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Procedure : 2017/2847(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Select a document: :

Texts tabled :

B8-0538/2017

Debates :

PV 03/10/2017 - 3
CRE 03/10/2017 - 3

Votes :

PV 03/10/2017 - 4.1
CRE 03/10/2017 - 4.1

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0361

Debates
Tuesday, 3 October 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

3. State of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom (debate)
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sul tema "Stato di avanzamento dei negoziati con il Regno Unito" (2017/2847(RSP)).

 
  
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  Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Commission. – Mr President, September was a month rich in speeches. I started with my State of the Union address on the future of Europe here in this House, where I laid out the road map for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. This debate on building a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe continued at the Sorbonne in Paris: President Macron gave a very bold and a very European speech, and I would like to congratulate him and thank him once again. Prime Minister May’s speech, on the other hand, was about separation. In Florence, she struck an optimistic tone on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the Union.

When it comes to Brexit, we still cannot talk about the future without real clarity. This is because the condition of Article 50 and the mandate given to us by the leaders of the EU 27 are very clear: we first need to agree on the terms of the divorce and then we will see if we can, half-lovingly, find one another again. The Prime Minister’s speech in Florence was conciliatory, but speeches are not negotiation positions and, as Michel Barnier, the Commission’s excellent chief negotiator, said last week, work still remains to be done. We have not yet made the sufficient progress needed.

The negotiators have made good progress on citizens’ rights, but the indispensable role of the European Court of Justice in guaranteeing those rights still needs to be agreed. I am pleased that Prime Minister May and her team recognise that the UK has financial obligations which it must respect. The devil will be, as always, in the detail, but the taxpayers of the EU 27 should not pay for the British decision. And when it comes to Ireland we can only talk of solutions that fully respect EU law and the Good Friday Agreement. I will not go into any more detail here, as negotiations continue next week and Michel Barnier will complete what I have just been saying.

For those who think that the UK should just go over Michel Barnier’s head, I would remind them that the Commission was appointed by the 27 Member States, and my choice of Michel Barnier was welcomed by them. He acts on their behalf on the basis of clear negotiating mandates and he will report to them at the next European Council. To date, I cannot say that we are ready to enter the second phase of the negotiations.

Monsieur le Président, après le départ du Royaume-Uni, une page de l’histoire européenne se tourne et une autre est en train de s’écrire pour décider de l’avenir que nous voulons construire à vingt-sept.

Trop longtemps, nous avons repoussé des questions cruciales à des lendemains incertains. Trop longtemps, nous avons préféré nous livrer à de longues discussions institutionnelles au lieu de débattre clairement avec les peuples d’Europe de la finalité de notre Union. Tout cela doit changer et tout cela est en train de changer. Les débats sur l’avenir de l’Europe se multiplient dans tous les États membres. C’est bon signe car cela témoigne de la santé et de la vigueur de la démocratie européenne. C’était l’objectif que visait la Commission avec le livre blanc sur l’avenir de l’Europe, les documents de réflexion et les nombreux dialogues citoyens qui se sont multipliés dans tout le continent.

Mais il ne faut pas se disperser. C’est pourquoi j’ai voulu placer la poursuite de ce débat public dans le contexte d’une feuille de route structurée avec des échéances précises sur des propositions concrètes. Cette route nous mènera jusqu’au 30 mars 2019, au sommet spécial de Sibiu-Hermannstadt, en Roumanie, où nous donnerons notre vision d’avenir pour l’Europe et où nous déciderons de ce que nous serons prêts à défendre et à construire ensemble, à vingt-sept.

Notre avenir ce n’est pas le Brexit, c’est l’Europe.

(Vifs applaudissements)

 
  
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  Michel Barnier , négociateur en chef pour le Brexit. – Monsieur le Président, je tiens à remercier votre assemblée de me donner l’occasion de m’exprimer, aux côtés du président Juncker.

Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les présidents et parlementaires, cher Matti, je suis très heureux de me trouver aux côtés du président Juncker, que je remercie de sa confiance personnelle et de son soutien, et aux côtés de Matti Maasikas, que je félicite et remercie pour la qualité de la présidence estonienne, tout au long des semaines passées.

Nous étions réunis au sein de cet hémicycle pour débattre du même sujet le 5 avril 2017, au moment où vous adoptiez votre première résolution. Vous fixiez alors le cap politique de cette négociation, comme l’a fait, de son côté, le Conseil européen sous l’impulsion du président Tusk, en adoptant peu après des lignes directrices très précises.

Six mois plus tard, alors que l’horloge tourne, et à quelques jours du Conseil européen des 19 et 20 octobre, nous faisons donc à nouveau le point sur cette négociation, et votre projet de résolution démontre aujourd’hui, au-delà des sujets concrets qu’elle aborde, l’implication pleine et entière du Parlement européen dans ces pourparlers. Je rappelle souvent à l’extérieur de cet hémicycle que votre assemblée aura le dernier mot, au moment de la ratification.

Depuis le premier jour, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, nous savons que cette négociation est extraordinaire, qu’elle est extrêmement complexe, qu’elle est lourde de conséquences humaines, sociales, juridiques, financières, techniques, économiques, et souvent d’ailleurs, ces conséquences sont sous-estimées.

En tant que négociateur de l’Union, c'est à la Commission qu'il revient, avec votre confiance, de négocier au nom des 27 et de toutes les institutions de l’Union.

Notre plus grand atout, je peux vous le dire, à la place où je me trouve, c’est notre unité. Nous savons que cette unité ne se décrète pas, elle ne tombe pas du ciel, elle se construit jour après jour par la transparence que nous avons entretenons tous les jours avec le président Juncker, par le débat public et par la confiance.

Je veux d’ailleurs, Monsieur le Président Tajani, vous remercier personnellement, ainsi que Guy Verhofstadt, coordinateur pour le Brexit, les présidents de groupe et les membres du Brexit Steering Group, que je rencontre très souvent, comme cela a été le cas hier encore, pour la qualité et la franchise de nos échanges.

Forts de votre soutien, nous nous attachons depuis le début de cette négociation à mettre en œuvre le mandat qui nous est confié par le Conseil, en pleine cohérence avec votre résolution et avec les orientations adoptées par le Conseil européen.

Ce mandat est simple: il consiste à nous mettre d’accord avec le Royaume-Uni, le plus tôt possible, sur les conditions de son retrait – un retrait ordonné de l’Union européenne – et sur les principes de ce retrait, afin de commencer au plus vite les étapes suivantes de la négociation.

