. And thank you for that because as a Liberal, I will miss that in the future.

Colleagues, within a few weeks we will start the process of separation. And I think, Mr Juncker and Mr Barnier, the goal must be to have a new and stable relationship and a deep and comprehensive partnership and association between the UK and the EU that certainly will be very different, as we all know, from membership.

In this new venture let us always remember one thing. Our common bonds, our common culture, our common and shared values, our joint heritage, our history. And let us never forget that together we in fact belong to the same great European civilisation, from the Atlantic port of Bristol, I go as far as to the banks of the mighty river Volga; but maybe that is a little too far for the moment.

But let us be honest, and this will be my final point. Brexit is not only about Brexit. Brexit has to be also about our capacity for a rebirth of our European project, because let us recognise that Brexit did not happen by accident. Even though since Brexit I see what I call a change for the good in the mood of the public, let us not fool ourselves: Europe is not yet rescued and Europe has not yet recovered from the crisis.

Europe is still in need of change, I think in need of radical change: change towards a real Union, an effective Union based on values and based on the real interests of our citizens. And a Union also – and I want to conclude with this – that stands up against autocrats. Autocrats will close down their universities, to give one example.

(Applause)

Autocrats will throw journalists into jail, as is happening today. Autocrats will make corruption their trademark. And yesterday, as we all have seen, beyond any humanity, autocrats again bombed innocent women and children with chemical weapons in Syria, to give the nastiest example.

So in these negotiations which will have to start in the coming weeks, let us never forget why our founding fathers – British and other Europeans alike – launched this European project. There are three words: freedom, justice and peace – these are three great things that are worth fighting for.

(Applause)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Gabriele Zimmer, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Ein knappes Dreivierteljahr ist nach dem britischen Referendum vergangenen. Vorige Woche wurde nun Artikel 50 ausgelöst, und damit ist klar, dass die Scheidung zwischen dem Vereinigten Königreich und der EU vollzogen wird. Die Zeit, in der sich die Streitenden die Instrumente und die Waffen zeigen, ist vorbei. Die Zeit der verantwortungslosen Demagogie, insbesondere von Herrn Farage und anderen, ist vorbei.

Jetzt muss hart verhandelt werden. Jetzt ist die Zeit derer, die tatsächlich klar und deutlich, besonnen, fair und respektvoll miteinander umgehen müssen, um zu Lösungen zu kommen, die ein gemeinsames Miteinander zwischen dem Vereinigten Königreich und der Europäischen Union ermöglichen. Im Rahmen dieser Trennung wird offenkundig sichtbar, wie eng verwoben die Strukturen, die Lebensadern zwischen den Mitgliedstaaten inzwischen geworden sind. Es betrifft alle Bereiche. Die Zeit dafür das in 15 Monaten so weit auszuhandeln, ist ungeheuer kurz – das wissen wir alle. Also erfordert es, dass wir als Parlament nicht nur heute, nicht nur am Ende, wenn es um den Trennungsakt geht, einbezogen sind, sondern dass wir uns auch bei den Zwischenbewertungen hier im Parlament verständigen können, dass wir in dem Moment, wenn gesagt wird: „Phase zwei wird ausgelöst“, hier ebenfalls als Parlament mit gefragt werden.

Was ist uns wichtig? Wir meinen, dass im Vordergrund die Rechte der Menschen, der Bürger, der citizens der Europäischen Union, und zwar der bisherigen 28 stehen müssen. Uns ist wichtig, dass die Rechte der UK citizens, der Bürger des Vereinigten Königreiches in der EU, der EU citizens im Vereinigten Königreich, die ja zusammen schon über 4 Millionen sind, plus die Rechte der 1,8 Millionen Menschen, die im Norden Irlands leben, gewahrt werden. Und wir wissen alle ganz genau, dass es dann nicht nur die direkt Betroffenen gibt, sondern dass Auswirkungen auf das Verhalten, auf das Miteinander in wichtigen Regionen der Europäischen Union gibt.

Wir begrüßen, dass in dem gemeinsamen Vorschlag das Karfreitagsabkommen zum Norden von Irland fest verankert ist und in der Gesamtheit betrachtet wird. Die Europäische Union war zu jedem Zeitpunkt ein aktiver Mitgestalter und ein Garant für das Wirken dieses Karfreitagsabkommens, und schon aus diesem Grund sollten wir uns hier in die Pflicht nehmen, das wir zu jedem Zeitpunkt die Interessen der Menschen auf der irischen Insel insgesamt betrachten und dort nicht zulassen, dass im 21. Jahrhundert in der Europäischen Union eine neue Grenze entsteht. Ich möchte auch keine Grenze in meinem Land wieder haben, niemals mehr eine Grenze und eine Mauer, die undurchlässig ist.

(Beifall)

Worum geht es uns auch? Wir wollen, dass insgesamt die Grundrechte, die sozialen Rechte, also praktisch das, was die Würde von Menschen ausmacht, in diesen Verhandlungen immer im Vordergrund stehen. Das muss unser gemeinsamer Ziel- und Angelpunkt sein, und ich sage Ihnen: An der Art und Weise, wie wir miteinander verhandeln werden, wird sich auch entscheiden, welche Zukunft die Europäische Union hat.

Und wir müssen uns auch die Frage stellen, warum es den Demagogen wie Herrn Farage gelungen ist, eine Stimmung in Großbritannien so umzudrehen, dass letztendlich dieses Ergebnis herausgekommen ist. Das sind doch nicht nur die nationalen Probleme im Inneren Großbritanniens oder der Tories gewesen, das sind doch auch die Probleme, die wir innerhalb der EU haben, die wir nicht gelöst haben. Wo bleibt also unsere soziale Union? Wo bleibt der Beschäftigungsschutz? Wo bleibt der Sozialschutz, die soziale Säule? Wo bleibt unser Versprechen für mehr Demokratie? Das ist das, was wir den Menschen signalisieren müssen. Lassen Sie uns gemeinsam diesen Kampf führen. Dann kommen wir am Ende dabei auch gemeinsam heraus – im Interesse aller Bürger und Bürgerinnen, aller Menschen, und ich schließe dabei die Migranten insgesamt mit ein.

(Beifall)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Philippe Lamberts, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, Prime Minister May, you inherited a situation you did not create, yet you had a choice. And by choosing the hardest form of Brexit you chose the most extreme interpretation of the referendum. In doing so, you encouraged all those on the continent as well as in the UK from the fringes of the political landscape and the benches of your own governments who have made grandstanding and threatening their brand of politics.

On the one hand, we have to all those who call for making Britain the world champion of social and tax dumping, or even for starting a war with Spain. On the other hand, we have those who say we should punish the United Kingdom. Have the last 70 years not told them anything?

Mrs May, by your own choice you dug yourself a hole of contradictions. How can you have a hard Brexit without having a hard border in Ireland? How can you – to use your own words – have the freest possible trade in goods and services between Britain and the EU while you take the UK out of the single market, which allows precisely that?

But above all, how can you reconcile a hard Brexit with your own stated desire of a more united UK and our claim to represent every person in the United Kingdom, including the large number of people, especially the young generation who voted in favour of remaining in the European Union?

Resolving those contradictions, so as to minimise damage to our citizens must be the objective of the negotiations to come. If we want common sense and the general interest to prevail we must ignore those who shout and posture. I agree with you, Mrs May, when you say you want to build a stronger, fairer, better Britain. Achieving stronger, fairer and better societies is a goal that many share in this Chamber.

Delivering this requires us to face the Trumps and the Putins of this world, to tackle climate change, to fight terrorism and organised crime, to find common responses to the global migration challenge, to curb corporate power. And who can believe, who seriously can believe when EU citizens altogether represent 7% of the global population on 2% of the land, that any – I say any – of our Member States, including the largest is better equipped to faces challenges on its own?

Mrs May, like it or not, we are in this together. Taking back control, being recognised as global players, requires all Europeans, including Britons, to act together. There is no such thing as absolute sovereignty. In the 21st century we can only reconquer sovereignty for democracies by sharing it.

Mrs May, you want to build a Britain your children and grandchildren are proud to call home. Let me remind you that, as we speak, many of your own citizens are proud to call not just Britain but Europe home. Let us not let them down.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nigel Farage, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, it may have taken nine months – a pretty full gestation – but be in no doubt that last Wednesday was a great historic day when the United Kingdom announced that we were going to become an independent, self-governing, democratic nation once again, an act that has been cheered by hundreds of millions of people all over the world.

We have had a little history lesson this morning from Mr Verhofstadt, but he made one mistake. In 1973, sir, we did not join the European Union; we joined the European Economic Community. Had the British people known that it was the intention to get political and take away our ability to govern ourselves, we never would have done so.

I am sorry to say that the response to the triggering of Article 50 has been all too predictable. Already you have made a series of demands that are not just unreasonable, but, in some cases, clearly impossible for Britain to comply with. You began by telling us that we have to pay a bill: a cool GBP 52 billion, a figure that has clearly been plucked out of the air, which is effectively a form of ransom demand. What you could have acknowledged is that we put over GBP 200 billion net into this project. We are actually shareholders in this building and the rest of the assets and really you should be making us an offer we cannot refuse, to go.

The ever-charming Mr Verhofstadt, Parliament’s chief negotiator, in his resolution that we are to vote on later today, tells us that we cannot discuss potential trade deals with anybody else in the world until we have left the European Union. That has no basis in Treaty law whatsoever. It is rather like saying you cannot guarantee yourself a dwelling for when you leave prison and I trust the British Government will completely ignore you.

I suspect that Mr Tusk, who is not with us today, is still crying. He looked pretty tearful, did he not, after the British Ambassador delivered the letter last week? He tells us in his memorandum that any future trade deal must ensure that the United Kingdom is not allowed to have a competitive advantage. This is all impossible. Add to that the hypocrisy of saying, on the one hand, that the EU will negotiate as one, and clause 22 of the Tusk document which says that the Spanish can have a total veto over the whole trade deal if they are not happy with the sovereignty of Gibraltar.

We believe in national self-determination. Your aim and ambition is to destroy nation state democracy. Gibraltar is clearly a deal-breaker on current terms. With these demands, you have shown yourselves to be vindictive, to be nasty, and all I can say is thank goodness we are leaving. You are behaving like the mafia. You think we are a hostage, we are not, we are free to go, and 85... I know and I do understand ...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. – On. Farage, io sto garantendo a lei la possibilità di parlare, di dire tutto quello che vuole, però quando si parla di mafia, quando lei dice che il Parlamento si comporta come la mafia, questo per quanto mi riguarda è inaccettabile.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nigel Farage, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, I do understand national sensitivities. I will change it to gangsters. All right? And that is how we are being treated. We are being given a ransom note.

(Noisy interjections from the floor)

What must be very difficult for all of you to get into your minds is that there is a bigger world out there than the European Union. 85% of the global economy is outside the European Union. If you wish to have no deal, if you wish to force us to walk away from the table, it is not us that will be hurt. Do you know, we do not have to buy German motor cars, we do not have to drink French wine, we do not have to eat Belgian chocolate. There are a lot of other people that will give that to us.

A return to tariffs will risk the jobs of hundreds of thousands of people living in the European Union, and yet what you are saying is you want to put the interests of the European Union above that of your citizens and your companies. If you continue with that route it won’t just be the United Kingdom that triggers Article 50. There will be many more to come.

(Applause from the EFDD Group)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marcel de Graaff, on behalf of the ENF Group. – Mr President, I send my congratulations to Ms Theresa May, to the United Kingdom and the British people. I say to them that you have regained your freedom and your sovereignty by invoking Article 50 and leaving the European Union. You have now regained the opportunity to flourish as a nation, to control your borders, to make their own laws and to make your own trade deals.

The bureaucrats from the EU will try to make you pay about EUR 60 billion. They will try to force you to comply with all EU directives and standards, to accept hundreds of thousands of migrants, and even to accept the rulings of the European Court of Justice. They will try to open an Irish road for migrants to the UK.

I say to you that you should not give in to these demands. You are far better off outside the EU, a union which is going the way of more and more isolation. They are calling you a friend here. A friend, but they want to punish you and make you bleed.

Let me therefore remind you of the famous words of Sir Winston Churchill: ‘we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender’. God bless the United Kingdom.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Steven Woolfe (NI). – Mr President, as Brexit negotiations begin, it is a joy to watch the towering masters in the art of EU diplomacy in full flow here today. Those like Mr Weber, whose bellicose, threatening and theatrical words no doubt entertain this Chamber but are like a pen with no point in the negotiating rooms.

He said on his recent tour of the British media that politicians who fought for Brexit were allowed to grow up in a free Europe, and that the UK should now pay more. Well, Mr Weber, may I remind you that the freedom that you say you promote came at a mighty cost to Britain. It came in the blood and sacrifice of millions of Britons those who, like my grandfather, when asked unhesitatingly fought in the sands of Africa so Europe can be free.

It came in the 120 billion it cost Britain to fight a German dictator, it came in the 5 trillion Britain contributed to NATO to help build a shield of freedom around Europe from communism. It came on the 500 billion or more we have contributed to the EU and the billions more we spend each day more than we receive.

Mr Weber, on Radio 4 you asked ‘Mrs May, please tell me what leaving the EU means?’ Well, I will tell you. It means we are leaving the European Union that has forgotten the costs and sacrifices Britons freely gave to ensure you are free to exercise your diplomacy of the defeated in this Chamber of the forgetful.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ian Borg, President fil-Kariga tal-Kunsill. – Kif qalu bosta ġimgħat ilu, waslet l-ittra tan-notifika mir-Renju Unit, lill-President tal-Kunsill Ewropew is-Sur Tusk, u proprju anki kien hemm ir-reazzjoni tal-Kunsill Ewropew għal din in-notifika.

Kulħadd jaf ukoll li l-President Tusk ftit tas-sigħat wara kien qiegħed iżomm laqgħa mal-Presidenza tal-Kunsill Rotating ta’ Malta u hemmhekk ukoll kien hemm l-ewwel reazzjonijiet flimkien ma’ dawk preżenti, u għalkemm uħud irreferew għal din il-ġurnata tad-29 ta’ Marzu bħala waħda storika, naħseb illi wieħed irid ikollu diskussjonijiet bħal dawn illi qed jagħmel illum l-istituzzjoni li inti tmexxi, Sur President, mingħajr isteriċiżmu, fejn kulħadd jagħti l-fehmiet tiegħu fuq din il-firda li se jkollna minn mar-Renju Unit.

Naħseb illi l-istituzzjonijiet jistgħu jesperjenzjaw biss esperjenza pożittiva jekk jimxu bl-ordni u jżommu quddiem għajnejhom l-aħjar interessi: l-aħjar interessi fuq kollox tan-nies, taċ-ċittadini Ewropej, tan-negozji tal-Unjoni Ewropea, kif ukoll anki jridu jaħdmu sabiex inaqqsu l-impatt negattiv illi aħna konxji – għaliex din hija telfa għall-partijiet kollha – u allura huwa kruċjali li nimminimizzaw l-impatti negattivi għaċ-ċittadini tal-Unjoni Ewropea, u allura jintlaħaq anki l-bilanċ tad-drittijiet u obbligazzjonijiet rispettivi.

Il-pożizzjoni u d-dikjarazzjoni tal-Kunsill Ewropew, illi rreaġixxa għall-ittra tal-Prim Ministru May, kienet ippubblikata u dan kien naħseb l-ewwel pass fejn intwera li s-27 Membru Stat huma magħquda u għandhom messaġġ wieħed – messaġġ uniku dwar din is-sitwazzjoni, u naħseb li issa huwa kruċjali li fil-ġimgħat li ġejjin dan jinżamm sakemm ikunu adottati l-linji gwida mill-istess Kunsill Ewropew, u allura nkomplu naħdmu f’dan il-qafas bħala Unjoni waħda.

Kif tafu, il-Kunsill Ewropew huwa msejjaħ għad-29 ta’ April u matul dan il-Kunsill Ewropew se jkun hemm maqbula l-linji gwida ta’ dawn in-negozjati. Naħseb li għaldaqstant dan huwa l-ħin opportun illi dan il-Parlament illum qiegħed jiddiskuti u jagħti l-ħsibijiet u l-pożizzjoni tiegħu dwar il-prinċipji u l-prijoritajiet tan-negozjati u rrid infakkar kif il-Prim Ministru Malti, meta anki indirizza din l-istess istituzzjoni fil-bidu tal-Presidenza Maltija, enfasizza kemm huwa kruċjali li din l-istituzzjoni – istituzzjoni demokratika, intom ilkoll eletti mill-popli rispettivi tagħkom – tinżammu fil-qalba ta’ dan il-proċess mhux biss għaliex jingħad fit-trattati iżda għax hekk għandu jkun. U nista’ nassigurakom li dik il-pożizzjoni l-Prim Ministru Malti u l-Presidenza Maltija esprimewha f’kull laqgħa li żammejna matul dawn it-tliet xhur.

Għandi nifhem ukoll li l-prijoritajiet u l-prinċipji huma simili għal ta’ xulxin, fejn anki intom taħsbu li l-interessi taċ-ċittadini tagħna għandhom jitpoġġew quddiem nett fuq dawn il-prijoritajiet tan-negozjati. Ovvjament, iva, hemm financial settlement xi trid tiġi diskussa, u għandha tkun prijorità wkoll u allura mbagħad insegwu l-approċċ għan-negozjati.

L-Unjoni wkoll, nemmnu li għandha taħdem fil-prinċipju ta’ kooperazzjoni sinċiera mar-Renju Unit sakemm din toħroġ mill-istess Unjoni Ewropea u wara li l-linji gwida jkunu maqbula fil-Kunsill Ewropew, Sur President, il-Kunsill ser jimxi immedjatament sabiex jimplimenta d-deċiżjoni u allura jawtorizza l-ftuħ tan-negozjati u d-direttivi tan-negozjati fuq is-sustanza li fuqhom bħala Presidenza wkoll qegħdin naħdmu b’mod parallel.

Nantiċipaw ukoll li dawn in-negozjati proprja jibdew lejn l-aħħar tal-Presidenza Maltija meta dawn id-direttivi tan-negozjati jkunu adottati. Hawnhekk irrid nirrimarka – forsi rightly so dawk kollha li tkellmu u forsi ser jitkellmu llum ser niffukaw fuq Brexit – però din l-Unjoni Ewropea għandha ħafna aktar aġenda pożittiva x’tiddiksuti, x’tirrisolvi, x’tiddeċiedi, favur iċ-ċittadini Ewropej, u allura importanti u kruċjali li jintlaħaq il-bilanċ: iva nieħdu bis-serjetà n-negozjati tal-ħruġ tar-Renju Unit imma daqstant ieħor; kemm il-Presidenza Maltija hija kommessa – u jien konvint anki li dawk li ser ikunu qegħdin jidħlu warajna, kif ukoll anki intom bħala Parlament – inkomplu naħdmu fuq id-diversi dossiers u files li għandna sabiex inkomplu nagħtu r-risposti pożittivi li ċ-ċittadini Ewropej qegħdin jistennew mingħandna dwar il-futur tagħhom, u jiena konvint li intom ukoll se tkunu qegħdin taħdmu id f’id mal-istituzzjonijiet l-oħrajn sabiex inkunu qegħdin nagħmlu dan fil-ġimgħat, ix-xhur u s-snin li ġejjin.

Dan anki sabiex inkomplu nonoraw u issa nimplimentaw dak li qbilna s-27 Membru Stat flimkien ġewwa Ruma, u allura l-futur tal-Unjoni Ewropea u r-risposti li rridu nagħtu liċ-ċittadini Ewropej għas-snin li ġejjin. Ejja nidħlu – jiena ngħid – għal dan iż-żmien u anki dan l-impenn b’approċċ kostruttiv. Qed isiru wkoll l-arranġamenti fil-Kunsill sabiex [apparti] dan li għadni kif għedt, ix-xogħol l-ieħor li jrid jitkompla, jitkompla bl-iktar mod seren u allura anki b’separazzjoni ċara bejn ix-xogħol li se jkompli għaddej mit-28 u x-xogħol li se jkun għaddej fuq in-negozjati tal-ħruġ mis-27, u dan sabiex, kif għedt aktar kmieni, nilħqu l-għanijiet li għandna. Jiena konvint li jekk l-Unjoni Ewropea taħdem b’dan il-mod mill-aktar effiċjenti u f’din is-sekwenza, għandu jkollna l-aħjar riżultati għalina u għaċ-ċittadini tagħna, fuq kollox.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Commission. – Mr President, there is no better place to start the debate on our negotiations with the United Kingdom than in the place where they are supposed to end in less than two years’ time. In a defining and challenging moment for our Union, the role of this Parliament is more important than ever. You must scrutinise and validate the final agreement. No negotiation, no separation without representation.

This is the reason that from the very start I pushed for this House to have a full and active role in the process. I would like to thank and congratulate my friend Guy Verhofstadt and all parties involved for the speed and clarity of the resolution that you are voting on today.

I will not give a detailed response today on each point but, given the cross-party support in this House, it is clear that we are on the same lines when it comes to the big issues. That is absolutely crucial because this is the time to stay united, this is the time to stay undivided.

During these negotiations, every one of our institutions and every one of our 27 Member States must be singing from the same hymn sheet. The stronger we are as 27, the stronger we will be in the negotiations.

You already know our chief negotiator Michel Barnier very well, but over the course of the next two years you will become even more familiar with him. I have to say, before the start of the negotiations that he is doing a good job. Sometimes, not very often, I take wrong decisions but – don’t laugh – but one of the best decisions I have taken since I have been President of the Commission was the appointment of Michel Barnier as our chief negotiator.

(Applause)

It is normal that your Parliament will have a say on the final deal, but more importantly, you are the checks and balances during the negotiations themselves. This is fundamentally a constitutional question for our Union: a third country cannot have the same benefits as a Member State. This Parliament must, and will, ensure that this reality is fully upheld over the course of the next two years.

We will negotiate in friendship and openness, not in a hostile mood, with a country that has brought so much to our Union, and will remain close to our hearts long after they have left. But this is now the time for reason, rather than emotion.

Sehr verehrter Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren, liebe Kollegen! Es geht bei diesen Verhandlungen nicht nur um Verträge und Paragrafen, schon gar nicht um diplomatisches Pingpong oder intergouvernementales Scharmützel. Es geht um das Leben von vielen Millionen Menschen.

Mehr als vier Millionen Menschen haben berufliche und familiäre Brücken von und nach Großbritannien geschlagen und damit grundlegende biografische Entscheidungen, ja Lebensentscheidungen getroffen. Sie haben sich in ihre Arbeit gestürzt mit vollem Vertrauen in die Zuverlässigkeit der Europäischen Union, haben Kinder in die Schule geschickt, erfolgreich Geschäfte gemacht und sich so ein auf Dauer angelegtes Leben aufgebaut.

Wenn wir nun in die Verhandlungen einsteigen, dann tun wir dies auch und vor allem in ihrem Namen. Die Kommission wird Fürsprecherin der direkt Betroffenen diesseits und jenseits des Kanals sein. Wir treten dafür ein, dass Arbeitnehmer, Unternehmer, Studenten, Rentner nicht diejenigen sein werden, die den Preis für den Brexit zahlen. Menschen sind keine Verhandlungsmasse.

(Beifall)

Und sie dürfen nicht zum Faustpfand in den Verhandlungen werden. Ihre Interessen sind unser Auftrag, und wir werden deshalb sicherstellen, dass die britische Brexit-Entscheidung sie nicht in Unsicherheiten und ins Ungewisse stürzt. Das gilt übrigens auch für alle diejenigen, die sich auf EU-Projekte verlassen, die bereits geplant und genehmigt sind. Eingegangene Versprechen, eingegangene Verpflichtungen sind absolut einzuhalten!

Allgemein gilt: Eine ungeordnete Scheidung ist der denkbar ungünstigste Fall. Kein Deal, das wäre ein äußerst nachteiliges Szenario für viele Menschen und für viele Familien, ein nachteiliges Szenario für Forschung, für polizeiliche Zusammenarbeit, für Handel. Kurzum, kein Deal heißt: Niemand gewinnt, alle werden verlieren. Deshalb werden wir die Verhandlungen mit Großbritannien so führen, dass wir die menschlichen, wirtschaftlichen, politischen Unwägbarkeiten des Brexit so weit wie möglich abmildern. Wir wollen in aller Fairness verhandeln – in aller Fairness, ja, aber ohne nachsichtige Naivität.

Ich weiß: Sanfte Neugeburten sehen verlockend aus. Aber – ich möchte das auch Herrn Farage sagen – nicht die Europäische Union verlässt Großbritannien, Großbritannien verlässt die Europäische Union.

(Beifall)

Unsere Scheidungsanwälte, vor allem Michel Barnier, werden nun im Detail die vielen Errungenschaften auseinanderdividieren müssen, die wir in 44 Jahren gemeinsamer, nicht krisenfreier Ehe angehäuft haben. Dies ist die notwendige Voraussetzung, damit unsere neue Partnerschaft auf eine solide Grundlage zu stehen kommt. Neue Partnerschaften können erst nach sauberer, klarer, unmissverständlicher, nicht interpretierbarer Klärung früherer Verhältnisse erfolgen. Parallele Verhandlungen über die Zukunft können nicht stattfinden. Verhandlungen über die Zukunft finden erst statt, wenn die Fragen, die uns aus der Vergangenheit erwachsen, allesamt zufriedenstellend geklärt sind.

(Beifall)

Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, le choix du Royaume-Uni de sortir de l’Union, c’est un choix qui annonce la fin de l’Union européenne à 28. La séparation qui se profile à l’horizon me rend profondément triste. Le choix du peuple britannique, si respectable qu’il soit, ne va dans le sens ni de l’histoire continentale, ni de l’histoire mondiale.

Toutefois, la séparation annoncée marque une nouvelle naissance, celle de l’Union européenne à 27. Cette Union européenne à 27 fonctionne déjà: dès le mois de septembre de l’année passée, les 27 se sont réunis à Bratislava pour adopter une feuille de route qui englobe nos priorités pour les années à venir. Ce travail de réflexion et d’action s’est poursuivi lors du sommet de Malte en février dernier pour connaître son apogée lors de la célébration du soixantième anniversaire de l’Union européenne, à Rome, le 25 mars dernier.

À Rome, nous avons renouvelé nos vœux de mariage, par choix et fierté, avec le sentiment d’avoir accompli, sans l’avoir terminé, notre devoir à l’échelle du continent. Loin d’en rester là, nous allons continuer à bâtir l’édifice européen avec une énergie renouvelée.

Alors que nous étions réunis à Rome, une mobilisation citoyenne et populaire en faveur de notre projet commun s’exprimait avec vigueur dans beaucoup de villes européennes. Je voudrais saluer, et avec une certaine émotion, tous ceux qui, dans nos rues et sur nos places publiques, marchent pour l’Europe. Ils me rappellent l’ardeur des pères fondateurs de l’Europe.

(Applaudissements)

Aujourd’hui, nous devons opérer des choix quant à la façon dont nous voulons travailler, agir et progresser concrètement ensemble. Ce débat peut prendre appui sur le livre blanc publié par la Commission.

Ce débat sur l’avenir et le devenir de l’Europe, nous devons l’organiser dans toute l’Europe avec nos parlements nationaux, avec nos régions, si nécessaires pour notre cohésion, avec nos sociétés civiles, avec les artistes et les créateurs, sans l’apport desquels nous ne serions pas devenus ce que nous sommes. Les choix que nous faisons maintenant, aujourd’hui, demain, d’ici deux ans ou d’ici 2025 doivent tenir compte de leurs conséquences non seulement pour nous, mais surtout pour les générations à venir, parce que nous serons jugés non pas sur ce qui nous a été légué, mais sur ce que nous aurons laissé en héritage.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Michel Barnier, négociateur en chef. – Monsieur le Président, bonjour à chacune et chacun d’entre vous, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés. Merci, Messieurs les Présidents, de m’autoriser à m’exprimer aujourd’hui directement devant votre Parlement, en tant que négociateur et aux côtés du Président Jean-Claude Juncker qui, le tout premier, m’a fait confiance pour cette mission, et que je remercie.

Je voudrais saluer le travail très important que vous avez d’ores et déjà accompli ensemble sous l’égide du Président Tajani avec l’ensemble des groupes et des commissions et, naturellement, derrière Guy Verhofstadt et son équipe. Cher Guy, nous avons commencé à travailler de manière constructive et efficace et je suis sûr que cela continuera jusqu’au bout de la route.

Ainsi, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, votre résolution aujourd’hui sera la toute première prise de position politique d’une institution européenne en réponse à la lettre que Theresa May a adressée la semaine dernière au Président du Conseil européen. Avec cette résolution, vous allez donner le ton en vous adressant bien sûr au gouvernement britannique, aux gouvernements des vingt-sept pays de l’Union européenne, mais aussi et surtout aux citoyens européens. Pour ce qui me concerne, je comprends évidemment le message que vous souhaitez en même temps m’adresser.

Notre objectif commun est de réussir cette négociation, c’est-à-dire de parvenir à un accord. Il y a pour cela trois conditions que je voudrais rapidement rappeler.

La première condition, qui vient d’être soulignée par Jean-Claude Juncker, c’est l’unité. C’est en restant unis que nous défendrons au mieux, ensemble, les intérêts des vingt-sept pays de l’Union européenne et de leurs citoyens et, en même temps, comme chacun des présidents de groupe l’a souligné, les principes fondamentaux et les valeurs sur lesquels se fonde, depuis le tout premier jour, le projet européen, qui a été rappelé à Rome. L’unité est surtout indispensable pour l’Union mais aussi pour nos partenaires britanniques. Au bout de la route – et je voudrais le dire pour que chacun soit bien convaincu –, si l’Union était désunie, nous prendrions le risque, tout simplement, qu’il n’y ait pas d’accord. Or l’absence d’accord – Philippe Lamberts l’a dit avec beaucoup de force tout à l’heure – aurait des conséquences très lourdes. Bien sûr et d’abord pour le Royaume-Uni, mais aussi pour l’Union. Voilà pourquoi je redis que le scénario d’un no deal n’est pas le nôtre. Notre ambition doit être de réussir, non pas contre le Royaume-Uni mais avec le Royaume-Uni. Not against the United Kingdom but with the United Kingdom. Madame Helga Stevens, j’ai bien entendu l’appel que vous avez lancé tout à l’heure. Pour cela, nous devrons expliquer ce que nous faisons et pourquoi nous le faisons. Nous avons un devoir de vérité envers les citoyens. Nous devons peut-être enfin dire objectivement, sans agressivité et sereinement ce que signifie le Brexit, ce que veut dire tout simplement le fait de quitter l’Union européenne. Puis-je dire aussi que cette négociation devrait avoir pour nous tous une dimension pédagogique? Elle sera l’occasion de rappeler jour après jour, voire de redécouvrir, tous les progrès réalisés ensemble et que nous avons souvent oubliés: les progrès pour la vie quotidienne des citoyens, des consommateurs et des entreprises. Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, notre unité sera d’autant plus forte qu’elle sera construite dans la transparence et dans le débat public. Cette négociation extraordinaire – qui doit rester extraordinaire – que nous mènerons dans la transparence ne sera pas une négociation secrète.

La deuxième condition, c’est de lever les incertitudes. Là où la décision du Royaume-Uni de quitter l’Union crée de l’incertitude et de l’insécurité, notre rôle est de rétablir de la certitude et de la sécurité juridique, d’abord pour les citoyens, mais aussi pour les bénéficiaires du budget européen, au Royaume—Uni comme dans les autres pays de l’Union ainsi qu’aux frontières de l’Union. Pour lever cette incertitude, les principes que j’aurai à défendre en votre nom devront être parfaitement clairs. Pour les citoyens européens au Royaume-Uni et vice-versa, la continuité et la réciprocité des droits dont ils disposent actuellement, jusqu’au jour du Brexit, devront être effectivement garanties et sans discrimination, comme l’a dit le président Pittella tout à l’heure avec force.

J’ai été évidemment attentif à ce qu’ont dit tour à tour chacun des présidents de groupe. La lettre de Theresa May, d’ailleurs, appelle aussi sur cette question un accord rapide. Mais, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés – et je peux le dire à la lumière du travail que j’effectue avec notre équipe depuis six mois –, le diable est dans les détails. Nous devrons veiller, au-delà d’un accord de principe, à ce que cet accord apporte des garanties effectives aux citoyens, comme vient de le dire le Président Juncker, et ce sera aussi le rôle du Parlement que d’être vigilant.

Pour le budget, un règlement financier unique couvrira l’ensemble des engagements pris par le Royaume-Uni avec nous, et nous avec lui, en tant qu’État membre. Là encore, votre résolution est sans ambiguïté. Nous ne chercherons jamais à punir le Royaume-Uni. Jamais! Nous demanderons au Royaume-Uni de payer simplement ce à quoi il s’est engagé en tant qu’État membre. Mesdames et Messieurs, Monsieur Farage, nous devons simplement solder les comptes, ni plus ni moins. Ni plus ni moins!

(Applaudissements)

Enfin, pour les frontières, notamment en Irlande – comme Mme Gabriele Zimmer l’a rappelé –, il faudra trouver des arrangements qui ne remettent jamais en cause les équilibres fragiles existants, le dialogue et, en particulier, le Good Friday Agreement, tout en étant naturellement compatibles avec le droit de l’Union.

The third condition is doing things in the right order and putting them into perspective. The UK letter makes clear that the UK Government will push for parallel negotiations on withdrawal and on future relations. This is a very risky approach. To succeed, we need, on the contrary, to devote the first phase of negotiations exclusively to reaching an agreement on the principles of the exit. We are not proposing this to be tactical or create difficulties for the UK. On the contrary, it is an essential condition to maximise our chances of reaching an agreement together within two years, which is very short. It is also our best chance, as Manfred Weber mentioned very clearly, to build trust before proceeding to the second phase of negotiations. This second phase will be devoted to scoping our future relations and to discussing the necessary transitory arrangements. To put it differently, the sooner we agree on the principles of an orderly withdrawal, the sooner we can prepare our future relations in trade: obviously, a free and fair trade agreement, a level playing field, but also in security and defence. It is on the basis of these three conditions – unity, lifting uncertainty, and phasing of negotiations – that we can succeed, and your resolution will set the tone. My hope is that the European Parliament makes these three conditions its own.