Vous le savez, Mesdames et Messieurs, dans le contexte de ce retrait, il y a beaucoup de sujets qui ne sont pas négligeables – Euratom, les procédures judiciaires, les procédures administratives, les biens placés sur le marché, la gouvernance –, mais les trois sujets principaux de ce retrait ordonné concernent d’abord les citoyens, soit 4,5 millions de personnes, puis l’Irlande et enfin le règlement financier. Ces trois sujets sont indissociables, et constituent les trois sujets clés de ce retrait ordonné.

Comme vous le dites-vous-même dans votre projet de résolution, et comme vient de le rappeler le président Juncker, la première ministre, Theresa May, a proposé plusieurs ouvertures dans deux discours qu’elle a prononcés vendredi dernier à Florence.

L’équipe de négociation, comme je le souhaitais, a commencé la semaine dernière à traduire ces ouvertures en propositions concrètes et à apporter un certain nombre de clarifications, sur lesquelles je reviendrai brièvement dans un instant.

Nous avons donc pu avancer notamment sur notre priorité, qui reste la protection des droits des citoyens. Nous convergeons également sur les principes communs qui guideront notre réponse aux questions sensibles que soulève la situation unique de l’Irlande.

À côté de ces points positifs, que je dois mentionner, pour dresser un bilan objectif de l'état de la négociation, il nous reste des divergences sérieuses, en particulier sur le règlement financier.

Sur cette question, dont j’ai déjà parlée ici, les choses sont également simples. Nous n’accepterons pas de payer à 27 ce qui a été décidé à 28, c’est aussi simple que cela. Les contribuables des 27 États membres de l’Union n’ont pas à payer les conséquences d’une décision qu'ils n’ont pas prise, rien de plus, rien de moins.

(Applaudissements)

Nous avons aussi des divergences sur le moyen de garantir les droits des citoyens. Nous connaissons et partageons, tout comme vous connaissez, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, puisque vous les représentez, l’inquiétude de ces 4,5 millions de citoyens, britanniques et originaires des 27 autres pays de l’Union, qui souhaitent aujourd’hui simplement continuer à vivre et à travailler là où ils sont, avec leur famille, comme avant le Brexit.

Cette inquiétude, vous le rappelez dans votre résolution, est d’ailleurs aggravée par certaines mesures discriminatoires prises depuis quelques mois par les autorités britanniques, et nous nous en inquiétons.

Pour garantir ces droits, effectivement, nous avons besoin de plusieurs éléments. Premièrement, il faut que l’accord de retrait ait un effet direct pour permettre aux autorités et aux juges britanniques de s’appuyer directement sur cet accord, sans quoi, évidemment, ces droits pourraient être modifiés au fil du temps.

Deuxièmement, nous avons besoin d’une interprétation cohérente de l’accord de part et d’autre de la Manche, que, de notre point de vue, seule la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne peut assurer.

Au-delà de cette question de gouvernance, nous attendons aussi des garanties du Royaume-Uni sur le regroupement familial et sur la jouissance à l’étranger des avantages sociaux acquis au Royaume-Uni.

Concernant le deuxième sujet principal, celui de l’Irlande, tant l’Union européenne que le Royaume-Uni reconnaissent qu’elle se trouve dans une situation tout à fait exceptionnelle et que toute solution devra en tenir pleinement compte.

Comme je l’ai mentionné à plusieurs reprises, les solutions que nous devons trouver devront respecter à la fois l’intégrité de l’ordre juridique de l’Union et l’accord du vendredi saint (Good Friday Agreement) dans toutes ses dimensions.

À ce stade, il s’agit notamment d’élaborer les modalités concrètes qui permettront de poursuivre durablement les très nombreuses coopérations Nord-Sud prévues dans cet accord et de perpétuer la zone de voyage commune. Et cette tâche nécessite encore un travail précis et détaillé, dans lequel nous sommes engagés avec la délégation britannique de manière constructive.

En définitive, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, et vous le dites à juste titre dans votre projet de résolution, en ce qui concerne ces trois sujets clés indissociables, nous n’avons pas encore réalisé aujourd’hui de progrès suffisants pour entamer en toute confiance la deuxième phase de la négociation. Il s'agira tout d’abord de prévoir une éventuelle période de transition, dans des conditions qui ont été clairement définies par le Conseil européen et auxquelles vous êtes vous-même attentifs, puis de définir le cadre de notre future relation de partenariat avec ce grand pays.

Un cinquième cycle de négociation se tiendra la semaine prochaine à Bruxelles. Notre attitude restera résolument constructive, parce que nous voulons mener à bien et l’accord sur le retrait ordonné et la discussion sur notre future relation avec le Royaume-Uni.

Avec le Royaume-Uni, qui deviendra un État tiers, en toute hypothèse, puisque c’est son choix, le 30 mars 2019, nous voulons établir un partenariat ambitieux et durable, bien sûr en matière commerciale, puisque telle est sa demande, à travers un accord de libre-échange dans des conditions dont nous discuterons, mais aussi au-delà du commerce, en matière de sécurité, de lutte contre le terrorisme et de défense ou encore en matière de recherche et d’innovation.

Plus vite nous nous mettrons d’accord sur les principes de ce retrait ordonné, plus vite nous pourrons nous concentrer sur cet objectif fondamental qui relève de notre intérêt commun, à savoir la construction de ce partenariat nouveau avec le Royaume-Uni.

Mesdames et Messieurs, notre approche s’appuie sur les principes fondamentaux de notre Union: l’unité, l’intérêt des 27 États membres et des institutions, notre autonomie de décision, l’intégrité de notre marché intérieur et les quatre libertés de circulation qui en sont le fondement. Ces quatre principes sont au cœur de notre projet politique depuis son origine. Le Royaume-Uni les connaît bien pour les avoir partagés avec nous pendant 44 ans, et ils ne sont pas négociables.

Une fois encore, comme l’a dit la chancelière allemande, il y a quelques semaines et comme vient de le rappeler le président Juncker, nous savons désormais que l’avenir de l’Union est bien plus important que le Brexit.

Il est de la responsabilité des 27 États membres et du Parlement européen de construire ensemble cet avenir et de relever ensemble les défis; nous voyons bien dans l’actualité qu’ils sont graves et nombreux. Une page se tourne, ou va se tourner. C’est le choix souverain du Royaume-Uni, et nous le respectons. C’est à nous de faire en sorte, comme vient de le dire Jean-Claude Juncker, d’écrire de nouvelles pages pour l’Union européenne.

(Applaudissements)

 
  
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  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, this debate is taking place barely two weeks before the October European Council and with one round of negotiations still to take place. The matters under discussion are serious ones with an impact on the rights of millions of citizens, on the budget of the Union and on the continuation of peace in Ireland.

Following Prime Minister May’s speech on 22 September, we have noted a more constructive spirit and it seems to be providing new momentum to the negotiating process. However, we can only assess progress based on official negotiation. What actually matters is the position paper presented at negotiations as an official position. When reviewing progress, we take as a benchmark the guidelines set by the European Council on 29 April and supplemented by the negotiating directives of the Council adopted on 22 May, both setting principles and priorities shared in the European Parliament resolution of last April.

I am confident that, this time, the views expressed in the resolution due to be voted on by your institution right after this debate will again tally with ours, and with the assessment of the Union negotiator, Michel Barnier. Indeed, it is on the basis of this assessment that, on 20 October, the European Council will consider the state of play in these negotiations and how to move from there. We have noted that the UK is now acknowledging the need for a transition of sorts. The principle of transitional arrangements is indeed recognised, subject to clear conditions set in the European Council guidelines I referred to earlier. A transition could be welcome in easing the impact of the withdrawal and mitigating the uncertainties affecting citizens and businesses but, again, in order to be able to consider transition in good time, we need far more clarity than has been provided so far.

Likewise, concerning citizens’ rights, we do see improved convergence on key rights and on how to ensure they can actually be enjoyed by European citizens in the UK on the basis of simple procedures. But a number of issues remain open and there is not yet any satisfactory assurance that these rights will be implemented in a consistent manner on both sides of the Channel.

Turning to Ireland and its unique situation, both sides are certainly close in terms of principles and continued support for the Good Friday Agreement and what could be achieved within its framework, and on the continued operation of the Common Travel Area and what it means for Irish citizens. But this is not enough in terms of certainty.

Last but not least, the financial settlement is also one of the key issues on which sufficient progress must be made before moving to the next phase of the negotiations. No doubt, positive words have been said but we are still awaiting concrete proposals. All this leaves us still wondering about the conclusion we can draw as to progress – an uncertainty which I read, too, in the draft motion for a resolution before you. European Parliament resolutions are valuable for the Council.

As I noted earlier, there are still 15 days and one round of negotiations to go. I was glad to conclude the meeting of the General Affairs Council (Article 50) on 25 September by noting that the EU 27 is united, that we have a single line of negotiations with a clearly defined mandate and we fully support the work of Michel Barner. A certain new momentum has recently been instilled into the negotiations. Let us build on it. Let us achieve watertight solutions for our citizens, for our businesses and for our Union.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, firstly I think the top question for the moment is: who should I call in London who speaks for the government – Theresa May, Boris Johnson or even David Davis? On reading Johnson’s attacks against his own prime minister, he shows that the British Government is trapped by their own party quarrels and political contradictions. First Florence, then Manchester: we are listening to a lot of speeches but substance, dear friends... London is being very creative in putting red lines on the table in order to please party supporters. However, it is failing to give any solution to the voters and citizens. I fully agree with Theresa May on at least one single point, when she said ‘we can do so much better than this’. Theresa May, please do not put your party first; please put Britain first, please put the citizens first; and please, no more speeches. Show leadership on content. And the best thing would probably be to please sack Johnson, because we need a clear answer as to who is responsible for the British position.

(Applause from certain quarters)

A second point is the perspective of the citizens in the European Union. They can see what leaving the European Union means. We have a downgrading by the rating agencies. We have a lot of European companies who are saying they will not invest any more, and the growth rate in Great Britain when we look at the OECD data is going down from 1.6% to 1%, so only half of the gross rate which we have today in the eurozone. That is the result when you do a Brexit.

The third point I want to put on the table is what are we doing in the next steps? First of all, the British Government has to understand that cherry-picking is over. What we saw through the summer break was the British Government presenting a lot of new ideas, but with these ideas they showed that they want to keep ties, they want to keep contact. They did not explain to us what leaving the European Union really means. Another point is that we should not speak too much about the transitional period because we are already in a transitional period, dear friends. We need clear results in 2019; otherwise the consent of the European Parliament is not guaranteed. A country outside the Union cannot have the same advantages as a country which is a member of the club.

(More general applause)

The last two points: I think it is obvious to everybody what the Commission President and Michel Barnier underlined, that for the moment there is not sufficient progress on the negotiations on the table, so I think the EU leaders, the European Council, has to understand that there is no chance of entering into the second phase of the negotiations.

Finally, I want to thank Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier for their great job, for keeping the European Union together. I also want to thank Guy Verhofstadt for doing a great job for us as an institution, as the European Parliament, in bringing our voice to the table. We are prepared and we can be proud of the job we have done in the last months.

(General applause)

 
  
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  Gianni Pittella, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quando Theresa May arrivò a Downing Street promise che la Brexit sarebbe stata una passeggiata. Sì, una brevissima passeggiata di appena 500 giorni. E ancora c'è nebbia fitta attorno al negoziato e la responsabilità – come è stato ricordato – è del governo conservatore e delle sue divisioni. Noi però vogliamo essere positivi. In gioco ci sono gli interessi dei cittadini.

È stato ricordato dal presidente Juncker e dal negoziatore Barnier, che la signora May ha fatto un discorso dai toni più costruttivi a Firenze. Ci fa piacere: ma nel merito restano ancora molti punti oscuri. Bisogna innanzitutto rispettare l'ordine, la sequenza dei negoziati. Quando due coniugi vanno alla disunione, prima negoziano i termini del divorzio e poi le future relazioni e quindi prima bisogna negoziare le questioni del recesso e poi si può parlare di periodo transitorio. E deve esser chiaro che anche in questo periodo transitorio, se ci sarà e quando ci sarà, si applicheranno le quattro libertà e la Corte di giustizia, come ha ricordato il presidente Juncker, resterà competente.

Devo dire che anche sugli impegni finanziari, il governo britannico è troppo vago, gioca sui numeri senza mai prendere impegni precisi. E sull'Irlanda del Nord davvero fatico a capire come le autorità britanniche possano opporsi al mercato unico e volere allo stesso tempo un confine leggero con l'Irlanda: vogliono i vantaggi del mercato unico senza farne ufficialmente parte! La pace nell'Irlanda del Nord è un pilastro dell'Europa, per cui invito Londra e invito il governo britannico a tenere un atteggiamento responsabile e realistico su questo punto.