Pour finir, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, Monsieur le Président, j'ajouterai juste un mot sur notre travail en commun à partir de maintenant et jusqu'au bout de la route.

Comme l'a dit le Président Juncker, dans cette négociation, votre rôle sera essentiel du début à la fin. Le début, c'est la résolution d'aujourd'hui, et la fin, ce sera votre vote sur le projet d'accord de retrait que nous allons négocier pendant deux ans. Avec ce vote, vous aurez le dernier mot. Tout au long de la route, c'est d'abord au Parlement européen qu'aura lieu le débat démocratique sur cette négociation, qui n'est pas et ne sera pas une négociation comme les autres. Ce débat public, ici et dans chacun de vos pays, est indispensable pour réussir le Brexit, mais aussi pour parvenir à un accord sur d'autres relations futures, dont je rappelle qu'il devra être ratifié par votre Parlement mais aussi par les parlements nationaux.

Tout au long de la route, nous allons travailler ensemble, à chaque étape et à chaque moment. C'est pourquoi je suis heureux d'être, aujourd'hui, devant vous, d'avoir eu la possibilité de m'exprimer aux côtés du Président Junker et du Conseil, et c'est pourquoi, aussi, je continuerai à travailler en confiance avec le Président Donald Tusk et son équipe à la veille du Conseil européen extraordinaire du 29 avril.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, je resterai disponible pour votre Conférence des présidents de groupe, pour la Conférence des présidents des commissions et, autant que je le pourrai, pour chacun de vos groupes. En conclusion, je tiens simplement à vous confirmer que, tout au long de cette longue et extraordinaire négociation, mon équipe et moi-même serons toujours à votre disposition.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Esteban González Pons (PPE). – Señor presidente, durante los últimos trescientos años los políticos británicos han acertado tantas veces con el lado correcto de la política que han terminado por creer que lo correcto era simplemente ser inglés. Y ahí es donde, por desgracia, ahora se equivocan.

Se equivocan porque la razón está siempre del lado de la solidaridad. Se equivocan cuando se marchan, pero quieren organizarnos la vida a los que nos quedamos, como hoy, que los conservadores presentan un plan para el futuro de una Unión Europea en la que ellos ya no van a estar.

Se equivocan cuando quieren que cerremos el mercado único a Escocia, que quiere ser europea, pero pretenden dejarnos dentro Gibraltar, que no es parte constitucional del Reino Unido y que es un paraíso fiscal.

Se equivocan cuando no ven que el nacionalismo extremo conduce al racismo. Han pasado solo siete días desde el brexit y no paramos de escuchar desprecios a España y a los más nacionalistas con la palabra «guerra» en la boca.

Se equivocan si creen que fuera de la Unión Europea van a tener los mismos amigos que dentro, los mismos derechos que dentro, las mismas oportunidades que dentro. Se equivocan si creen que los europeos preferimos una buena pelea a un buen acuerdo.

Se equivocan si tratan a la Unión Europea como un proyecto divisible sin darse cuenta de que el Reino Unido también es divisible. Se equivocan si creen que la Unión Europea no va a defender a todos y cada uno de sus Estados miembros, que no nos vamos a rendir ante el futuro. Europa es el mayor mercado del mundo. Europa es el mayor espacio de paz, libertad y seguridad del mundo. Europa es el mayor prestador de servicios sociales del mundo. Europa es la mejor idea que tuvieron los políticos del siglo XX. No nos vamos a rendir.

Se equivocan si creen que no nos duele que se marchen. Nos duele, y mucho. Por desgracia, esta vez va a ser el Reino Unido el que camine por el lado equivocado de la historia. Se lo digo con amistad, se lo digo con lealtad. Se están equivocando. Se van a hacer daño ustedes. Nos van a hacer daño a todos. Con la misma lealtad les digo: ojalá rectifiquen. Y les digo también: ojalá no les ciegue la soberbia.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Roberto Gualtieri (S&D). – Mr President, with this resolution, the European Parliament takes a clear strong and balanced position on the negotiations with the United Kingdom. We regret the decision to leave the EU, but we respect it. We also know, and will not forget, that a large number of UK citizens voted to remain because they understand that the European project is the only way to protect and to recover our sovereignty in a globalised world.

Our guiding principle in the whole process will be to protect the rights and interests of the citizens we directly represent. We want to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU, avoiding a no—deal scenario, which would have negative consequences for all, but in particular for the United Kingdom. For this reason, we call on the UK Government to agree as soon as possible on the principles of the withdrawal provisions in order to allow us to begin talks on the main features of the future relationships and on the necessary transitional arrangements. We fully support the sequencing set out by Michel Barnier. In this context, Parliament will pay particular attention to the need to protect the rights of the EU 27 citizens living or having lived in the UK and vice versa, because people – as President Juncker said – are not negotiating chips. We will also ensure that the financial settlement will cover all the commitments and liabilities, and we will insist on the absolute need to safeguard the Northern Ireland peace process and to avoid a hardening of the border in Ireland.

The future relationship between the EU and the UK should be a close partnership, based on balanced and comprehensive agreement, but it cannot provide similar benefits to those enjoyed by the Union Member States. The European Parliament will not accept any trade—off between security and economy, nor any cherry—picking. We will want an agreement which is fully in line with our standards on the environment, the fight against tax evasion and the protection of social rights. I am confident that the vote will show that this Parliament is united in line with this principle, that we back the EU negotiator and that we will honour our constitutional obligations, contributing to that unity of the EU, to a successful negotiation and to the defence of our common values and projects.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ashley Fox (ECR). – Mr President, last week Prime Minister May triggered Article 50. In doing so she gave effect to the democratic decision of the British people to leave the European Union.

I want Members to see today as a beginning and not an end. It is the start of a new relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom. Although we will be leaving the EU, we want to forge a deep and special partnership with our friends and allies in Europe.

The negotiations that follow will be difficult at times, and you will sometimes hear an angry voice. I hope that colleagues here will focus on the outcome we seek and not the process we undertake, because we all need a good agreement, rather than a good fight.

This Parliament has a role to play in ensuring we protect our citizens. I want the rights of all EU citizens in the UK and all British citizens in the EU to be guaranteed. I want Britain’s borders with the EU to be as invisible as possible, to allow as much trade as possible. I want us to respect the right of self-determination. The sovereignty of Gibraltar is not part of these negotiations.

My group was disappointed that Mr Verhofstadt felt he could only consult on the draft text with a few close political friends. We also regret that he ignored so much good work by the Parliament’s committees. Perhaps it was inconvenient. We hope in future we can work with you in the same good faith and full transparency that you request in your motion.

As we look to the future, it is in the interests of all our citizens that we reach a comprehensive agreement between Britain and the EU. We see no reason to delay any aspect of any of these talks. So let us go forward together and reach that deep and special partnership that will benefit all our nations.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Catherine Bearder (ALDE). – Mr President, the lies and blatant mistruths of the referendum campaign are crumbling before our eyes. They told us food prices would not rise. They have. They told us businesses would not move abroad. They are. They told us we were scaremongering. We were not. Sixteen million Brits did not say they wanted to leave the European family. Those who did will not be fooled again by false promises from nationalists

This month of May the British people will send a message to Mrs May in local elections and the Westminster seat of Manchester Gorton. That message reads loud and clear: you lied to us. We are angry, and we want our country back. It belongs inside the European Union.

As a Liberal Democrat, I will continue to fight against Brexit, and to give the people a final say on the deal. I am proud of this House, uniting with a positive but firm resolution. It is fair, it is just, and it is very European. And if the deal goes badly, the British people will welcome the chance to revoke Brexit and Article 50, and vote to remain.

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: MAIREAD McGUINNESS
Vice-President

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, today in this Chamber the influence of the late Martin McGuinness is present. He met with virtually every signatory of the joint resolution, and he asked three things from this House: one, that you preserve the Good Friday Agreement in all its part; two, that there would be no hardening of the Irish border; and three, that the unique circumstances and special status of Ireland would be supported.

In his memory, we thank you for this. This is why we associate ourselves with this resolution. We feel that the European Parliament is a partner to the people of the North of Ireland and particularly those living across the partitioned border areas, north and south. No other MEP understands the disaster of partition better than MEP Matt Carthy.

Despite the fact that we support the joint resolution, we all have to recognise that this is not the Europe we want, or that the people need. We need an open and critical debate on the future of Europe, something that the resolution also calls for. We need to engage the public in this debate.

Together we can shape a better Europe, a more social Europe, a democratic Europe, a Europe of equals. We have done our part, now it is the turn of the European Council meeting on 29 April. To the European Council I say: it is over to you. Enda Kenny, Taoiseach, your day has come. Now it is your time to stand up for the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts. Irish citizens are depending on you. You must be the voice of the people, north and south.

It is clear from this resolution that Ireland has friends in Europe. And I want to end with a quote from Manfred Weber, somebody I do not usually quote. He said that ‘if the UK tries to endanger the Good Friday Agreement we will not give our support to an agreement on Brexit’.

Neither will we, and neither should the Taoiseach. So harness that support, Enda, and stand up for Ireland.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Josep-Maria Terricabras (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, to this point almost everything has been said on Brexit, even if nothing has been done so far. I will just underline four ideas that seem to me of the utmost importance on the subject.

Firstly, the resolution on which this Parliament voted today sets the framework for any future negotiation. Five parliamentary groups have, happily, presented it. Secondly, both sides have to concentrate on fair and discreet negotiations, conducted in a spirit of good faith and political rigour. Thirdly, we will have to learn to divorce, since we have not been able to learn to live better together. That means we have to prepare a future that can make it possible to combine distance with collaboration. Fourthly, and finally, as Chair of the EFA Group, I wish to express my conviction that both parts will be able to give fair treatment not just to the territories that have expressed their will to remain: Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar, but also to Wales.

We have a long way in front of us. Let’s honour each other at least with two virtues: loyalty and courage.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Paul Nuttall (EFDD). – Madam President, I think what we have witnessed over the past week has been the unedifying spectacle of posturing and veiled threats, from the ludicrous suggestion that we will be saddled with a GBP 50 billion divorce bill (although we are a net contributor to the EU budget) to the claim that no trade will be negotiated until the end of the Article 50 process. This, I guarantee, would cause immense damage to the economies of the European Union and would result in putting many of your citizens out of work. It is what we call, in the UK, cutting off your nose to spite your face.

However, the most offensive position that you have taken is the proposal that Spain will have the right to veto any Brexit deal over the issue of Gibraltar. I want to make it clear in this Chamber today that the people of Gibraltar are proudly British. In 2002, 99% of Gibraltarians voted in a referendum against shared sovereignty with Spain, and the wishes of the people should be upheld. I do, however, have a solution to prevent Gibraltar being used as a pawn in Brexit negotiations and, indeed, end Spanish claims once and for all. Make Gibraltar a fully integrated part of the UK; give her and our other overseas territories their own Member of Parliament. Give Gibraltar real influence and a voice in Westminster and send a clear message that Gibraltar is not for sale.

In this area, we, the UK, can learn from our continental cousins, because the French give representation to their overseas territories, and I propose that we should too. I have been calling for this for many, many years, and with the unique opportunities that Brexit has given us, I believe it is an idea whose time has come.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Janice Atkinson (ENF). – Madam President, I know what a divorce is like. I came through one and you will too. Both parties seek to damage each other and the kids and blame each other. You know, the kids and the bank accounts get damaged. But my ex-partner: you will recover. Your hate will lessen, but you will need a bit of counselling along the way.

Jean-Claude: get off the booze! Donald is in denial. He is in depression, trying to claim Gibraltar as his own, as so often happens when you are splitting the divorce assets. Then you appoint a crack team of negotiators, only to find you have got Mrs Malmström in there, and that she is not a trade negotiator at all. She is a sociology lecturer. Guy, you sent in your army, you sent in your barmy army for the one Spanish Armada that is left to you to retake Gibraltar. But it didn’t happen. And Northern Ireland – the only way that the Good Friday peace agreement is going to fail is if you start bombing us again.

And one party thinks you owe them a bonus and an income for life just because they are injured. But our bill to you is GBP one trillion of contributions. That has been the amount of money that we have paid into this place. You failed us, so we want that back.

So it is not going very well. But d’you know what, we don’t want to damage you, we don’t want to damage the kids and your finances. So let’s complete a free trade agreement, because if not, our friends at the World Trade Organization are looking jolly nice and very attractive, and I am not seeking an affair in this divorce but a partner for life, and I think that is where we are heading.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Diane Dodds (NI). – Madam President, the triggering of Article 50 was a good day for democracy in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister upheld the democratic result of the referendum, when the UK voted decisively to leave the European Union last June. However, I respect that for many in this place there is genuine disappointment, maybe some sadness and even some anger. In the negotiation to come, on all sides emotion must be tempered by a practical and positive willingness to find common ground. We have an opportunity to write a new chapter on cooperation in trade, security and prosperity.

Whilst I have many difficulties with the text – not least on phasing, on finance, on trade, and on Gibraltar – I am pleased that this resolution does recognise Northern Ireland’s unique position in respect of the land border with the Republic of Ireland. Both the United Kingdom and Irish Governments have said there will be no return to a hard border. The Council’s draft guidelines pledge a flexible and imaginative approach. All of these commitments are welcome.

However, any solution must also respect that Northern Ireland will be an integral part of an independent United Kingdom. I hear – and appreciate – support for the peace process in this House. The greatest support for the process will come from stable government, and my party pledges to work hard to ensure that in this, and in the outcome of Brexit, we will represent the best interests of Northern Ireland.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Elmar Brok (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissionspräsident, Herr Ratspräsident, meine Damen und Herren! Ich muss mich in diesem Augenblick daran erinnern, dass ich 1975 in London an einer Demonstration teilgenommen habe für den Verbleib von Großbritannien in der Europäischen Union – in einem Großbritannien, das von Streiks, Niedergang der Industrie ökonomisch und politisch zerfressen war. Wir debattieren heute über ein Großbritannien, das wieder zu Stärke gelangt ist durch Mitgliedschaft innerhalb der Europäischen Union. Und bei dieser Demonstration war eine Frau Thatcher dabei, die für britische Mitgliedschaft war und immer gekämpft hat und die den Binnenmarkt möglich gemacht hat, die auch in der Tory-Regierung den Maastricht-Vertrag möglich gemacht hat. Ich muss sagen: Alle Verträge, Herr Farage, sind seitdem vom britischen Unterhaus ratifiziert worden und deswegen voll legitimiert. Europa von heute hat die Legitimation auch von Großbritannien! Das sollte festgehalten werden.

Wir wollen konstruktive Verhandlungen, faire Verhandlungen, keine Revanche – in unserem gemeinsamen Interesse. Aber es muss auch klar sein: Wer nicht die Lasten der EU, des Binnenmarktes oder der Zollunion tragen will, kann auch nicht deren Vorteile durch einen Handelsvertrag retten. Deswegen muss es klar sein, dass man nicht dieselben Möglichkeiten auf dem Binnenmarkt oder sonstwo hat, als wäre man Mitglied. Das ist faires Verhalten.

Und ich meine, dass wir aus diesem Grund auch nicht sehen können, dass wir Drohkulissen erlauben sollten. Ihr folgt uns beim Scheidungsvertrag und beim Freihandelsvertrag, dafür sichern wir eure Sicherheit. Die Sicherheit in Europa gegen Terror – London sollte das wissen –, gegen Terror, gegen Außenangriffe ist im britischen Interesse, dies ist im gemeinsamen Interesse, dies kann nicht aufgerechnet werden. Ich glaube, auch dies wird im Vereinigten Königreich verstanden werden. Deswegen ist das keine Drohkulisse, sondern ein Unverständnis.

Und man muss wissen: Dieses Europäische Parlament muss dem Scheidungsvertrag zustimmen. Wir werden auf die Konditionen achten. Es wird einer Transitionsvereinbarung zustimmen müssen, und es wird dem endgültigen Ergebnis zustimmen müssen. Deswegen ist es, glaube ich, gut, sich mit dem Europäischen Parlament gut zu stellen und dass wir hier für Ihr Land und alle als EU der 27 kämpfen, um die Rechte der Bürger – die Rechte der Bürger in Nordirland und in der Republik von Irland –, in der gesamten Europäischen Union zu sichern.

Wir wollen keine Rhetorik des Krieges, wie das mit Gibraltar wieder passiert ist, sondern ein Europa, das 70 Jahre Frieden gebracht hat, wollen wir verteidigen, auch in dieser Stunde! Deswegen ist Großbritannien, ein großes Land, eingeladen, in dieser Frage des Friedens und der Freiheit mitzuwirken. Und bitte nicht solche Reden, wie wir sie hier manchmal hören! Gemeinsam werden wir unsere Zukunft gestalten, und nicht durch diese nationalistische Diskussionsform der Vergangenheit.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (S&D). – Señora presidenta, yo quiero empezar por decirles, señorías, que ha habido intervenciones esta mañana que me han parecido gratuitamente agresivas. Yo pienso que no es el camino de esta negociación tan importante para nosotros.