Nell'accordo di recesso bisogna riconoscere tutti i diritti dei cittadini, così come quelli dei loro familiari, ed è inammissibile che già da ora le autorità britanniche facciano gravare sui cittadini europei che vivono nel Regno Unito adempimenti amministrativi e burocratici che di fatto li discriminano. E io voglio dire a nome del mio gruppo che noi non accetteremo mai che ci siano cittadini di serie A e cittadini di serie B ed esigiamo lo stesso impegno anche da parte di Londra.

Finché su questi punti il governo britannico non prenderà impegni chiari e irrevocabili, il negoziato sulle relazioni future non potrà iniziare. Io non devo dare consigli a nessuno, tanto meno alla signora May. Noi parliamo attraverso il voto delle nostre risoluzioni: ancora una volta il Parlamento è fortemente unito, grazie all'opera di Guy Verhofstadt e dei nostri negoziatori, insieme all'amico Barnier e al presidente Juncker. Però, se mi posso permettere, segua il governo britannico la nostra strada: la strada dell'equilibrio e della saggezza, la strada che porta ad un successo per l'Europa e per lo stesso Regno Unito.

(Applausi)

 
  
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  Raffaele Fitto, a nome del gruppo ECR. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sono ormai passati più di sei mesi dal 29 marzo, giorno in cui il Primo ministro britannico ha attivato l'articolo 50 per l'uscita del Regno Unito dall'Unione europea. In questi sei mesi i negoziati non hanno prodotto quello che tutti quanti noi auspicavamo ma, come ha ricordato poco fa il Commissario Barnier, il discorso di Theresa May di alcuni giorni fa a Firenze e i timidi, anche se non ancora sufficienti, progressi del quarto round dei negoziati della scorsa settimana ci inducono ad essere più ottimisti per il raggiungimento di un accordo.

Sarebbe un grave errore perseverare nel cercare di dividere entrambe le parti, di far prevalere l'una rispetto all'altra, un errore che non possiamo permetterci. I nostri concittadini e le nostre imprese chiedono certezze nella loro vita quotidiana, chiedono un accordo su un rapporto quanto più stretto possibile ed equilibrato in termini di diritti ed obblighi. Ecco perché non penso, sinceramente, anche avendolo ascoltato questa mattina, che sia utile a nessuno polemizzare addirittura all'interno di un governo e creare elementi di contrasto e contrapposizione, che certamente non agevolano il percorso di fronte al quale noi stiamo andando. Io ho ascoltato dal Commissario Barnier, questa mattina, parole molto positive e costruttive, che non corrispondono alle parole che ho ascoltato successivamente e me ne dispiace molto, perché non penso che questo sia il clima utile per raggiungere questo importante accordo.

D'altronde, come ribadito dalla Premier britannica, il Regno Unito abbandona l'Unione europea ma non abbandona l'Europa: problematiche come l'immigrazione, il terrorismo e la sicurezza globale possono e devono essere affrontate e risolte solo se siamo in grado di stare tutti quanti insieme, a prescindere da quelle che sono le posizioni giuridicamente che ci vedono divisi da una parte o dall'altra. Queste sono le sfide del futuro che ci vengono di fronte e su queste sfide è il momento della chiarezza, della concretezza e della responsabilità. Ormai manca poco al 2019 e non possiamo concederci il lusso di un mancato accordo o di un accordo al ribasso: le conseguenze sarebbero inimmaginabili e sicuramente indebolirebbero entrambe le parti e i cittadini non ce lo perdonerebbero.

Mettiamo da parte in questo momento, in quest'Aula, nel rapporto fra i diversi livelli istituzionali, nel rapporto con il governo inglese, i motivi di discordia e impegniamoci per superare questa fase dei negoziati, dove sono i dettagli e non i principi a creare le divisioni.

Siamo tutti concordi nell'evitare il ripristino di barriere fisiche tra Irlanda e Irlanda del Nord. Siamo tutti convinti di dover garantire continuità e stabilità al processo di pace e tutti crediamo che gli impegni presi in termini finanziari, alla fine, sulla base di un confronto debbano essere rispettati. I diritti e gli interessi dei cittadini dell'Unione europea e dei cittadini britannici che risiedono e che hanno risieduto negli Stati membri o nel Regno Unito, devono essere la priorità. Creiamo le condizioni affinché lo status di queste persone sia soggetto ai principi di reciprocità, equità e non discriminazione.

Per questo motivo dobbiamo essere molto più realistici di quanto la politica spesso ci porta a non esserlo: lo voglio dire con molta franchezza. Dobbiamo trovare un compromesso e tenere in considerazione che nel 2019 il Regno Unito sarà, di fatto, un Paese terzo.

Come gruppo dell'ECR ci rammarichiamo del fatto che il Parlamento, proprio attraverso questa risoluzione, pur comprendendo le ragioni che sono state indicate, non abbia accelerato sull'avvio della seconda fase dei negoziati. Ritardare l'avvio della seconda fase non rappresenta infatti una soluzione; anzi rischia di complicare la situazione. E noi abbiamo il dovere di definire con chiarezza il futuro rapporto e di garantire un quadro giuridico certo, a livello commerciale ed economico, sia per le nostre imprese che per le future relazioni tra l'Unione europea e il Regno Unito.

Non possiamo permettere di lasciare il sistema produttivo e commerciale dell'Unione europea e del Regno Unito in balia dell'incertezza più totale: qui è in ballo, come è stato ricordato, il presente e il futuro di milioni di lavoratori e delle loro famiglie, che deve essere garantito. Al tempo stesso, anche qui, come per quanto riguarda i diritti dei cittadini, la soluzione non può essere l'imposizione di una posizione rispetto a un'altra, ma deve necessariamente essere un'occasione d'intesa.

Quanto avevamo già affermato in Aula alcuni mesi fa lo vogliamo ribadire oggi: per noi la Brexit, che è un fatto deciso dai cittadini, piaccia o non piaccia, non deve essere un motivo di scontro ma io mi auguro che ci possa essere l'occasione per diventare un'opportunità per stabilire dei rapporti futuri, di cui mi sembra che questa Unione europea abbia fortemente bisogno.

Questo è il lavoro, l'impegno e il contributo che, come conservatori e riformisti, noi daremo a partire da oggi a questo dibattito.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, first of all, I have to say – and I am addressing my words to Mr Fitto also – that I deplore the fact that we have come to a resolution saying there is no sufficient progress. Our idea – and I think Michel Barnier’s also – was that by October we would see sufficient progress. But Mr Weber is right in his analysis of the situation on the other side of the negotiating table: there is a lack of clarity; there is even disunity. There is opposition between Hammond and Fox, and opposition and divisions between Johnson and May. It is difficult to make sufficient progress and it is difficult to take the steps towards the second phase of the negotiations.