En primer lugar, querría reivindicar que es necesaria una negociación exigente sobre las condiciones de salida. Europa tiene derecho a establecer una exigencia para que irse del «club» no sea gratis, para que no sea mejor marcharse que quedarse. Es una pedagogía del coste que Europa tiene que establecer como condición de su propia continuidad.

En segundo lugar, me parece importante señalar al señor Barnier que podría ser importante que al mismo tiempo que negociamos la salida de la Unión Europea, tengamos un marco que asegure los derechos de los cuatro millones de ciudadanos británicos y europeos que conviven, porque es importante que ese acuerdo sea simultáneo a la salida.

Y, en tercer lugar, querría reivindicar lo que yo creo que es el final de este proceso. Y es que tenemos que buscar un acuerdo, pero, señorías, un acuerdo que tiene que ser fruto también de una voluntad de convivencia, también con Gibraltar.

España no pretende hacer una guerra de soberanías, no pretende hacer una guerra de soberanías con Gibraltar, pero España tiene un contencioso histórico pendiente y quiere convivir con Gibraltar. Pero tampoco podemos admitir que en el siglo XXI haya una colonia en Europa: tienen ustedes que entenderlo. Esta es la voluntad de España.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Anders Primdahl Vistisen (ECR). –Fru formand! Brexit er ikke sygdommen, men symptomet. Sygdommen er den tankegang, som trives nogle steder i EU, men i særdeleshed her i Europa-Parlamentet, der går ud på at ønske, at dette projekt skal udvikles til en føderal superstat. Hvis man tager ved lære af Brexit ved at gå videre med fælles hær, med fælles initiativer på en række områder, ja med hele Hr. Verhofstadts store projekt om en ny forfatning for Europa med henblik på at indføre en sådan superstat, så vil Brexit blot være startskuddet til, at en række medlemslande ikke længere vil kunne se sig selv i det europæiske samarbejde. Det er derfor også beklageligt, at den beslutning, som vi står med i dag, handler om alt det, vi ikke kan gøre med Storbritannien, alt det Storbritannien ikke skal have lov til. Som den tidligere taler sagde: ”En pædagogisk øvelse, der skal afskrække andre fra at lave samme fejl, som Storbritannien har begået ved at forlade EU.” Det er en hel forkert lære at tage! Fejlen er, at hvis vi straffer Storbritannien nu i stedet for at se på de muligheder, vi har sammen i fremtiden, så vil det betyde, at flere går i samme retning. Vi har derfor brug for en god og fornuftig aftale med Storbritannien, som sikrer fælles handel og fælles sikkerhed.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Marian Harkin (ALDE). – Madam President, in my one minute I will concentrate on how Brexit affects the island of Ireland. The words Ireland and Northern Ireland appear eight times in the document we are discussing today, and that in itself indicates the importance that the European Parliament attaches to the unique position and special circumstances confronting the island of Ireland. It is crucial to safeguard peace and, therefore, to preserve the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts. We insist on the absolute need to ensure continuity and stability of the Northern Ireland peace process and avoid the re-establishment of a hard border. Those are not my words; those words are written in the document we will agree today.

So we start with good intent, but over the next few months all of us will have to come forward with workable solutions that will make a reality of those fine words. We share a border of almost 500 kilometres with Northern Ireland. We must maintain our common travel area, otherwise the dislocation could be catastrophic for our small island. Finally, I want to agree with Michel Barnier that we should ensure a free and fair trade agreement with a level playing field. That must also be the outcome between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sono d'accordo con l'impianto della risoluzione comune, anche se non contiene le autocritiche che avrei desiderato, ma nella difesa dei diritti dei cittadini è più precisa delle linee del Consiglio europeo.

La nostra battaglia parlamentare comincia oggi, e spero che tutti saremo vigilanti su due punti cruciali: i diritti dell'Irlanda del Nord, garantiti dal Good Friday Agreement, e quelli di milioni di cittadini, europei e non, che vivono nel Regno Unito. In Irlanda sono in gioco pace e guerra. Per i cittadini sono in gioco i fondamenti normativi dell'Unione – preferisco parlare di fondamenti normativi, più che di valori, troppo soggettivi, dunque opinabili.

La Brexit, da questo punto di vista, mi preoccupa. Milioni di cittadini europei nel Regno Unito e di britannici nell'Unione rischiano di perdere diritti fondamentali, sociali e civili, attualmente garantiti dal diritto europeo. Uno degli scopi della Brexit è il Great Repeal Bill, che cancellerà tale diritto, creerà un'economia ancora più sregolata e potrebbe preludere all'uscita dalla Convenzione dei diritti dell'uomo.

Ecco un equivoco della campagna Brexit: i cittadini vulnerabili rischiano di non riprendere il controllo cui aspirano, ma di perderlo. Solo a una condizione vedranno tutelati diritti acquisiti precisi: che questi non diventino merce di scambio e siano iscritti nell'accordo di recesso. Spetta a questo Parlamento dare certezze legali all'Irlanda del Nord e ai cittadini impauriti. Spetta a noi capire i nostri errori e costruire un'unione sociale che eviti il rigetto di tanti suoi cittadini e una fuga dall'Europa che dobbiamo cominciare a capire.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I campaigned for the European Union as a peace project and a beacon for democracy and human rights. The journey towards Brexit is proving how powerful the Union has been in this civilising mission and how flimsy these basic freedoms seem without European support.

The vote for Brexit has been hijacked to build an ugly coalition to undermine our civilised society. Within a week of triggering Article 50, we have a senior Conservative threatening war against a European country. This is sadly symbolic of the loss of commitment to peace and to basic standards of diplomacy, to say nothing of friendship and loyalty. I represent the people of Gibraltar and I will fight for their right to self—determination. They value being British citizens – as I do – because Britain is a country of decency and democracy. What value a British passport if the Prime Minister can change fundamental legislation without reference to Parliament? What value a proud history if our future allies will be despots? What value international respect if it is squandered for narrow economic advantage?

(Applause)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Gerolf Annemans (ENF). – Dames en heren collega's van de EU-meerderheid in dit Parlement: stop alstublieft met de geëmotioneerde half hysterische nummertjes met een air van morele superioriteit. Wij als Parlement moeten ook niet doen alsof wij hier een veto kunnen uitspreken. De enige die in deze zaak een politieke beslissing moest en kon nemen, was de bevolking van het Verenigd Koninkrijk, en ook binnen de Europese Unie zijn er veel sympathisanten van wat Groot-Brittannië nu doet.

Al de rest is een technische afwikkeling. Als wij hier iets nuttigs zouden kunnen doen, in plaats van allerlei suggesties van wraakgevoelens of allerlei voorstellen voor het blijvend koppelen van vrijhandel aan open immigratiegrenzen, dan is het onze wens te uiten, onze politieke wens, om het Verenigd Koninkrijk zonder rancune te behandelen als een geprivilegieerde partner en een buitengewoon goede vriend.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Diane James (NI). – Madam President, the statements today by Europhile party political leaders were everything I had anticipated and feared: total misrepresentation of facts and issues by the Socialists and the EPP Group, and misleading interpretation of history, UK economics and EU evolution by the Liberal Democrats, all allowed to pass uncorrected. This morning has seen political theatre, histrionics and political opportunism at full throttle by the Europhiles, and all because the United Kingdom has chosen to leave the European Union.

Well, I suggest we get real and start adopting grown-up politics because there is a serious leg of negotiations ahead of us and we do not need to see yet more Project Threat, Revenge and Penalty from the likes of Mr Juncker, Mr Barnier and Mr Verhofstadt. That is not helpful, and all it does is pander to a press which at the moment is misrepresenting both the EU position and the United Kingdom position. I do not feel that is helpful. So please can I ask everybody to calm down and be calm, and get on with it.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Madam President, the process of Brexit has formally started and is testing political and technical capacities on both sides to get a timely and – as Michel Barnier said – successful agreement. The challenges the Union is now facing in the context of the UK withdrawal are well understood and also shared by the Union institutions. The European Parliament is, and will be, at the forefront of the process and has shown a high level of political openness and cooperation, but also unity, in helping to define the Union’s path for the upcoming negotiations.

We cannot but welcome the constructive approach set out in the letter notifying the UK’s intention to withdraw and setting out the approach to the negotiations, but the truth is that the really hard choices are yet to come, and for many citizens transparent negotiations will be a learning process. We want to ensure legal certainty and stability and to avoid disruption for citizens and businesses across the Union through an orderly and phased withdrawal, in line with Union law and with a view to mitigating economic, political and emotional – Mr Annemans – damage. But this damage is already a fact of life. European institutions are united on basic guiding principles and values, as well as on ensuring the protection of the Union’s autonomy and legal order. All this sets the right path for cooperative and, above all, principled negotiations based on good faith.

For the European Parliament the principles are clear. First and foremost, we must defend and promote the interests of the citizens of the Union whom we represent, and safeguard the integrity and the coherence of the constitutional framework of the Union. These are the key building blocks for the negotiation and also the absolute boundaries on the basis of which the European Parliament will assess the outcome of the withdrawal negotiations through the consent procedure. We must be clear that abandoning membership cannot lead to a status quo ante and to unrealistic expectations.

Let me finish just by expressing my conviction that the concerns of those who were against abandoning membership should not remain unaddressed.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Sergei Stanishev (S&D). – Madam President, the time for regrets is over. The process of the UK leaving the European Union is under way. What we need is sober heads, good faith, but also a very clear mandate from the European institutions. This is what this House is doing today.

First and foremost, we should aim to overcome the uncertainty regarding the lives of both EU citizens on the island and UK citizens in the European Union. Their lives should not be used as a bargaining chip, as has been underlined many times. There is also the issue of security cooperation, which is beneficial for both sides in this process.

Second, trading freely would be in everyone’s interest, but the UK cannot have a better deal outside the Union and the single market than it has currently. In any future arrangement, the UK will have to play by the same rules as everyone else.

Third, last but not least, we must also urgently launch debates on how the EU of 27 will adjust its budget, its policies and its institutions after UK withdrawal, in order to respond to the expectations for our citizens.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-жо Председател, решението на гражданите на Обединеното кралство е законно и суверенно. Никой, който твърди, че уважава правилата на демокрацията, не може да твърди обратното. Всеки опит да бъдат наказани, унижени и ощетени британските граждани е дълбоко погрешен. Той ще е признание за провала на федералисткия опит за политика и показва гузна съвест.

Обединеното кралство е наш приятел, съмишленик и съюзник – основен стълб на общата ни отбрана в изключително трудни времена. Северна Ирландия и Гибралтар без съмнение са интегрална част от Обединеното кралство и не може да бъде поставен никакъв подобен въпрос.

Това, което трябва да се постигне и изработи в преговорите, а те ще се водят между държавните и правителствените ръководители, е една добра, изгодна и честна сделка в отношенията между Европейския съюз и Обединеното кралство. Сделка, която трябва да гарантира правата и законните интереси на британските граждани на територията на Съюза и на гражданите на европейските държави в Обединеното кралство.

Това е. Нищо повече и нищо по-малко.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jill Evans (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I was elected to represent the Welsh national interest, and that is what I will continue to do. The people of Wales have the democratic right to decide on their own future, and that includes the kind of EU withdrawal that takes place and the way that it affects our nation.

The devolved administrations of the UK, including Wales, should be involved at every stage of the negotiations. I do not accept that the interests of Wales can be ignored by the UK Government, but that is exactly what is happening, despite the publication of the white paper ‘Securing Wales’ Future,’ produced by Plaid Cymru and the Welsh government. It is a comprehensive and constructive plan, which includes our continuing participation in the single market, which is a top priority for our economy and our communities.

I see Wales’ potential as a successful nation. We have a lot to contribute to this process and to build in the future, and our voice must be heard.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nicolas Bay (ENF). – Madame la Présidente, mes chers collègues, avant toute chose, permettez-moi de saluer une nouvelle fois le courage du peuple britannique, qui a su voter contre les prophètes de malheur qui lui annonçaient le chaos en cas de Brexit.

Oui, la démocratie britannique, l’une des plus vieilles démocraties du monde, a su déjouer les pronostics de la technocratie mondialiste qui sévit à Bruxelles, mais aussi à Paris. À présent, nous nous devons et vous vous devez de respecter la décision souveraine du peuple. Inutile de menacer les Britanniques, nous avons tous intérêt à ce que cette sortie se fasse dans la sérénité et le respect. Le Royaume-Uni ne quitte pas l’Europe, il quitte l’Union européenne, une organisation supranationale qui s’est construite sans les peuples, et même contre eux, en organisant l’impuissance collective de nos nations au seul profit des multinationales.

Depuis longtemps déjà, les peuples vous demandent d’en finir avec ce fonctionnement bureaucratique, attentatoire à la démocratie, et ses orientations idéologiques qui nuisent à nos intérêts vitaux. C’est particulièrement le cas du dogme de la libre circulation des capitaux, des biens et des personnes. L’Europe, notre Europe existe depuis des millénaires, et c’est vous qui la détruisez. Il faut donc la reconstruire par d’utiles coopérations, en redonnant à nos nations leur souveraineté, c’est-à-dire en rendant à nos peuples leur liberté, à commencer par celle de défendre leur identité, leur culture, ce formidable héritage que nous devons transmettre et enrichir. Il s’agit là du droit fondamental des peuples à disposer d’eux-mêmes et à rester maîtres de leur destin.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Madam President, talk of Brexit and divorce reminds me of the song ‘50 ways to leave your lover’. You know the one: ‘Slip out the back, Jack; Hop on the bus, Gus’ and now we have ‘Say day-day, May’. I wish it was that simple but this divorce, after 44 years and with no precedent, looks like it is going to be tough, and possibly rough. For that reason we need calm heads, clear minds and creative thinking, and with Michel Barnier at the helm, I think we have the package.

Where Ireland is concerned, we are very grateful to all groups in the European Parliament for taking the concerns of our Taoiseach, our government and my colleagues on board. The special circumstances of Ireland are referenced, and this sends out a powerful message to the citizens of Ireland and of Europe that when one country, no matter how small, is adversely affected, disproportionately threatened, the European Union will stand in solidarity behind them. And boy are we threatened, both economically and politically. But with this solidarity we can be confident that the terms of the Good Friday Agreement will be observed to the letter, that there will not be, cannot be and must not be a return to a hard border and that the prosperity of Ireland, especially our exporting sector, must not and cannot and will not be sacrificed on the high altar of expediency or pride.

Common sense not nonsense, pragmatism not pride must prevail. This is the best way to leave your lover.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Glenis Willmott (S&D). – Madam President, last June I toured my constituency, day in and day out, making clear my concerns about the dangers of Britain leaving the EU – dangers for our economy and British businesses, and the threat to the jobs they create; dangers for British workers, as the Tory right clamour to use Brexit to spark a bonfire of EU workers’ rights; dangers for British and EU citizens, with our cooperation on issues like counter-terrorism and security linked to our EU membership.

We lost the EU referendum, and while it saddens me to say it, Britain is leaving the EU – but those dangers are still there. In all our countries, there are families for whom the Brexit vote has created worrying uncertainty – millions of people concerned about their rights to live and work in countries they have made home. Citizens across Europe are now at risk of the economic consequences of a bad deal – or even worse, no deal at all – and people in all 28 countries will suffer if Brexit means competition on low wages, lax environmental standards and scaled back rights for workers and consumers. These are the people we represent, and these are the people to whom this Parliament must give a voice.

It will not always be easy to take the responsible path in the coming months, but it is what we must do. There are some in this House and beyond who are actively hoping to plunge Europe and Britain into chaos through a disorderly no-deal Brexit. Why? Because they have no answers to the questions that constructive negotiations will bring. So let us work for a constructive deal. And to those leave campaigners who now sit in the British cabinet or on the benches opposite – there is still one of them there, I can see – you won. Now take responsibility for the promises you made. As we all consider how we conduct ourselves over the coming weeks, let us remember that we are here representing people whose lives and livelihoods depend on the outcome. Serious times call for a serious response.

(Applause)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Wielka Brytania, jak powiedziała premier Theresa May, opuszcza Unię, ale nie Europę. To przypomina nam, że wbrew obecnej, wykluczającej nowomowie, Unia to nie Europa. W negocjacjach z Wielką Brytanią nie powinniśmy o tym zapominać. Nie powinniśmy zapominać o wspólnym dziedzictwie i wspólnych interesach, które będą nas łączyć także wtedy, gdy Wielka Brytania opuści Unię. W negocjacjach nie może chodzić o to, by ukarać Wielką Brytanię za demokratyczną decyzję, zgodną z prawem do opuszczenia Unii zapisanym w traktatach. Unia nie może być Wspólnotą opartą na strachu i przymusie, bo to jest droga do jej końca. Zamiast tego powinniśmy jednocześnie z negocjacjami rozpocząć proces głębokiej reformy Unii, przywracającej jej ducha wolności i solidarności opartej na wolności.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, as a Scottish European I have long wondered how I would feel today. The answer is, I am heartbroken, not for myself, but for the people I serve, for future generations. Scotland will not be silent within this process, as our rights are taken away by an administration we do not support, by a vote that we clearly rejected and a process that is demonstrably against our interests.

While being heartbroken, I am also angry. I am angry at this process, and I am angry at the way the UK is representing itself, doing a bad thing badly. Mrs May and Nigel Farage do not speak for Scotland, do not speak for me, and do not speak for 48% of the UK’s population. The UK is not one bloc, much as Mrs May would like it to be; the UK is a complicated set of various interests, all of which are better reflected in this resolution than in anything the UK Government has put forward to date.

Scotland will not be silent in this process, and Scotland’s top priority, in the words of our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, is to keep our citizens safe. Scotland is your home, you are welcome here. I appreciate that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed but please, colleagues, let us make our citizens feel safe, our citizens from the UK in other countries, and citizens from other nations in ours. Let’s deal with that first, let’s deal with that fast and let’s deal with it now.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Herbert Reul (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herren Präsidenten, meine lieben Kollegen! Da brauche ich nicht viel hinzuzufügen. Der Brexit ist ärgerlich. Er ist, glaube ich, auch am Ende ein Fehler. Aber jetzt kommt es eben drauf an, ordentlich damit umzugehen, fair damit umzugehen, sauber die Arbeit zu machen. Ich finde das, was die Kommission, was Präsident Juncker und auch was Michel Barnier vorgetragen hat, total in Ordnung. Jetzt muss man Schritt für Schritt ordentlich arbeiten und gute Ergebnisse abliefern.

Auf der anderen Seite ist eine solch schwierige Lage auch immer eine Chance, eine Chance für die restlichen 27. Darüber sollten wir vielleicht auch öfter reden. Eine Chance, sich wieder ein bisschen stärker aufeinander zu verlassen, sich wieder mehr zuzutrauen, auch ein Stückchen verlässlicher zu werden und das gemeinsame Projekt auch wieder offensiver nach außen zu vertreten, sich auf das Wesentliche zu konzentrieren und dafür zu sorgen, dass das europäische Projekt bei den Leuten auch wieder Begeisterung auslöst. Es ist doch vielleicht kein Zufall, dass in diesen Tagen gerade wieder Menschen überall auf die Straßen gehen und sich zu Europa bekennen. Diese Chance müssen wir nutzen. Dafür brauchen wir gute Ergebnisse, ordentliche Arbeit, Verlässlichkeit untereinander und den Beweis, dass wir in der Lage sind, die Probleme, die Anliegen auch zu lösen. Wir müssen beweisen, dass die Probleme, die die Menschen beunruhigen, gelöst werden können von uns, von den Politikern, die hier im Europäischen Parlament sitzen. Und dann wird die Sache ein gutes Ende nehmen.

Und wenn wir den Beweis dafür liefern, dass es in Europa eine Chance auf Beschäftigung und Wohlstand gibt, wenn wir uns vielleicht mehr darum bemühen, auch wirtschaftliche Innovation, wirtschaftliche Stärke zu entwickeln und nicht nur darüber zu reden, wie man Schwierigkeiten und Schwächen gegenseitig ausgleicht, sondern nach vorne zu gucken –: Ich finde, das kann eine große Chance werden, auch wenn der Brexit im Ergebnis ein großer Fehler ist.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jens Geier (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Präsident Juncker, Herr Minister, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Herr Barnier, Sie haben in Ihrem Statement erwähnt, dass es bei der Klärung der Finanzbeziehungen zwischen der EU und dem Vereinigten Königreich um die Klärung der Konten geht und nicht um eine Strafe, und Sie haben völlig Recht. Das Vereinigte Königreich hat sich nicht in ein Unternehmen eingekauft, aus dem es jetzt sein Kapital abzieht, sondern es hat eine Zeit lang in ein politisches Bündnis investiert, für das es politische und wirtschaftliche Vorzüge und Dienstleistungen erhalten hat. Auch wenn das Vereinigte Königreich dafür keine Wertschätzung mehr hat: Die Abmachungen, die die Unterschrift eines britischen Regierungsvertreters tragen, müssen respektiert werden, auch wenn diese Abmachungen zeitlich über den britischen Austritt hinausreichen.

Um es bildlich auszudrücken: Auch in einem englischen Pub kann man nicht einen lustigen Abend verbringen, gut essen und trinken und einfach gehen, bevor die Rechnung kommt. Das gilt für den mittelfristigen Finanzrahmen – der ist vom Vereinigten Königreich unterzeichnet –, das gilt für die bestehenden Verpflichtungsermächtigungen aus den gültigen EU-Haushalten – denen allen hat das Vereinigte Königreich zugestimmt –, und das gilt für die Pensionskosten für die europäischen Beamtinnen und Beamten – viele von ihnen kommen aus dem Vereinigten Königreich –, von deren Arbeit in der Zeit der Mitgliedschaft auch das Vereinigte Königreich profitiert hat.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  James Nicholson (ECR). – Madam President, I do not want to dwell on the past today, but rather to look to the future. We all need to come together with a plan that works for everyone and build a good foundation for our future relationships with the European Union. For the sake of all our people, the United Kingdom and the European Union need to work together as strong allies and close friends when we leave.

Europe has been a strong friend to Northern Ireland and gave us strong support during our darkest days. I am confident that friendship will continue. I welcome the fact that all sides want a frictionless border. However, we all know that finding a solution will require a lot of innovative thinking. Any solution must not diminish Northern Ireland’s place as an integral part of the United Kingdom, as enshrined in the principle of consent in the Belfast Agreement.

And can I make it clear to you, Mr Barnier, that I will not accept a hard border. I will also not accept an internal UK border. I would also urge EU leaders not to heed those who are merely using Brexit as an excuse to break up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Let me also say to you very clearly – and I hope your are listening, Mr Barnier, and not twiddling with your telephone as you seem to be doing; I would suggest, with the greatest respect, that you actually listen to the speech – that Dublin does not speak for Belfast. We will take care of ourselves.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE). – Mogło dzisiaj nie być tej debaty, mogło nie być rezolucji i wszystkich związanych z tym kłopotów, gdyby w kraju, który ja osobiście bardzo podziwiałem (był dla mnie inspiracją, gdy byłem za żelazną kurtyną), ta egzystencjalna kwestia to be or not to be in the EU nie stała się zakładnikiem wewnątrzpartyjnych porachunków i rozgrywek i gdyby samo referendum nie było do tego stopnia zatrute demagogią i nieprawdą. Ale Brexit jest faktem: idziemy w nieznane, wiedząc tylko, że inna przeważa wizja przyszłości w Szkocji, inna wizja przyszłości przeważa w Irlandii Północnej, inna – w samej Anglii. Mamy mapę drogową na tę niepewną przyszłość w postaci projektu rezolucji i od tej pory będziemy kształtowali los Wspólnoty Europejskiej w 27 krajów i nie potrzebujemy specjalnych podpowiedzi ze strony naszych angielskich kolegów.

Projekt rezolucji odpowiada wyobrażeniom mojej delegacji, a zainteresowania mamy duże, zważywszy na prawie milion naszych rodaków na Wyspach Brytyjskich. Prawdy są fundamentalne: porozumienie jest lepsze niż brak porozumienia, uporządkowany rozwód lepszy niż niekontrolowane rozejście się w gniewie, najpierw rozstanie, potem kształtowanie przyszłości, sytuacja w Wielkiej Brytanii nie może być lepsza niż jakiegokolwiek innego kraju. Widzę odświeżenie na kontynencie europejskim, również w moim kraju, i to jest znak pewnej refleksji, która wywołana została Brexitem.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Christine Revault D’Allonnes Bonnefoy (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, personne n’a rien à gagner dans le fait que le Royaume-Uni quitte l’Union européenne. Une rupture est toujours douloureuse, et si l’union fait la force, la désunion est une terrible source de vulnérabilité.

Les Britanniques n’ont rien à gagner à se retrouver isolés sur la scène internationale et à perdre tous les bénéfices que leur apportait l’appartenance à l’Union européenne: la liberté de circulation, la liberté de résidence, le marché unique, la charte des droits fondamentaux, et j’en passe. L’Union européenne sera elle aussi perdante. Elle se retrouve amputée d’un membre, affaiblie dans plusieurs de ses politiques et avec des millions de ressortissants à l’avenir incertain. Là encore, la liste est longue.

Mais si la peine que ressentent aujourd’hui tous les pro-européens est vive, nous restons néanmoins des responsables politiques. Alors, malgré la tristesse que nous pouvons ressentir à titre individuel vis-à-vis de nos collègues, camarades ou amis, nous devons aller de l’avant et transformer cette crise politique en occasion pour la refondation de l’Europe. Il nous faudra nous battre pour que les citoyens soient la première priorité des négociations de sortie du Royaume-Uni, puis de l’éventuel partenariat qui suivra. Mais, surtout, il faudra entendre la colère qui a porté les tenants du Brexit et réformer l’Europe en profondeur pour que demain, l’adhésion à l’Union européenne soit à nouveau une évidence pour ses habitants. L’Europe de la protection, de la paix, de la prospérité, l’Europe que nous aimons doit retrouver toute sa splendeur. Le sursaut démocratique sera la condition de la survie du projet européen.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Franck Proust (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, enfin, nous sommes rassemblés aujourd’hui car le Royaume-Uni a finalement déclenché la procédure de retrait de l’Union européenne. Le moins que l’on puisse dire, c’est que le chemin a été long, synonyme d’une certaine impréparation du gouvernement britannique.

Au nom de la délégation française du groupe PPE, je souhaite bon courage à Michel Barnier, qui a l’expérience et le charisme nécessaires pour conduire ces négociations avec efficacité et pragmatisme. Il y a d’un côté les aspects techniques, qui se comptent en milliers: la résolution que nous présentons aujourd’hui, qui fait de notre institution un bloc démocratique capable de s’accorder sur les lignes rouges et qu’il importe de défendre dans les négociations, est une base de travail pour la Commission et les États membres.

Mais de l’autre côté, il y a le fait de communiquer, d’expliquer, de parler aux citoyens, qui relève de la politique concrète et utile. Nous sommes des élus au contact des femmes et des hommes dans nos eurocirconscriptions. Dans le flou qui a régné jusqu’à présent, certains ont pu me dire: «Vous voyez, Monsieur, cela ne change rien de sortir de l’Union européenne», croyant que le Royaume-Uni était déjà dehors.

Les populistes ou extrémistes jouent aussi sur les peurs et les destins nationaux isolés de l’Union, mais disons la vérité: l’isolement conduit au déclin. Ne plus appartenir à notre communauté de destin affaiblira inévitablement ce royaume sans doute désuni demain, avec une Écosse désireuse de faire partie de la première puissance économique du monde qu’est le continent européen.

Les choses doivent être claires: le Royaume-Uni a choisi de quitter le marché unique, il perdra en souveraineté économique. Si Theresa May souhaite conserver demain une relation stable avec l’Union européenne, elle devra s’acquitter des engagements politiques et financiers pris par son pays.

Avant de quitter la table, il faut payer l’addition et un divorce coûte cher, malheureusement. Alors, ne tergiversons pas ! Les citoyens ne supportent plus l’eau tiède. Soyons francs avec nos amis britanniques, pragmatiques dans les négociations et réalistes quant au partenariat nécessaire qui forgera notre relation de demain.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nicola Danti (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Jacques Delors amava ripetere che è impossibile innamorarsi del mercato interno. Probabilmente continua ad avere ragione, ed è forse per questo motivo che gli inglesi se ne sono andati. Eppure il mercato unico rappresenta una delle storie di successo del processo di integrazione europea. Se la Brexit ha un merito, è quello di far emergere ogni giorno di più i benefici, percepiti o meno, che il mercato unico realizza nella vita di ciascuno. Il nostro compito consiste nel preservare i valori e le libertà che ne sono alla base nella loro integrità.

La Brexit impone alle istituzioni europee e agli Stati membri un passo avanti. In un mondo sempre più diviso, sempre più protezionista, sempre più ostaggio degli estremismi di ogni tipo, oggi è il giorno dell'orgoglio europeo. In gioco non c'è il futuro, per quanto importante e per quanto a noi caro, del Regno Unito, ma il destino di 27 popoli europei. A questi dobbiamo delle risposte. Su queste ci giudicherà la storia.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Lorenzo Cesa (PPE). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, penso che la gran parte di noi non avrebbe mai voluto affrontare questa discussione. Penso che la gran parte degli europei non avrebbe mai voluto che si parlasse di Brexit. Adesso dobbiamo affrontare con decisione, ma anche con equilibrio, questa fase negoziale, caro presidente Barnier.

Approveremo oggi con tempismo e lungimiranza una risoluzione molto puntuale e precisa. Voglio ringraziare di questo il Presidente del Parlamento e i presidenti dei gruppi politici che l'hanno sottoscritta. Sappiamo che le trattative non saranno né brevi né semplici. Quello che occorre fare è parlare con un'unica voce, con la voce dei 27 paesi e di tre istituzioni che devono marciare unite. Occorre negoziare con il pensiero rivolto ai nostri cittadini, occorre essere ambiziosi con le nostre richieste e trasparenti e lineari con i nostri valori di unità. Occorre usare il linguaggio della verità.

La Brexit, sia ben chiaro, non ci fermerà: è stato ribadito a Roma in occasione dell'anniversario dei trattati. Dobbiamo guardare avanti senza distrazioni e alibi, certi che il nostro progetto di Unione di pace e prosperità si fortificherà. È questa, cari colleghi, l'occasione per il rilancio della nostra Unione.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Birgit Sippel (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Eine Mehrheit in Großbritannien hat entschieden: raus aus der EU. Und das hat Konsequenzen: Knapp drei Millionen EU-Bürger leben heute im Vereinigten Königreich. Sie leben, lieben, arbeiten, haben geheiratet, zahlen Steuern, haben ihre Kinder großgezogen – und ihre Zukunft? Völlig ungewiss. Ähnlich geht es mehr als 1,5 Millionen Briten in der EU: heute noch Unionsbürger mit allen dazugehörigen Rechten, aber was passiert zukünftig, was in zwei Jahren, nach dem tatsächlichen Austritt?

Der Konservative David Cameron wird in die Geschichte eingehen als ein Mann, dem kurzfristige populistische Erfolge wichtiger waren als das Schicksal all dieser Menschen.

Und eine Bemerkung in Richtung der britischen UKIP:

You are not taking back your country. You are trying to destroy this continent, and you do not care how much your citizens and our citizens will suffer from it. But listen carefully: we will not let you succeed. We will continue to fight for a Europe based on solidarity and justice, a Europe where facts expose the lies, a Europe that protects its citizens and does not leave them with the prospect of an uncertain and gloomy future. And I hope that one day the UK will become a real, full member of this European Union.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Adina-Ioana Vălean (PPE). – Madam President, while I join my voice with those who express their regrets to see the United Kingdom leaving the EU, I respect the will of the British people. I still believe they were wrong.

It is a difficult moment, as we have never faced such a complex challenge to undo the deep ties that we have founded in our common history. However, let’s be pragmatic, as British people like to be.

As chairwoman of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, I want to send a strong message both to the EU and UK. We are bound to work together constructively in the best interest of our citizens, to ensure a clean and safe environment and a high level of public health and food security, and to pursue our common commitment to the climate change.

We will need to ensure a rapid transfer of our European Medicines Agency as soon as is practical, as is said in the resolution, because we have to make sure to avoid uncertainty regarding its future and limit the loss of skilled staff and their vital expertise. So we have to cooperate together in good spirit. It makes no sense believing that environmental and health issues stop at the borders.

I wish us all the best for the future.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Josef Weidenholzer (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Dieser Brexit wird uns noch lange beschäftigen. Wie viele meiner Kollegen bin ich der Meinung, dass er eine schlechte Entscheidung war, unvorbereitet, unüberlegt und kurzsichtig. Wie viele bedaure ich, was jetzt passiert. Unsere britischen Freunde werden uns abgehen, und auch für die Menschen im Vereinigten Königreich werden die Zeiten schwieriger werden. Wir müssen aber zur Kenntnis nehmen: Die Geschichte lässt sich nicht aufhalten. Das ist wie bei einem Scheidungsverfahren, aber da muss man auch an die Kollateralschäden denken.

Es dürfen vor allem nicht Unbeteiligte draufzahlen. Das sind die über drei Millionen EU—Staatsbürger, die gegenwärtig in Großbritannien leben. Ihre Entscheidung, in das Land zu ziehen, haben sie auf der Basis anderer Voraussetzungen getroffen. Sie haben zum Wohlstand des Vereinigten Königreiches beigetragen. Sie und ihre Kinder müssen jetzt in einer erträglichen Ungewissheit leben. Eigentlich müsste deren Schicksal außer Streit stehen. Wir erwarten uns klare Antworten von unseren politischen Freunden, und es dürfte ihnen eigentlich nicht schwerfallen, weil Fairness und Pragmatismus Eigenschaften sind, die wir an ihnen schätzen.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  György Schöpflin (PPE). – Madam President, we can be certain that this resolution will not be popular in Brexit circles. There will definitely be those who will denounce it as impertinent, or worse. There are many in the United Kingdom who see leaving the European Union as a kind of liberation. It can take quite a while for illusions to dissipate. For the time being, the launching of Article 50 has brought with it an early silly season. Bizarre things are being said and, no doubt, will continue to be said. This can be irritating, even provocative, but that is no reason for us to follow suit. On the contrary, we can stay calm and pursue negotiations with the same professionalism and commitment that is reflected in this resolution. After all, the UK will always have a relationship with Europe. Our aim is, and should be, to frame the long term: to ensure that the future is a positive sum game.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Isabelle Thomas (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Ministre, Monsieur le Président de la Commission, regrets, tristesse et déception dominent encore si l’on songe à la rupture choisie par une majorité de Britanniques. Mais notre responsabilité désormais, c’est celle de la négociation sur la base d’une stratégie constructive mais aussi pugnace et déterminée dans l’intérêt des citoyens européens, dans l’idée aussi que cette rupture, loin d’affaiblir l’Union, lui offre une renaissance.