So I deplore the fact that we cannot put before the plenary a resolution other than today’s resolution. On the other hand, it does demonstrate the unity among ourselves – and I hope, Mr Fitto, that we can keep that unity in this House, and even that you can join it when we vote in a few moments’ time, because that unity is absolutely needed. Parliament and Council – not Parliament only, but Parliament and Council – for once, and I have never seen it before, I have to tell you, in my political life, are going beyond national differences and considerations of party obedience, and are really defending, together with the negotiator, the interests of the citizens in all 27 Member States.

So my call to you, and to everybody in the plenary, is to join this unity: let us keep this unity.

I have three worries – three points that I think need to be addressed in the debate. The first is Northern Ireland. I have to tell you that I went to Northern Ireland. I had never been in Northern Ireland before, I had never been in Belfast before, but I went there. I had thought: ‘Yeah, it’s been 20 years now since this has been on our television screens and the problems are solved. It’s a bit like Berlin: the Berlin Wall has disappeared, and everything is going well.’ So I can tell you it was a shock to come to Belfast, because the reality is that the problems are not over. There is peace, due to the Good Friday Agreement, but there are still these tensions. There are fences that are 12 metres high – today in the 21st century!

I have to tell you that keeping this Good Friday Agreement is key. It is a ceasefire. It is a little bit of a guarantee in a frozen conflict. The worst thing what can happen is that we lose the peace that Europe has brought there, to Northern Ireland, with the efforts that we in the European Union have made. I stood next to memorials where you see pictures of young people aged 15 or 16 who died in a conflict based on nationalism, based on extremism. So, to ensure that the violence does not return is, I think, an absolute priority for this House.

(Applause)

And that means – and this is a question I would put to the negotiator – why not attach the Good Friday Agreement as a declaration to the withdrawal agreement that we are going to secure? And, of course, let us not return to a border there on the island of Ireland because then the violence will certainly return.

My second worry is about citizens’ rights. You will be aware of the so—called deportation letters that were sent out by the UK authorities a short time ago. There have been excuses by the UK Government, saying that it was a mistake, but I have difficulty believing that. Why do I say that? Well, when it comes to collectively securing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, the UK authorities tell us it is not possible: they don’t know them and they don’t know where they are. Yet, when it comes to sending a deportation letter, they find their addresses! So I want to say – in all honesty and very calmly – that I do not think we can accept a situation in which three million of our citizens would need to ask for settled status in Britain, with the huge administrative burden that would entail.

Our proposal is very simple: let us recognise this collectively; let us give EU citizens living in the UK the same rights that they have now. And let’s do exactly the same for the UK citizens living on the continent.

(Applause from certain quarters)

I am asking myself why we are still discussing this. This can, in fact, be solved immediately by recognising their rights – recognising the rights of all citizens.

Lastly, on the financial settlement, I will not repeat what has already been said. We are fully in agreement that you cannot pay with 27 what has been committed by 28.

To conclude, it is true, Mr Fitto, that Ms May made a number of clarifications in her Florence speech, but not enough – let us be honest – for even you to say that there is sufficient progress. So what I hope is that, in her address tomorrow to the Conservative Party conference, she will bring further clarity so that, on that basis, concrete proposals can be put on the negotiation table before Michel Barnier. Finally, I hope that the ECR Group too will show massive support for this resolution in the vote at midday.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Martina Anderson, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group.(inaudible) That includes the part where the consent of the people of Ireland – both North and South – would be required to alter the constitutional position of the North. It includes the agreed areas of cooperation – environment, agriculture, tourism, health, transport and education – plus it allows for more. It includes a Bill of Rights – rights resisted by the DUP – and also, importantly, it includes conformity with EU law.

The Good Friday Agreement in all its parts includes, as this resolution recognises, being in the single market and the Customs Union. Britain should remain in the single market and the Customs Union, but if it does not, then the north of Ireland must.

There are different ways that this could be done: ‘in some form’ could mean the North of Ireland staying in the EU, or it could mean Irish unity. And the Good Friday Agreement has provisions for a unity poll – a right to decide. Otherwise, we are not upholding the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts.

This resolution is balanced with regard to citizens’ rights and the financial settlement, and it is an important step forward in recognising that the requirements of the North of Ireland are different from those of Britain. Hence the need for special status or the need for the special circumstances to be taken into account.

Finally, I would like to welcome the comments from Guy Verhofstadt that we will explore how to give legal protection to the Good Friday Agreement in the Withdrawal Agreement. If you support the Good Friday Agreement, if you support the peace process, then please support this resolution.

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, dear British citizens, my fellow European citizens, the clock is ticking. You know where we Greens, and the European Free Alliance, wanted your country to be: to remain at the heart of the European Union. But the majority of those British citizens who voted decided otherwise. While we accept the result of the referendum, this decision will produce no winners. Not only the business we do with one another but also the interests of both UK citizens and citizens of the EU 27 will be harmed by the separation.

British citizens come to see me every week, to alert me to the damage that will be inflicted on your healthcare system or on the quality of research in your top universities, where so many EU nationals are working day in, day out. Above all, both British citizens in the EU 27 and UK citizens on the continent have been thrown into total disarray, and Europeans in the UK have started experiencing administrative vexations before Brexit has even started. If we want to limit the inevitable damage that will be caused by this lose-lose situation we should waste no more time, and negotiate in good faith.

But make no mistake about it, no deal by March 2019 would be the worst deal for everyone and, firstly, for our respective citizens.

Allow me at this stage to point to two contradictions in the position of your own Prime Minister. The first concerns Ireland. How can she say, on the one hand, that there will be no border and, on the other hand, that she will take the United Kingdom out of the Customs Union, the single market and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice? This will create a border, and I do not know where to place it while at the same time respecting the Good Friday Peace Agreement.

The second contradiction is this idea that in order for Britain to become global it needs to cut its ties with its closest neighbours, with whom it shares history and geography. I believe that, rather than being an impediment to Britain being global, the European Union is the only way for it as a European country, and one of a number of former imperial powers, to have any influence in a world where it represents barely one percent of the population. In the 21st century, more than ever, size matters.