La Première ministre britannique dit renoncer au marché unique parce qu’elle refuse les libertés qui s’y rattachent. Malgré ces dénégations, sa lettre de rupture démontre au contraire que tout sera tenté pour y accéder, y compris par la fenêtre, si c’est impossible par la porte.

Quel que soit le nom que donne Mme May à cet accord, nous n’accepterons aucun accord de libre-échange qui remettrait en cause nos normes sociales ou environnementales ou qui nous servirait des tribunaux d’arbitrage au dessert. Nous devons nous montrer inflexibles et balayer les menaces des conservateurs sur le dumping fiscal ou la sécurité. Nous devons nous montrer inflexibles, Monsieur le négociateur, notamment sur les questions budgétaires afin de protéger un budget de l’Union déjà sous pression et déjà affaibli par la dévaluation de la livre sterling.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Madam President, I would like to put forward our position and show it with three quotes from Shakespeare, a great British and European writer.

First, our position, our attitude as committed pro-Europeans, is very well described in Hamlet when Horatio describes the expression of the father of Hamlet: ‘a countenance more in sorrow than in anger’ – that will be our attitude in our negotiation.

Next, I would like to give a piece of advice to our British colleagues with another quote, because you should be very aware of what your bard Shakespeare has said: ‘we know what we are, but know not what we may be’.

Finally, I would like to answer Mr Farage with a quote from Shakespeare that is probably a fake quote, which is very, very appropriate to someone that is a post-truth politician: ‘Love me or hate me, both are in my favour. If you love me, I'll always be in your heart. If you hate me, I'll always be in your mind’.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  David Martin (S&D). – Madam President, in September 2014 I voted to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom union and in June 2016 I voted to keep the UK in the European Union. Today, I face the reality that Brexit will remove my country from one union and leave the other union hanging by a thread. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union. Edinburgh, a city I have represented in this House for 33 years, voted 75%-25% to remain in the European Union. The overwhelming feeling in Scotland is that we are being dragged out of the European Union against our will, a feeling only compounded by Ms May’s determination to pursue a hard Brexit for which she has no mandate.

The resolution we are about to vote on recognises this fact, but provides no solution. The Council document calls for a flexible and imaginative solution to be found for Ireland. I, of course, agree, but I think the same should also apply to Scotland. The Scottish Government has put forward a bespoke proposal for Scotland, which I think deserves serious attention in this House. In conclusion, I want to say that if the UK does not show flexibility in these talks it will not only be the UK leaving the European Union, but the UK will not exist any longer.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Мария Габриел (PPE). – Г-жо Председател, г-н Барние, днес ние определяме принципите, които ще бъдат водещи по време на преговорите и основите на бъдещото ни партньорство.

Г-н Барние, на прав път сте. Слоганът на преговорите трябва да е: „Гражданите на първо място!“. Наш дълг е да успокоим опасенията им и да дадем конкретни отговори, например на студентите от другите страни от Европейския съюз, които живеят във Великобритания и се възползват от програми като ЕРАЗЪМ. Гарантирането на правата им трябва да е наш основен приоритет от началото на преговорите.

Европейският съюз трябва да остане непреклонен по отношение на четирите свободи. Брекзит има последствия и не може да става и дума за сценарий „Европа а ла карт“. Не може да има статут, подобен на този на държавите членки. Ключово е да има ясна визия за пътя напред.

Първо е споразумението за напускане, след това – новото партньорство. За да изградим стабилен дом, трябва да започнем от основите, а не от покрива. Отговорност на държавите членки е да се ангажират с това да няма паралелни преговори.

И накрая, пълно участие на Европейския парламент. Това е ключово за гарантиране на прозрачността и отворен публичен дебат.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  David-Maria Sassoli (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, non sono d'accordo con chi dice che non cambierà nulla con la Brexit, anche perché non sappiamo quali saranno le conseguenze. Sono d'accordo, invece, con coloro che dicono che il negoziato sarà costruttivo se avrà al centro gli interessi dei cittadini: dei cittadini europei e anche dei cittadini del Regno Unito.

Nessuna rivalsa, nessuna ritorsione, dunque, ma regole chiare sì. E abbiamo la necessità di ripetere quali sono le regole per l'Unione europea. Naturalmente il rispetto delle quattro libertà e, nel potere dell'Unione europea, la politica di sviluppo del commercio internazionale. Nessuno pensi di demolire l'edificio europeo, ma nessuno giochi contro per dividere o indebolire il Regno Unito.

Il negoziato deve avere visione politica, dobbiamo fare in modo che alla fine la nostra amicizia, le nostre relazioni, la nostra collaborazione risultino più robuste. Su questo dobbiamo lavorare insieme, e la risoluzione di oggi è una buona base per iniziare il nostro cammino.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Luděk Niedermayer (PPE). – Madam President, I believe in the Europe of today. I believe in our European project, a project that is based on the belief that together we are stronger and we do things better. That is why it makes me sad if you, Mr Farage and your friends, are likening this project to a prison. Let me remind you that 48% of the voters in the referendum did not share this this view and many millions did not actually participate.

I also heard Mr Fox – if I am not mistaken – saying that he is calling for a close and deep partnership and for invisible borders. If this is what you are calling for, then welcome back into Europe. Welcome back into the European Union because this is what we are aiming for.

Instead of that, you are, in practice, calling for the negotiation of a similar agreement to the ones we have with the US, Korea or Canada. If this is so, please do not be surprised that in this negotiation we will represent the interest of 27 countries, like we did in negotiations with Canada, the US or Korea. This should come as no surprise to you.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie przewodniczący Juncker, drogi Michelu Barnier! Ta rezolucja jest po prostu dobra. Ja ją popieram, zwłaszcza te punkty, gdzie jest napisane: „jak najszybciej rozpocząć negocjacje zgodnie z artykułem 50”. – Tak, to robimy. Prowadzić negocjacje w dobrej wierze – taka jest deklaracja. Wreszcie Unia Europejska prowadzi negocjacje jako całość UE-27 bez wyłamywania się poszczególnych państw. Bronimy interesów obywateli Unii Europejskiej. Jestem, jako poseł z Polski, zainteresowany obroną interesów prawie miliona polskich obywateli mieszkających w Wielkiej Brytanii, których los jest niepewny.

Wielka Brytania nie może oczekiwać korzyści jednostronnych kosztem korzyści obywateli Unii Europejskiej – także to popieram. Mam świadomość, że UE-27 będzie Unią pomniejszoną, ale wcale nie musi być Unią osłabioną, i sercem jestem z moimi przyjaciółmi z Labour Party na tej sali, którzy wyrażali swój ból z powodu rozwoju wydarzeń.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Othmar Karas (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, meine Damen und Herren! Mir tun die Bürgerinnen und Bürger des Vereinigten Königreichs leid. Sie wurden jahrelang – vor dem Referendum und auch teilweise jetzt – in die Irre geführt. Es wurde Schuld der EU zugewiesen statt zur Mitverantwortung gestanden, der Mehrwert der Mitgliedschaft verschwiegen, dass der Aufstieg auch der Mitgliedschaft zu verdanken ist. Die Unabhängigkeit wurde versprochen, die Spaltung riskiert und neue Abhängigkeiten geschaffen, „Geld zurück“ wurde versprochen und die Konsequenzen verschwiegen.

Es gibt keine Teilnahme am Binnenmarkt ohne die Akzeptanz der vier Freiheiten, ohne die Einhaltung der Grundrechte, ohne Kostenbeteiligung, ohne die Akzeptanz des Europäischen Gerichtshofs. Rechte und Werte, in 44 Jahren eingegangene Verpflichtungen sind die Grundlage der Verhandlungen. Nicht mehr und nicht weniger. Lernen wir daraus!

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, quando muitos esperavam que o Brexit fosse o princípio do fim do projeto europeu, o amplo consenso político interpartidário em apoio da resolução que hoje vamos aprovar sobre as negociações do Brexit é em si mesmo um importantíssimo sinal de unidade e de esperança. E importante é também que o Parlamento tenha definido uma prioridade clara, garantir em condições de reciprocidade o respeito pelos direitos dos cidadãos europeus que residem no Reino Unido e dos cidadãos britânicos que residem na União Europeia. E não é respeitar os direitos dos cidadãos, sujeitá-los, como hoje sucede no Reino Unido, a 85 páginas de escusada burocracia para conseguirem obter o seu direito às autorizações de residência.

A liberdade de circulação vincula integralmente o Reino Unido até ao dia da sua saída e mesmo depois disso enquanto vigorar um regime transitório de acesso ao mercado único. Este Parlamento não cederá na defesa dos direitos dos cidadãos europeus.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Esther de Lange (PPE). – Madam President, in a couple of weeks I will take my six-year-old son to London for the first time; he will see the Cenotaph and I will tell him about the bravery of those men who fought in two European wars and to whom we will be eternally grateful. But he will not understand because, thank God, he has never known war. Although, not too far away from here – and you can laugh – but not too far away from here children his age and younger are dying in the poisonous clouds of Idlib, the same clouds that we saw over Flanders Fields a century ago.

It is for those generations of young Europeans, those born after the fall of the Berlin Wall, that the remaining 27 Member States need to stand united and together, and work out a reformed and stronger European Union. It is for those young generations of Brits that we need a fair deal and a continued relationship with the United Kingdom, because they did not vote to leave.

Let us, dear colleagues, politicians of this very old continent, show the young people in Britain and in Europe alike that Europe is not a place of hate, of pettiness or of revenge, but that we can learn the lessons of the past and reshape a future in which the negotiating table will always, always prevail over outright conflict.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Jeppe Kofod (S&D). – Madam President, Brexit will be the most difficult, costly and unnecessary divorce in history. In the coming months and years, we can expect the EU 27 and the UK Government to end up in any number of catfights, but let me be crystal clear: whatever the cost, whatever the hassle, whatever the differences of opinions, this Parliament will serve the citizens of Europe. Period. We are their directly elected voice. We will be their strongest defender, their best advocate in this, and their ally. This goes for EU citizens and for UK citizens. We will not allow the Brexiters’ broken promises, half-truths and even lies to harm the citizens of the UK and EU any more than they have already done.

To the citizens of the 27 remaining Member States, I say we will never allow a post—Brexit UK to undermine your rights and conditions by competing in a race to the bottom. To the citizens of the UK, I say that we will continue to fight for your best interests, and we will keep a seat for you at our table.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Viviane Reding (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, mieux vaut un divorce réussi qu’un mariage raté, et pour que ce soit le cas avec le Brexit, plusieurs conditions sont nécessaires.

Tout d’abord, il faut donner la priorité aux conditions de séparation: garde des enfants, partage du patrimoine, droit de visite avec réciprocité et rapidité. Le Parlement européen l’a d’ailleurs bien compris en demandant des garanties pour les citoyens, les dettes et les frontières extérieures.

Ensuite, il peut s’ensuivre une période de transition pour que chacun s’adapte à sa nouvelle vie, à condition qu’il y ait paiement de la pension alimentaire sous le contrôle du juge. Là aussi, le message est clair: pas de droits sans devoirs, pas d’accès au marché intérieur sans respect des quatre libertés.

Une fois le divorce prononcé, et pas avant, il faut de la maturité afin d’entretenir des relations civilisées, même si rien ne sera plus comme avant. D’où nos exigences: ni dumping transformant le Royaume-Uni en pays de transit, ni chantage monnayant la libre circulation ou la sécurité des citoyens contre du commerce. Un divorce, c’est un nouveau départ. Pour nous, le Brexit sera le renouveau de l’Europe, avec les traités comme fil conducteur.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Vladimír Maňka (S&D) – Vážená pani predsedníčka, čísla Ministerstva financií Veľkej Británie hovoria, že v nasledujúcich piatich rokoch príde britská štátna pokladnica o viac ako 122 mld. eur. Najnovšie analýzy ukazujú, že kvôli brexitu v najbližších rokoch zanikne pol milióna pracovných miest. Barclays Bank potvrdila, že presun aktivít v bankovom sektore mimo Veľkej Británie je nevyhnutný. To naozaj neznie optimisticky.

Chcel by som odkázať do Veľkej Británie: aj my trpíme rovnako ako tí z vás, ktorí hlasovali za zotrvanie v EÚ. Ale rešpektujeme vôľu väčšiny. Začíname spolu hľadať novú budúcnosť. Toto obdobie neistoty môže trvať viac ako dva roky. Ak v ňom dospejete k záveru, že život mimo EÚ vážne poškodí vašu budúcnosť, neváhajte sa vrátiť späť. Rozumní politici predsa nenechajú ubližovať vlastným obyvateľom.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  David Casa (PPE). – Ir-Renju Unit huwa sieħeb importanti għall-Unjoni Ewropea u għal Malta. Ir-Renju Unit ser jibqa’ sieħeb importanti. Imma huwa diżappunt għalina li r-Renju Unit għażel li ma jibqax membru tal-Unjoni Ewropea. Però rridu nżommu f’moħħna li ser jibqa’ jkun hemm rabtiet b’saħħithom anke wara li r-Renju Unit iħalli lill-Unjoni Ewropea. U għalhekk li ma nistgħux nidħlu għan-negozjati b’ċertu aġir ta’ konfrontazzjoni. Issa rridu nistinkaw u naraw kif ikun hemm l-aħjar kundizzjonijiet bejn l-Unjoni Ewropea u pajjiż terz li miegħu għandna relazzjonijiet tajbin.

Madankollu r-Renju Unit irid jagħmel ċerti sagrifiċċji. Ma jistax jistenna privileġġi mingħajr ir-responsabbiltajiet li jiġu magħhom. Dan ifisser li rridu nimxu fuq ċerti prinċipji. Iż-żmien illi nkunu selettivi u nagħżlu li jaqbel lilna biss issa għadda.

Ir-Renju Unit irid iħallas dak li hu dovut – din hija kundizzjoni obbligatorja sabiex in-negozjati jkunu possibbli. Fuq kollox irridu nżommu f’moħħna l-element uman illi huwa l-aktar kruċjali. Hija prijorità li miljuni ta’ ċittadini Ewropej u Britanniċi fuq iż-żewg naħat nagħtuhom il-protezzjoni kollha tagħna lilhom u lid-drittjiet tagħhom.

Jien konvint illi nistgħu nsibu l-kompromess meħtieġ.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Victor Boştinaru (S&D). – Madam President, Romanian by nationality and historian by profession, I am fascinated by your great leader, Winston Churchill. But today I have to confess that I don’t know what he would say about Brexit or how he would judge the Brexiters. This is a real question mark.

When it comes to the status of the European citizens in the UK, the negotiations must be based on the principles of reciprocity and full equality among EU citizens. This means that we need to make sure that our citizens who currently live and work in the UK can continue to freely do so without any discrimination against them or between them based on their nationality. Under such circumstances, we can accept, as the EU, to grant the same status to the UK citizens in our Member States.

Equally important is the issue of security, defence and counterterrorism, where the EU and the UK are mutually fundamental. This is where we are reminded by the recent terrorist attack in London. Both the EU and the UK need to be wise and pragmatic. This is too important an issue to leave a security gap for those who threaten our common values and our challenges, equally the security of our citizens.

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. ANTONIO TAJANI
Presidente

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Harald Vilimsky (ENF). – Herr Präsident, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren! Schande über all jene, die jetzt vermeinen, über die Briten mit schlechten Worten zu reden, die dieser Entscheidung mit Strafsanktionen, mit absurden Zahlungsverpflichtungen, mit politischen Gehässigkeiten und Widrigkeiten begegnen. Wahre politische Größe zeigt sich doch vielmehr dadurch, dass man entsprechende Volksentscheide auch anerkennt, dass man respektiert, dass die Briten entschieden haben, die Europäische Union zu verlassen.

Sie haben jetzt zwei Möglichkeiten, darauf zu reagieren. Sie haben die Möglichkeit, nach dem Modell Juncker und Schulz noch mehr zu zentralisieren, die Mitgliedstaaten noch mehr zu entmachten, noch weniger an direkten Volksentscheiden zuzulassen. Oder Sie gehen den umgekehrten Weg, Sie lassen den Mitgliedstaaten wieder mehr Möglichkeiten zu entscheiden, Sie werten die Parlamente in den Mitgliedstaaten auf, Sie lassen direkte Demokratie in den Mitgliedstaaten zu, die auch wieder über europäischem Unionsrecht stehen kann.

Das, was Sie jetzt machen sollten, ist, den Briten mit Freundschaft zu begegnen, mit den Briten zu verhandeln – sinnvolle Kooperationsfelder – und sich nicht so zu verhalten wie in einem Rosenkrieg nach einer Scheidung oder wie zwei kleine Kinder, die aufeinander hinpecken, sondern wie erwachsene Menschen nüchtern und professionell damit umzugehen und beiden Interessengruppen auch entsprechend zu dienen.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Nigel Farage, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, I keep hearing what a positive project the European Union is. Article 8 of your beloved Treaty says ‘the Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries’ in a spirit of ‘good neighbourliness’. Well I get that, I understand that, I am with that, that makes a lot of sense. So why, if that is the case, would Mr Tusk have written Clause 22 in his Memorandum giving the Spanish a veto over the future of Gibraltar when everyone knows that the Spanish are antagonistic towards the wishes of the people of the Rock? And why, Monsieur Barnier, in a spirit of ‘good neighbourliness’, would you have plucked this bizarre figure of GBP 52 billion out of the air that you say is our final settlement payment?

Remember one thing. From the moment we voted Brexit to the moment we leave, we will have put GBP 30 billion net into this European Union, and you want another 50. It just does not work. For any negotiation in life to work both sides stake out a position. Both sides ask for more than they realistically expect to get. I understand that, but you have gone so far with this that it is just impossible for us to see any accommodation.

I think there needs to be give and take on both sides, and I think if you gave on the money and you gave on Gibraltar, then what I would like to see the United Kingdom Government doing is saying there are 3.3 million EU citizens living in the UK, they all came to Britain legally and we will now unilaterally guarantee their rights for the future. Both sides need to give on this for any sensible deal to come out of it. We can walk away without a deal, it will hurt European workers and European companies more than us, but surely it makes sense for both of us to come to a sensible accommodation.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Philippe Lamberts, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, if we want to get to a sensible accommodation, Mr Farage’s speech is precisely the kind of nonsense that we should just ignore. I just want to say that Brexit is a lose-lose game. I would have much preferred for us to stay together. L’Union fait la force, we say in Belgium, and that remains the case today. But there is one thing where I believe no compromise is possible, and that is the only thing that really annoyed me in Mrs May’s letter. It concerns security cooperation. Security cooperation is an area where we cannot let lose-lose logic prevail. It is in the interest of the safety and security of all our citizens, British or otherwise, to cooperate deeply in matters of security, and what we cannot accept is that any other kind of consideration – trade, commercial, whatever – stands in the way. There is no trade-off here. It concerns the lives of men and women.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Gabriele Zimmer, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren! Das Europäische Parlament – und das hat sich heute gezeigt – hat eine hohe Verantwortung für die Begleitung des Verhandlungsprozesses, und ich habe mit großer Aufmerksamkeit zur Kenntnis genommen, dass uns erklärt worden ist, dass wir nicht nur heute und am Abschluss der Verhandlungen miteinander reden werden, sondern – das Angebot von Herrn Barnier und auch das Angebot der Kommission –, dass wir zwischenzeitlich ins Benehmen gesetzt werden, uns informieren können, unsere Meinung auch zum Ausdruck bringen können, also politischen Einfluss ausüben können.

Das halte ich für wichtig, weil es darum geht, dass wir vor allem – und das sind die Kriterien, die meine Fraktion auch in Anwendung bringen wird – darauf achten, wie die Rechte der Menschen, die vom Brexit direkt betroffen sind, gewahrt werden. Wir werden darauf achten, wie auch die Sicherheit der Menschen, gerade im Norden Irlands, gewahrt wird im Ergebnis des Verhandlungsprozesses. Die Menschen dürfen nicht den Preis für den Brexit bezahlen. Sie haben ihn nicht hervorgerufen, sondern es hat andere Gründe dafür gegeben. Also sollten sie ihn nicht bezahlen, und wir werden darauf achten. Lassen Sie uns hier gemeinsam zusammenarbeiten, damit wir hier als Parlament auch wirklich Einfluss ausüben können.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I find it fantastic that Mr Farage is using Article 217 of the Treaty on the Association Agreement. Now that he is leaving, he starts to read the Treaty and to find the Treaty so good. It is fantastic to see this enormous positive development, if I may say so. That said, what is clear in this debate is ‘let us put the citizens first’, and it does not make any difference whether they are EU citizens or UK citizens. We will be firm, we need to be firm to defend the unity and the interest of the European Union towards the UK authorities, but my appeal here in the House today is to be open, positive and generous towards UK citizens, because many of them, millions of them, want to keep their relationship, their link, their identity on the European level. And last but not least, my appeal also to the House is that, when we vote within a few minutes, we have a huge majority and almost unity in this House. It is key to do that, to have a united European Parliament, together with the EU negotiator and with the European Council, and I hope for a strong vote within a few moments.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Roberts Zīle, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, ‘divorce’, ‘sadness’, ‘electricity and heating bills’, ‘foolishness’, ‘disruption of transport links’, etc. ‘We will only speak about the future relationships when we settle on accounts’. ‘We are the champions, but on the other side are the losers’. ‘We will not leave them any single cherry of the cake’. That is a summary of the statements made both in the Chamber today and also in the media.

I would like to ask colleagues to calm down. Does anybody believe that in these negotiations there will be winners when it comes to citizens’ rights issues? Indeed, how successful can we call an arrangement where part of the success is achieved by discriminating against the citizens of another EU nation, or take businesses that are the backbone of economies? Do we really want to extend uncertainties for the next five or so years?

It is possible within the next two years to settle the past accounts and work on the comprehensive framework for the future relationships. This allows for it, business will wait for it, and in the end the European people want it. So good luck to you in the negotiations.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Gianni Pittella, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, non tutti i britannici detestano l'Unione europea come il collega Farage. Ci tengo a ricordare che il 48 % dei cittadini britannici votarono per restare nell'Unione europea, e voglio ricordare con particolare affetto e commozione la compagna Jo Cox, deputata britannica assassinata durante la campagna referendaria.

Nessuno ha mai obbligato il Regno Unito a fare alcunché. Ho ascoltato parole incredibili: minacce, castigo, mafia. Voi avete deciso di aderire liberamente all'Unione europea e voi liberamente decidete di uscire dall'Unione europea. Nessuna rivalsa, ma non potete imporci il vostro caos.

No, dunque, a negoziati paralleli: finché siete parte dell'Unione europea, non potete negoziare con l'OMC. Al disordine della Brexit noi rispondiamo con l'unità invocata da Juncker e da Barnier, con l'unità che è la forza tranquilla della nostra istituzione.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Manfred Weber, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Das war heute eine Diskussion mit einem guten Ton, und ich hoffe, dass viele Bürgerinnen und Bürger die Diskussion verfolgt haben, weil sie gesehen haben, dass die großen Fraktionen, die europäischen Fraktionen hier einen sachlichen Ton, einen konstruktiven Ton an den Tag gelegt haben und leider Gottes die Populisten und Extremisten, die wir hier im Haus haben, wieder Schärfe gebracht haben. Es wurde zitiert, dass auf den Straßen gekämpft werden muss und dass man die Unabhängigkeit verteidigen muss. Es war ein harter, aggressiver Ton zu spüren. Hier die Sachlichkeit, dort die Aggressivität. Ich hoffe, das haben in der Diskussion viele Bürger gesehen.

Übrigens habe ich keine Antworten bekommen. Ich habe die Frage gestellt, ob man jetzt weiter bei Europol dabei sein will, ob man weiter im Binnenmarkt dabei sein will, ob man weiter bei der forscungsunion dabei sein will. Mister Farage hat darauf bisher keine Antworten gegeben, ob diese Partnerschaften weiter richtig sind oder nicht. Das heißt: Die Grundsatzfrage, was leave wirklich bedeutet, bleibt auf dem Tisch.

Eine Bemerkung kann ich mir zum Schluss nicht ganz verkneifen, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen. Wenn wir in den Rat blicken, dann haben wir dort die Lage, dass, wenn die Staats- und Regierungschefs sich über den Brexit unterhalten, dann Theresa May nicht anwesend ist, weil das eine Sache ist, die die EU-27 zu verhandeln haben. Das heißt, Theresa May geht respektvoll mit den anderen 27 Staaten um. Wenn wir auf die parlamentarische Lage blicken, da haben wir Westminster, das am Schluss abstimmen muss – dort werden die britischen Interessen vertreten –, und wir haben das Europäische Parlament, das abstimmen muss – dort werden die Interessen der EU-27 vertreten. Und deswegen bin ich natürlich schon interessiert daran, wie Nigel Farage sich das die nächsten zwei Jahre vorstellt.

Ich möchte respektvoll anerkennen, dass Syed Kamall heute nicht gesprochen hat im Namen seiner Fraktion. Er hat das Wort gegeben an Kollegen, die nicht Briten sind, um die Fraktionspositionen deutlich zu machen. Ich würde mir wünschen, dass Nigel Farage zukünftig auch ein Ehrenmann ist und zukünftig bei Debatten um den Brexit in seiner Fraktion die italienischen Kollegen reden lässt. Nigel Farage hat uns die letzten Jahre erklärt, wie gut es ist, dass die Briten endlich die Europäische Union verlassen. Ich würde mir wünschen, dass er endlich ein gutes Beispiel gibt und dann die Debatten im Europäischen Parlament nicht mehr belastet. Herzlichen Dank dafür.

(Beifall)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. – Comunico di aver ricevuto quattro proposte di risoluzione conformemente all'articolo 123, paragrafo 2 del regolamento.

La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà oggi, mercoledì 5 aprile 2017, alle 12.00.

Ringrazio tutti coloro che hanno partecipato alla discussione, il Presidente della Commissione europea, il negoziatore dell'Unione europea, il rappresentante del Consiglio e tutti i deputati che hanno preso la parola durante questa discussione.

Il Parlamento svolgerà un ruolo determinante durante queste trattative, voterà alla fine a favore o contro, rispettando le regole della democrazia. In quest'Aula siedono 751 parlamentari in rappresentanza di 500 milioni di cittadini europei, tutti regolarmente eletti. Non ci sono né mafiosi, né gangster, ci sono rappresentanti dei popoli e questa non è una questione di sensibilità nazionale, è una questione di civiltà e di democrazia.

(Applausi)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Vicky Ford (ECR). – Mr President, I would like to raise a point of order under Article 11.2 about this morning’s debate. Calling other colleagues members of the mafia or gangsters does not show mutual respect, does not represent the views of the vast majority of the British people, and is not the view of the British Prime Minister, who wants to remain friends, allies and partners.

(Loud applause)

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. – Ha chiesto la parola per un punto all'ordine del giorno l'on. Carver.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  James Carver (EFDD). – Mr President, there has been a lot of confusion in this House this morning, talking about British aggression over Gibraltar. Can I just remind colleagues across Parliament that it was actually Spain that sent one of their warships into Gibraltarian waters.

 
  
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. – Non mi pare un punto all'ordine del giorno in base al regolamento.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), raštu. – 2017 m. kovo 29 d. Jungtinės Karalystės vyriausybė pateikė pranešimą Europos Vadovų Tarybai, kuriuo įforminamas Jungtinės Karalystės sprendimas išstoti iš Europos Sąjungos. Šis pranešimas yra Jungtinėje Karalystėje įvykusio referendumo pasekmė. Ir nors tai yra precedento neturintis įvykis, dėl kurio tenka apgailestauti, nes iki šiol dar nė viena valstybė narė nėra išstojusi iš Europos Sąjungos, turime užtikrinti, kad išstojimas vyktų tvarkingai ir nebūtų padarytas neigiamas poveikis Europos Sąjungai, jos piliečiams ir Europos integracijos procesui. Europos Parlamentas atstovauja visiems Europos Sąjungos piliečiams ir todėl jo tikslas – viso Jungtinės Karalystės išstojimo proceso metu siekti apsaugoti visų piliečių interesus. Derybos dėl išstojimo turi vykti stengiantis užtikrinti teisinį stabilumą ir padėti piliečiams susidaryti aiškų vaizdą apie jų ateitį. Jungtinėje Karalystėje gyvenančių Europos Sąjungos piliečių ir Europos Sąjungoje gyvenančių Jungtinės Karalystės piliečių statusui ir teisėms būtų taikomi abipusiškumo, lygybės, vienodo požiūrio ir nediskriminavimo principai. Iki Jungtinė Karalystė išstos iš Europos Sąjungos visos teisės, susijusios su keturiomis laisvėmis, turi būti pilnai užtikrinamos, o bet koks ES piliečių diskriminavimas jiems mėginant įgyti teisę gyventi Jungtinėje Karalystėje prieštarautų Europos Sąjungos teisei ir būtų netoleruotinas.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Andrea Bocskor (PPE), írásban. – Az Egyesült Királyság kilépése az Európai Unióból nem egy örvendetes esemény. Most, hogy a folyamat beindult, annak a lehető legeredményesebb lefolyását kell biztosítani. Ennek során mindkét fél hosszú távú stratégia céljait kell szem előtt tartani, hiszen a kapcsolat az Egyesült Királyság és Európa között megmarad. Nyugalmunkat megőrizve, professzionálisan és elköteleződéssel kell a Brexit-tárgyalásokat lefolytatnunk. Nem lehet más célunk, mint hosszú távra tervezni és pozitív végeredményt elérni, amelyet minden tagország nyugodt szívvel ratifikálni fog. Ennek során bizonyosan kompromisszumokat is kötni kell, de mindig szem előtt kell tartani mind az EU, mind az Egyesült Királyság munkavállalóinak érdekeit. Az elválás során folyamatosan arra kell törekedni, hogy minél kisebb kárt, veszteséget okozzunk az Európai Unió állampolgárainak.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Birgit Collin-Langen (PPE), schriftlich. – Ich bedaure die Entscheidung Großbritanniens, aber ich akzeptiere sie auch. Wer nicht mehr Teil einer Gemeinschaft bleiben möchte, muss anschließend die Konsequenzen dieser Entscheidung tragen: Großbritannien behält seine Rechte als EU-Mitglied bis zu seinem Austritt, gleichzeitig gilt es aber auch, bestehende Pflichten zu erfüllen. Dies gilt auch für finanzielle Verpflichtungen, die sich unter anderem aus dem langfristigen EU-Haushalt ergeben. Und es ist klar: Wer sich gegen die EU entscheidet, kann nicht mehr von unseren Errungenschaften und Vorteilen profitieren. Entweder man ist Teil einer Sache oder nicht.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – Mais uma vez se comprova que as instituições da UE convivem mal com a democracia e com as decisões soberanas dos povos. Não é de hoje. A postura de pressão, ameaça e chantagem exercida sobre o Reino Unido, na sequência da expressão soberana da vontade popular de saída da UE, é inaceitável e reveladora das intenções que norteiam as instituições da UE neste processo. Entre estas intenções – que veementemente denunciamos e combatemos – está a de levar a cabo uma operação de branqueamento das políticas da UE e das suas consequências, e a partir dela forçar uma fuga em frente no aprofundamento da integração capitalista europeia. O processo negocial que agora se inicia deve ser justo e equilibrado, partindo da ideia fundamental de respeito pela decisão soberana do Reino Unido. Deve ser uma prioridade destas negociações a defesa e a proteção dos direitos tanto dos cidadãos britânicos que residem em Estados-Membros da UE como dos cidadãos de Estados-Membros da UE que residem no Reino Unido. Direitos como: direito de residência, direito de tratamento igual e não discriminação, direito de acesso aos serviços públicos e à segurança social, direito à reunificação familiar, ao reconhecimento internacional de diplomas universitários e formações. As disposições positivas relativas à livre circulação de pessoas devem ser protegidas.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Monika Flašíková Beňová (S&D), písomne – Dohoda o vystúpení, ako aj jednotlivé prechodné opatrenia by mali podľa plánu nadobudnúť účinnosť ešte pred voľbami do Európskeho parlamentu v roku 2019. Dovtedy má Veľká Británia všetky práva, výhody aj povinnosti riadneho členského štátu. To sa v plnej miere týka aj jej finančných záväzkov. Administratívne zvládnutie vystúpenia Spojeného kráľovstva z EÚ nebude jednoduchý proces. Zatiaľ je to veľká neznáma. Dôležité je však nastavenie priorít. Tými musia byť najmä istoty a stabilné právne postavenie európskych občanov žijúcich v Británii, ako aj Britov na území krajín EÚ. Odchod jedného členského štátu môže byť motiváciou pre prispôsobenie fungovania Európskej únie spôsobom, aby žiadne ďalšie odchádzať nechceli. Brexit je primárne výsledkom populizmu a hazardovania bývalého premiéra Camerona, ktorý bol pre jednorazové víťazstvo vo voľbách ochotný obetovať desiatky rokov spolupráce. Lídri jednotlivých štátov by sa z toho mali poučiť. Nemôžu naďalej pokračovať v tom, že sa najskôr na niečom dohodnú, a ak je to nepopulárne, doma prezentujú, že za to môže Európska únia a úradníci v Bruseli.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ana Gomes (S&D), por escrito. – Para este Parlamento há condições muito claras e necessárias para a aprovação, em 2019, de um eventual acordo entre a UE e o Reino Unido (RU), e é a esta excelente Resolução que retornaremos para analisar, ponto por ponto, se estão cumpridas. Destaco três: - Não podem ser os cidadãos - europeus ou britânicos - a pagar a conta. Nomeadamente, é preciso que ambas as partes tenham no centro das suas preocupações os interesses e direitos dos cidadãos europeus a viver no RU e vice-versa. - A UE não poderá nunca permitir que o RU se torne um paraíso fiscal e a luta contra a fraude e evasão fiscal estarão na linha frente de qualquer acordo comercial que se desenhe. - Em todas as formas de cooperação que venham a existir entre a UE e o RU, em áreas que favoreçam os interesses de ambas as partes - cooperação a que este Parlamento e a Europa a 27 permanecem abertos - a bússola serão, como em qualquer política de ação externa da União, os nossos valores e princípios, nomeadamente no que toca ao respeito pelas obrigações internacionais de proteção de refugiados e migrantes, e pelos Direitos Humanos em geral.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Benedek Jávor (Verts/ALE), írásban. – A népszavazás óta arra vártunk, hogy a brit kormány és parlament megfontolja, mit kezd az eredménnyel. Reménykedtünk, hogy valamilyen csoda folytán mégis a józan észre hallgatnak, illetve vártuk, hogy az Egyesült Királyság aktiválja-e az 50. cikkelyt. Sajnos Theresa May a kilépési folyamatot ellentmondásokkal terhelten és fenyegetőzéstől sem mentesen indította el, elbizonytalanítva nemcsak az Unió képviselőit, de a maradáspárti briteket is. Most az EU intézményein van a sor, hogy meghatározzák: mik azok a feltételek, amelyeknek a tárgyalások során érvényesülniük kell, annak érdekében, hogy megvédjék az Unió érdekeit és állampolgárait. A legfontosabbak: a kilépési megállapodásban megnyugtatóan, a kölcsönösség és diszkriminációmentesség elvének tiszteletben tartásával kell rendezni az Egyesült Királyságban élő európai, illetve az Európában élő brit állampolgárok helyzetét, jogaikat és munkavállalásuk feltételeit. Az EU–brit pénzügyi elszámolásnak ki kell terjednie a 2013-2020-as költségvetésből eredő, az unió felé fennálló kötelezettségekre éppen úgy, mint a kilépéssel járó költségekre. A jövőbeli kapcsolatokat csak a kilépési megállapodás megkötése után lehet kialakítani, beleértve a tagországokkal kötendő megállapodásokat is. A jövőbeli kapcsolatokat csak az Unió alapértékeire alapozva, az emberi jogokra, a tisztességes gazdasági és adóversenyre, a környezetvédelemre és éghajlatváltozásra vonatkozó uniós elvek és szabályok figyelembe vételével lehet kialakítani.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D), kirjallinen. – On vaikea kuvitella eurooppalaista tiedemaailmaa ilman Britanniaa. Maan yliopistot ja tutkimuslaitokset ovat antaneet valtavasti EU:lle ja saaneet EU:lta monet parhaista tutkijoistaan sekä huomattavia rahasummia: 7 miljardia tutkimus- ja kehitysrahoja, maksuosuuttaan enemmän. Mitä brexitissä tapahtuu opiskelija- ja tutkijavaihdolle? Brexit koettelee sekä EU:ta että eritoten Britanniaa tavoilla, joita äänestäjät eivät osanneet edes aavistella. Tiedemaailma jää vaikeaan asemaan kuten moni muukin elämänalue ja ala – Britanniassa EU:n upeat puolet huomattiin sitten, kun oli jo liian myöhäistä. Koko tiedeyhteisö on lähes yksimielisesti sitä mieltä, että tiedeyhteistyön tulisi jatkua kuten ennenkin tai että sen tulisi jopa tiivistyä. Ei ole kenenkään edun mukaista, että brexit tuhoaa yhteistyön tiedemaailmassa. Samaa sanotaan lähes jokaisella yhteiskunnan osa-alueella. Tapasin vastikään Britannian kantaverkkoyhtiön National Gridin edustajia, jotka kertoivat sähkömarkkinoiden yhteistyöstä, joka hyödyttää molempia osapuolia yhteysjohtojen kautta. Iso-Britannia on nettotuoja, yhteydet lisäävät toimitusvarmuutta. Sama viesti muiltakin aloilta: ”Voitaisiinko juuri MEIDÄN alallamme jatkaa yhteistyötä?” Tämä ei ole mikään ihme, sillä koko EU perustuu kaikkia osapuolia hyödyttäviin sopimuksiin. Neuvottelut tulee käydä avoimesti. Molempien osapuolten on muistettava ihmisten tilanne, mukaan lukien työntekijöiden oikeudet, sekä taattava kansainvälisten sopimusten noudattaminen. Veronkierron aukkoja ei tule hyväksyä vaan estää. Vaikka epävarmuutta on paljon, yksi on varma: korvataksemme Britannian lähdön haitat muun EU:n on tehtävä yhteistyötä entistä paremmin ja enemmän.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Marian-Jean Marinescu (PPE), în scris. – Situația rupturii Marii Britanii de UE a fost creată de politicieni populiști care au împins Marea Britanie pe un drum care poate să o ducă într-o stare economică periculoasă și chiar către o Mică Britanie. Uniunea Europeană, la rândul ei, a trebuit să facă față semnelor de întrebare referitoare la imagine și credibilitate. UE trebuie acum să se angajeze pe un drum care să conducă spre unitate, comunicare și transparență, cooperare consolidată în domeniile care constituie provocări actuale: apărare, securitate, migrație, situația economică și socială.