Let me conclude with a few words on democracy. As your Prime Minister explained, the decision to leave the European Union is a statement as to how you want your democracy to work. I take exception to the idea that only if the UK leaves the EU would decisions that affect your daily lives be taken by people directly accountable to you. Who adopts EU law? On the one hand, this European Parliament was elected by, and is accountable to, the very same people who elect your national parliaments. On the other hand, the Council is 28 governments who are accountable to their citizens via their national parliaments. In other words, every EU law is decided by people who are directly accountable to you sitting at the table and taking part.

But let’s be frank with one another: what seems unacceptable to some is that, in certain cases, Britain might be outvoted. That, I am afraid, is a rule of democracy, and one that your own government has no qualms about invoking by remarkably overruling the pro-remain majorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland. If democracy can be had only at the level of the nation state, I know many regions which would immediately aspire to become one.

(Heckling)

Indeed! And if a democratic union is possible, Mr Farage, between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, then it can certainly be possible between European nation states. A majority of the British voters instructed Her Majesty’s Government to negotiate Brexit. Let us respect the democratic vote and do just that, without further delay. But if we want to be fair to those same citizens, let them, or at least those people who have been elected to represent them, have the last word on this story. When confronted with the result of that negotiation, who knows what they might ultimately decide?

 
  
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  Nigel Farage, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, whilst we debate the really important issue of Brexit, I think European citizens – those that do take any interest in what happens here – will be stunned that Mr Juncker comes here for his one appearance in the Strasbourg session this week, and there is absolutely no mention made of the dramatic events that have taken place inside a European Union Member State that is, allegedly, a modern democracy.

One of the reasons why I always wanted Brexit was because I thought the system of law-making whereby the Commission has the sole right to initiate legislation was something that would in fact damage, and in the end destroy, any concept of national democracy. And yes, I’ve called the European Union undemocratic; I’ve called it anti-democratic, but never in my fiercest criticisms here did I think that we would see the police of a Member State of the Union injuring 900 people in an attempt to stop them going out to vote. Whether or not it was legal nationally for people in Catalonia to have a vote, surely, people are allowed to express an opinion. We saw women being dragged out of polling stations by their hair, old ladies with gashes in their foreheads. It was the most extraordinary display – and what do we get from Mr Juncker today? Not a dickey bird. In fact, previously we heard that the rule of law must be maintained, and it is quite extraordinary to realise that this Union is prepared to turn a blind eye.

Can you imagine if the British police roughed up a couple of Scottish National Party protesters, or if something happened against a pro-Brexit rally? You would all be screaming blue murder. Indeed, the calls would be that the United Kingdom must go before the European Court of Human Rights, and yet you don’t even want to talk about this. Knowing, as I do, your advanced plans, with seven of the Member States here having their military police – your European Gendarmerie Force – all I can say once again is ‘thank God we’re leaving’.

Brexit was an act of liberation. It was a voice of national self-determination that cannot, and will not, be stopped. But throughout this negotiating process, you have treated us as if we’re some kind of a hostage from the start, and unless we pay a ransom, unless we meet all of your demands, then you won’t even have an intelligent conversation with us about trade heading on from here.

There are no guarantees that – whatever Ms May says or does – you will ever come to us, even when we have met your demands, and want to have a sensible trade agreement. It was sad, in fact it was pitiful, to see the British Prime Minister in Florence. I have heard you saying that she is being conciliatory, that she is being grown up, that people are happy with what she said. Actually Ms May, I am sad to say, is not worldly enough to recognise that when you face up to a bully, the one thing that you do not do is try to appease them. She is begging you to give her a transition period and there is no guarantee that you will do it, so I do actually agree with the criticisms that I have heard around the room about the mixed messages coming out from the UK government.

I just hope that in Manchester the Conservative Party starts to say in public what they are all saying to me in private: that she is a waste of space, that she needs to go, and that we need a proper prime minister who says to Monsieur Barnier ‘okay, here’s a deadline, here’s a date, we work towards that date. If we can’t reach a sensible deal on trade and everything else, then we are simply leaving and reverting to WTO rules’. This charade cannot go on year after year. After all, we voted Brexit.

(Applause from certain quarters)

 
  
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  Janice Atkinson, on behalf of the ENF Group. – Mr President, what can I say? I agree with everything that Nigel has said. The British people listen to you, and they hear that you want us shackled to the ECJ, and they say ‘no’. The British people see that you are getting an EU army and, given what happened in Catalonia on Sunday, most of you so-called leaders were silent on this matter. You saw what happened, with the violence against its people, its women (and some of them are children), and they wonder what it will be like under Mrs Merkel, and also Mr Macron, when they get their hands on the guns and the tanks. The British people say ‘no’. They vote to take back control of our borders, and you say ‘no’. The UK said ‘yes’ to leaving the single market and the Customs Union, so you should just cut a deal on a free trade agreement. But you can’t. Has Mrs May met Mrs Malmström, our resident former sociology lecturer who is in charge of trade? She is incapable of saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, because she has never worked in business. Last night at the Conservative Party Conference, a former Brexit minister, with the Brexit Secretary David Davis in the audience, said that the Brexit department are drawing up plans for a no-deal. Listening to Mr Barnier today, they had better get on with it, because that is what is going to happen.

Mr Weber, you ask who you should you call in London. I agree with you. Mrs May will be gone soon. I suggest you get Boris or Jacob on speed dial.

Mr Verhofstadt, do not lecture us and try and rewrite history on Northern Ireland. I think it is you that is inciting violence, sitting in this Chamber.

Last June we voted to take back control of our laws, our courts, our borders and our money. Anything else is a betrayal. 17.4 million people. Watch and learn from Catalonia.

(Applause from certain quarters)

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). – I will focus on only one aspect of the resolution today, and that is my constituency, Northern Ireland. I am encouraged by agreements in Brussels, London and Belfast that there should be no hardening of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. I’m encouraged by reports of fruitful progress on the issue of the Common Travel Area. However, it is not flexible or imaginative to claim that a trade solution can only be found if Northern Ireland remains inside the single market or the customs union. Let’s be absolutely clear: Northern Ireland’s Brexit solution will be part of the United Kingdom’s Brexit solution. There can be no question of a deal that cuts us adrift from our most important market and erects barriers within the United Kingdom single market. The interlinked nature of the Brexit negotiations means that we need to move swiftly to phase two of the negotiations for a full resolution on this issue. Northern Ireland is not a bargaining chip in these negotiations. Genuine concerns in my constituency should not be exploited in pursuit of every British pound.

And finally, a word to Mr Verhofstadt, who claimed that Europe had brought peace to Northern Ireland: peace in Northern Ireland was hard-fought and hard-won by its people and by the bravery of its security forces in the face of an awful terrorist campaign, that killed thousands of our people. Europe has helped, but it has not been the sole arbiter of peace in Northern Ireland.

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons (PPE). – Señor Presidente, después de escuchar al señor Farage, dejo sobre la mesa el discurso que tenía porque tengo que responderle, aunque él se esté marchando.

Mi país no puede aceptar lecciones de democracia de quien no considero que sea un demócrata; y la prueba de que no es un demócrata es que ni siquiera se queda a escuchar lo que tengo que responderle.

El señor Farage hace que me alegre del brexit, porque gracias al brexit se marchará de esta Cámara la extrema derecha. Lo único bueno que tiene el brexit es que no tendremos que escuchar jamás al señor Farage.

Si quería hacer un favor a los independentistas de Cataluña, les ha hecho justo lo contrario, porque estoy convencido de que quienes están intentando ilegalmente la independencia de Cataluña lo último que esperaban era el apoyo de la extrema, extrema, derecha europea, lo que, al final, nos demuestra a todos qué es lo que realmente está sucediendo en Cataluña y a qué se enfrenta realmente el Gobierno de España.

Tenían una oportunidad de hablar de Gran Bretaña y del brexit y la han dejado pasar. Prefieren hablar de España que de Gran Bretaña porque de su país, aparte de gritar, ustedes no tienen nada que decir.

Y les diré —hablando exactamente de Gran Bretaña— que mi grupo parlamentario está preocupado, como el señor Verhofstadt, por Irlanda del Norte, y muy preocupado por Irlanda del Norte, porque es un problema único que requiere una solución única y que va a exigir lo mejor de nosotros.

Señorías, en contra de lo que hoy dice el señor Farage y algunos independentistas en Cataluña, España es una democracia consolidada, un socio leal y un buen amigo de toda la Unión Europea, que necesita la ayuda de todos. Y a los únicos que no necesita allí, porque yo no aportan nada, es a la extrema derecha, por más que quieran apuntarse a la fiesta.

(Aplausos)

 
  
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  Roberto Gualtieri (S&D). – Mr President, we are now at a decisive moment in our negotiations. A lot of time has been lost, and we now see a more positive dynamic. At the same time, a number of fundamental issues have yet to be clarified, and problems remain to be solved. For this reason, it is very important that the message that comes from this Parliament is clearly heard and understood. A positive conclusion of the first phase of the negotiations is possible, but we are not yet there. The Parliament is, and will be, open and constructive in its assessment, but we are, and will be, equally firm on our principles.

First, of course, a full safeguard of citizens’ rights, which is our first priority. The positive principle of direct effect of the agreement must be underpinned by an effective mechanism which allows the Court of Justice to ensure a consistent interpretation of its provisions.

Second, as we are safeguarding existing rights and not discussing future UK immigration rules, we will not accept to depart from any of the current provisions, in particular about future family members of eligible citizens that should have the same rights as current family members, about the declaratory nature of documents, about the need to avoid any burdensome administrative procedure, and on the possibility to export social benefits.

On Ireland, our resolution is extremely clear, and on financial settlement it is extremely important that the now-shared principle, apparently, that all commitments made by the UK during its membership of the Union shall be honoured is implemented fully and consistently.

On the basis of this short analysis of the points, it is clear that, despite some positive steps forward, a lot of work is still required in order to move to phase two of the negotiations. So, as we say in the resolution, unless a major breakthrough takes place next week, the European Council should postpone its assessment of sufficient progress. By stating this obvious element, we are not closing a door. We are pointing out a way forward that is fair for both the EU and the UK. In this respect, we have to be clear on the transition.

First, it can be discussed and agreed only after sufficient progress on the withdrawal agreement. Second, it should be based on the full existing EU regulatory, budgetary, supervisory, judiciary and enforcement instruments and should, of course, fully include the free movement of citizens. Third, while some objective links between the withdrawal agreement and the transitional phase might be explored, any attempt to buy access to parts of the single market through concessions on the financial settlement would be rejected.

So we are in the middle of a very difficult journey. There is only one path clearly laid out if we want to get to our final destination. The path is the one indicated by the EU, and we will follow you, Michel, along this way.

 
  
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  James Nicholson (ECR). – Mr President, for decades, during some very dark times, Europe was a good friend to Northern Ireland without taking any side. I will always remember, at the time of the ceasefires in 1994, when I went with my other two MEP colleagues from Northern Ireland to the meeting with Jacques Delors which brought about the Peace programme. At that time, over GBP 2 billion in extra funding was given to Northern Ireland and to the border counties in the Republic.

However, in this resolution, it is clear to me that you are now taking sides in Northern Ireland, Mr Verhofstadt. Let me make it clear to you, Mr Verhofstadt, that peace in Northern Ireland was won by the leader of my party, now Lord Trimble, and the leader of the SDLP, Mr John Hume. They bore the brunt at a time when the other party leaders, represented on both sides in this House, who are now that the lead parties in Northern Ireland, stood on the sidelines and did nothing to help to bring peace in Northern Ireland. In fact, they have messed it up big time, which does not make the situation we have today any easier.

Shortly after those ceasefires, by calling for Northern Ireland to remain in the single market and the customs union with the rest of the United Kingdom, Mr Verhofstadt is essentially calling for an international border to be placed between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain. Let me make it very clear: I will not accept any attempt by anyone in this Parliament to use Brexit as an excuse to break up my country. At its heart, this proposal goes against the Belfast Agreement the Parliament is mandated to protect and defend. The Belfast Agreement is clear: Northern Ireland is a full part of the United Kingdom, and we entered into the then EEC as one United Kingdom and we will leave the European Union as one United Kingdom.

This is a sad day for me. If the Parliament supports this text, it will be turning its back on decades of good relations with all communities in Northern Ireland. Mr Verhofstadt, you can no longer be deemed to be neutral after this resolution. That is your mistake. It is a huge mistake, and today I have heard nothing new. Unless we have a change in the direction this is heading, we are heading for a crash.

(Applause from certain quarters)

 
  
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  Cecilia Wikström (ALDE). – Mr President, as Chair of the Petitions Committee it is my responsibility and duty to listen to and respond to the concerns of EU citizens. My committee has received a large number of petitions expressing grave anxiety about citizens’ rights in a post-Brexit era. They all have something in common: they are all the result of the insecurity people feel that they have been thrown into due to a very unclear withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. Some of them have tens of thousands of signatures.