Parlamentul European trebuie să-și fixeze câteva priorități clare: asigurarea drepturilor cetățenilor și bugetul. Există cetățeni britanici care locuiesc în UE și cetățeni ai UE care locuiesc în Marea Britanie, inclusiv în jur de 300 000 de români. Este nevoie de clarificarea drepturilor pe care aceștia trebuie să le mențină pe termen lung.

În ceea ce privește dorințele Marii Britanii de a participa la politica de securitate împreună cu condițiile favorabile pentru comerț, consider că nu există legătură între cele două domenii. Acordul privind relațiile economice trebuie să se încheie în aceleași condiții ca cele aplicate pentru orice țară terță.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Ева Майдел (PPE), в писмена форма. – Макар много политици във Великобритания и по света погрешно да считат, че Брекзит настъпи с референдума през юни 2016 г. или със задействането на член 50 от Договорите на ЕС през март 2017 г., на всички трябва да е ясно, че Великобритания остава пълноправен член на ЕС докато не завършат преговорите за напускането ѝ. Всички задължения – правни и финансови, остават в сила до официалното напускане. Тъй като за да влезе в сила споразумението, постигнато в края на преговорите, е необходимо одобрението на Европейския парламент, позицията, която приемаме днес, трябва да бъде отразена в преговорите.

На първо място, за нас от Европейската народна партия винаги ще бъдат гражданите. Затова и поставяме в центъра на позицията ни гарантирането на справедливо и равноправно отношение към гражданите на ЕС, живеещи във Великобритания, както и на британските граждани, пребиваващи в ЕС.

Държа да подчертая, че никой не иска да наказва Великобритания. Напротив, всички ще имаме полза от ефективно споразумение за бъдещите ни отношения и участие на британците в единния пазар. Но това може да стане само при спазване на неделимостта на четирите свободи на вътрешния пазар – свободата на движение на стоки, капитали, услуги и хора.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Csaba Molnár (S&D), írásban. – A britek hivatalosan is elindították az Unióból való kilépési folyamatot. A brit nép akaratát tiszteletben kell tartani, de a következő időszak a szörnyű felismerés időszaka lesz. A nagyhatalmi nosztalgia, a nacionalista gőg senkit nem ment meg a valóságtól. Európa részesedése a globális gazdaságból tovább csökken a következő években. Nem azért, mert mi leszünk kisebbek, hanem azért, mert a kínaiak, az indiaiak, a brazilok lesznek nagyobbak. Ezért ebből a szempontból kétfajta uniós tagállam létezik: a kisebbek és azok, akik még nem tudják, hogy kicsik. A legnagyobb európai tagállamok is eltörpülnek Kína és India lakossága mellett. A játékszabályok megváltoztak, egyesek ezt észreveszik, mások a nacionalizmus mögé bújva próbálják titkolni. Hozzá kell szoknunk ezért, hogy külön-külön nem megy többé. A különutasság a múlt, az együttműködés pedig a jövő. A nacionalista vezetők hazudnak, amikor azt mondják, hogy az EU a létünkre tör. Ha nincs EU, a napjaink meg vannak számlálva, amikor a versenytársaink kontinensnyi országok. Az európai országok sorsa össze van kötve, ha szeretjük, ha nem. Csak egy út áll előttünk, méghozzá a mélyebb uniós integráció, amely képes versenyezni a világ többi részével.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE), kirjallinen. – Brexit-neuvottelujen on oltava läpinäkyvät, ja ne on käytävä molemmin puolin vilpittömässä hengessä. Britannia ei voi poimia rusinoita EU:n pullasta. Kansalaisten vapaata liikkuvuutta EU:n sisällä ei voida irrottaa sisämarkkinoista. Britannian on myös hoidettava lähtölaskunsa. Britannia ei voi myöskään yrittää kiristää EU:ta neuvotteluissa yhteiseen turvallisuuteen liittyvän yhteistyön lopettamisella. Vasta sitten kun Britannian eron periaatteista on riittävä selvyys, voidaan EU:n ja Iso-Britannian tulevan kumppanuussuhteen muodosta alkaa keskustella. Brexit-prosessi on monimutkainen, ja neuvotteluissa vaaditaan malttia. Molempien osapuolten on syytä toimia rakentavasti ja etsiä parhaita ratkaisuja, sillä Britannia on jatkossakin osa Eurooppaa ja EU:n läheinen kumppani.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Claude Rolin (PPE), par écrit. – Après neuf mois de gestation, le gouvernement britannique décide enfin de déclencher l’article 50, faisant ainsi officiellement débuter les négociations avec l’Union européenne. En commission de l’Emploi et des Affaires sociales, nous avons particulièrement étudié la question du Brexit sous l’angle de la libre circulation des personnes. Pas moins de 700 actes du droit de l’UE touchent à la politique de l’emploi, au social ou à la libre circulation des travailleurs et tous, sans exception, seront concernés par le Brexit. Dans un certain nombre de cas, des mesures transitoires seront indispensables pour préserver les citoyens. Cette demande de divorce doit d’ailleurs nous inciter à réviser dans les meilleurs délais la directive relative au détachement des travailleurs, afin de trouver une solution adéquate pour l’Union à 27. Enfin, le Fonds social européen, de même que le Fonds européen d'aide aux plus démunis, et le programme pour l'emploi et l'innovation sociale risquent d’être affectés par le Brexit. Il est primordial que nous veillions à ce que le budget qui y est consacré soit suffisant et ce, malgré le départ britannique. Le Brexit doit être transformé en une opportunité de relance et d’amélioration du projet européen.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner (ECR), kirjallinen. – Riippumatta neuvotteluiden lopullisista kompromisseista, on selvää, että brexitistä seuraa suuri aukko Euroopan unionin jäsenmaksuihin. Mielestäni tämä aukko pitää täyttää tulonsiirroilla muista budjettimomenteista tai vähentämällä tasaisesti kaikkia EU:n menoja. Toisin sanoen, jäsenmaksuja ei tule korottaa brexitin johdosta. Myös EU-palkkaveron korotus 10 %:sta 30 % tasolle tuottaisi lisätuloja vastaavasti. Tehtävä ei ole vaikea, sillä aukon voi täyttää budjettien uudelleenallokoinnilla kohteista, joiden tuloksellisuudesta ei ole näyttöä. Esimerkiksi ei ole näyttöä ESIR-rahaston onnistumisesta EU:n talouskasvun ja työllisyyden parantamisessa. Suunniteltu budjettikapasiteetti voidaan myös allokoida budjettiaukon täyttöön. Mikäli budjettimomenttien uudelleenkohdistuksista ei päästä sopuun, ehdotan, että erityisesti komission hallintoa ja muita menoja leikataan vastaavasti. Samalla kun säästöpolitiikat supistavat useiden jäsenmaiden budjetteja, on vain reilua ja kohtuullista odottaa komissiolta tehokkuutta toiminnoissaan.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Algirdas Saudargas (PPE), raštu. – Šiuo metu Jungtinėje Karalystėje gyvena apie 3 milijonus ES gyventojų, iš kurių 170 tūkstančių yra iš Lietuvos. Deryboms dėl „Brexit“ turim tik 2 metus, o klausimų yra daug: JK finansinis atsiskaitymas, ES išorės sienos, agentūrų perkėlimas, būsimi komerciniai ir politiniai santykiai. JK dirbančių, gyvenančių ir studijuojančių ES piliečių teisių apsauga turėtų užimti svarbią vietą. Derybos neturėtų virsti varžybomis, iš kurių visi išeisime pralaimėję. Atvirkščiai, norėčiau paraginti, kad atsakingi asmenys besiderėdami turėtų galvoje tų trijų milijonų žmonių likimus ir tokiu būdu pasiektų susitarimą, naudingiausią visiems ES piliečiams. Taip parodant, kad jie rūpi Europos Sąjungai ir kad mes esame čia tam, kad susigrąžintume ES piliečių pasitikėjimą. Aišku yra tai, kad išstodami iš ES Jungtinės Karalystė ir jos gyventojai nebegalės mėgautis tokiomis pat teisėmis ar lengvatomis kaip visi kiti ES piliečiai.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Tibor Szanyi (S&D), írásban. – Úgy gondolom, ezzel a határozattal az EU vívmányait, egységét és értékeit megőrző, a közös érdekek érvényesítését és az európai építkezés folytatását szavatoló tárgyalási irány mellett foglalunk állást, ami fontos politikai támogatást jelent majd a tárgyalóasztalnál ülő EU-képviselőknek. Ám ettől még sajnos változatlanul tény, hogy a Brexittel végső soron mindenki csak veszít. Ezért a határozat nyilvános kommunikációjára való tekintettel is fontosnak tartom, hogy legalább utólag levonjuk a politikai tanulságokat Cameron felelőtlenségéből, aki hosszú évek EU-ellenes, populista uszításával végeredményben hazája fejlődését, saját népe egész jövőjét tette kockára. Nem nagyon hiszem, de remélem, hogy ez az üzenet Orbán és a többi, hatalmához ragaszkodó jobboldali, nacionalista, demagóg politikus számára is súlyos figyelmeztetésül szolgál.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D), schriftelijk. – Ik zie het VK niet graag uit de EU vertrekken, maar nu het proces in gang gezet is, moeten we op een constructieve manier vooruit. Vandaag bepaalt het Europees Parlement haar onderhandelingsstandpunt voor de brexit. Voor mij moeten de belangen van de burgers hierbij centraal staan. Niemand is gebaat bij een harde brexit: het VK niet, maar ook de EU niet. Tegelijkertijd moet de brexit voor de EU-27 een gezamenlijke keuze voor een sociale, duurzame en eerlijke Europese Unie zijn. De EU-27 moeten zich eensgezind rond een duurzaam en sociaal toekomstproject scharen. De brexit kan zo leiden tot meer eensgezindheid over onze gemeenschappelijke waarden.

We mogen natuurlijk niet naïef zijn. Het VK zal trachten een zo goed mogelijke deal uit de brand te slepen. Het moet echter van bij de start duidelijk zijn dat er van cherrypicking geen sprake kan zijn: je kan niet alle voordelen van lidmaatschap willen behouden en tóch de Unie verlaten. We moeten zeer duidelijk zijn dat de Unie niet zal aanvaarden dat er aan onze grenzen een fiscaal paradijs met ecodumping en sociale dumping zou ontstaan. In de brexitonderhandelingen moet daarom voldoende aandacht gaan naar het respecteren van het klimaatakkoord en het naleven van sociale en fiscale normen.

 
  
MPphoto
 
 

  Janusz Zemke (S&D), na piśmie. – Debata, którą obecnie prowadzimy, jest jedną z najważniejszych w dziejach PE. Po raz pierwszy bowiem nie ustalamy zasad przystąpienia do UE, tylko warunki wystąpienia jednego z państw członkowskich z Unii. Chcę w związku z tym zwrócić uwagę tylko na jeden z tych aspektów wyjścia. Wielka Brytania jako członek Unii Europejskiej wpłacała do jej budżetu corocznie około 17 miliardów euro, a otrzymywała około 6 miliardów. Pozostałe środki, czyli ponad 10 miliardów euro, co roku były wykorzystywane na finansowanie inwestycji w wielu państwach członkowskich, w tym w Polsce. Państwa te planowały zatem swoje wydatki w oparciu o środki, które zapewnia budżet UE, pochodzący także z brytyjskich wpłat. W negocjacjach z Wielką Brytanią trzeba zatem domagać się, by wywiązała się ona do końca ze swoich zobowiązań finansowych, gdyż były one jednym z ważnych źródeł środków unijnych przeznaczanych dla pozostałych państw. Polska, podobnie jak inne państwa członkowskie, musi mieć pewność, że realizowane przez nią inwestycje zostaną sfinansowane przez budżet UE. Dlatego też uważam, że Komisja Europejska, prowadząca negocjacje w imieniu 27 państw UE, powinna konsekwentnie rozliczyć zobowiązania finansowe pomiędzy Zjednoczonym Królestwem a Unią Europejską.

 
Last updated: 27 September 2017Legal notice