From also the perspective of the Conference of Committee Chairs, let me just express that there is an immense task we are all aware of in front of us for all the committees. I know how important it is that realism and pragmatism is allowed to inform and shape the debate and the negotiations, and we are lucky to have an excellent negotiator in Michel Barnier.

In this context, the European Parliament proposal of a transitional period is very much welcomed, because it ensures that we have sufficient time to ensure that we have an orderly and civilised divorce at the end of the process, where citizens’ rights are secured both for the EU citizens residing in the UK and vice versa, the UK citizens residing on the continent.

I really look forward to a more dignified debate after this. I pay attention to Mr Farage, who has now left the room, but he is not willing to discuss Brexit; he wants to discuss anything but Brexit. I think it should have been raised as a point of order, and he should have been made aware by you, Mr President, to actually pay attention to what the subject is for today.

 
  
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  Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, con la risoluzione congiunta che sarà messa al voto, questo Parlamento esprimerà un giudizio che approvo. Ancora non è possibile parlare di progressi sufficienti sui diritti dei cittadini e la questione nordirlandese non è risolta. Fin d'ora, tuttavia, mi chiedo quale sarà la sorte degli accordi il giorno in cui li considereremo sufficienti sui cittadini. Come potremo metterli al riparo da improvvise regressioni dettate dal principio secondo cui "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed". Saremo veramente disposti a chiedere ancora agli europei nel Regno Unito e agli inglesi nell'Unione di mettere in stand-by il loro futuro in attesa dell'accordo finale?

Un'altra domanda concerne la libertà di movimento: quel che temo è che si profitti del Brexit per ridurre anche da noi tale libertà, soprattutto per i lavori non qualificati. Spero non vi saranno compromessi su questo, che proteggeremo lo status di tutti i cittadini europei, senza alcuna condizionalità. Nonostante l'evidente unicità dell'accordo di recesso, è più che mai necessario spezzare il vincolo di dipendenza dell'accordo sui diritti da altri capitoli negoziali. In gioco non è solo una questione di certezza giuridica ma la garanzia concreta che dovremo dare a favore di milioni di cittadini.

 
  
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  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, I am struck as ever by the unity of purpose across the Council and the Member States, and indeed across this House, amongst the EU 27. I commend our coordinator, Mr Barnier, for keeping that unity in check. But where the EU is united against the UK, I assure you the UK is anything but united.

I represent Scotland within this House. We desire to remain within our family of nations; 48% of the UK population want to remain. The idea that Theresa May leads a united government is a risible proposition, as we see on a daily basis from our own colleagues who are treating her as a Viking longship that they are going to float out into the North Sea, having piled as much nonsense onto it as possible, and then they’ll set fire to it. They’re fighting amongst themselves like ferrets in a sack, while the UK’s national interest, however we define it, is ignored by them utterly. Shame on them. It is not good enough for Europe, it is not good enough for the UK either.

And from Scotland, we agree with the tone and content of this resolution. We have seen nowhere near enough progress on citizens’ rights, on Ireland or in the financial settlement. On citizens’ rights, I am receiving emails on a daily basis that would break your heart – people who have made choices about their lives, about their residence – on the basis of rights which they face having taken away. Our first duty in this House is to them.

On Ireland, north and south, Scotland’s close neighbours and friends, solutions are possible; solutions could be found, but we need to see a lot more seriousness from the UK government than we have seen to date. The Good Friday Agreement is fragile; it must be respected. We need to see seriousness from the UK administration.

And on the financial settlement, it says just how far the UK’s reputation has been trashed, that the idea that the UK will meet its financial obligations is news. If Global Britain’s first act is to walk away from international financial contributions, it is just not a serious prospect. I fear for the future unless we see some real seriousness in these discussions. Scotland wants to find solutions, colleagues. We must see more seriousness from the UK in that endeavour.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Presidente. – (Rivolgendosi all'onorevole Coburn) Se si tratta di una polemica con altri paesi, io non lo tollero, perché la discussione è sulla Brexit e non è per fare polemica con questo o quel paese. Per essere chiaro: la Spagna è un paese democratico; il suo re si è battuto contro il colpo di stato; Felipe Gonzales e Adolfo Suarez hanno costruito una grande democrazia, quindi vi prego di evitare polemiche tra un paese e un altro perché non è questo il luogo per farlo.

 
  
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  David Coburn (EFDD). – It is not about Spain, Sir. I must say it is disgraceful that European politicians should exploit the tragedy of Northern Ireland for their own purposes. That is a disgrace! I think it is a point of order, that we are not discussing ...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Onorevole, io sono abituato a rispettare tutti i deputati ma pretendo anche i deputati rispettino la Presidenza. Se Le do la parola per intervenire su un punto all'ordine del giorno e Lei non lo fa, vuol dire che sta prendendo in giro la Presidenza. E questo non lo posso accettare.

 
  
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  Gerard Batten (EFDD). – Mr President, we’re here to discuss the state of play of the negotiations and what progress has been made. Well, very little. And there are two main reasons for that. One, of course, is that you don’t want us to leave. You’re going to do everything you possibly can to make it as difficult as possible, to delay it as long as possible, so that either we end up with a very, very bad deal or we reverse the decision of the referendum. The second reason, of course, is Mrs May, who simply doesn’t have a clue. She has neither the courage, the will nor the resolve to actually see these so-called negotiations through.

But Mrs May has made some very serious and dangerous concessions already. What has she actually said? 15 months already after the referendum, nothing much has changed. She intends that we should leave the European Union on March 2019. We will leave the Commission, we will leave the Council, we will no longer have members of the European Parliament. We’ve left. But nothing much very changes, nothing much at all changes. She’s said that we are going to incorporate all EU law into UK law. And then she wants another two years transition period, which will take us up to five years from the referendum, during which case nothing much changes on immigration, the laws don’t change, and she has made one very, very, very dangerous concession, which is talking about an EU treaty on security and defence. We will continue to be bound to your military ambitions. We will continue to be bound to your security policy and foreign policy and to all the police and criminal justice measures like the hated European arrest warrant. She has not got a clue. And what she’ll end up with is a withdrawal agreement whereby we leave in name but we do not leave in reality.

Now, Mr Barnier, Mr Juncker: I don’t understand why you don’t actually make it easy for us to leave. Why don’t you kick us out as quickly as possible? Because then you can get on with your ambitions for full economic, financial, political and military integration. You can create your United States of Europe. Make it easy for us to go, so that we can get on with pursuing our freedom and independence, prosperity and our future in the world, not in the EU. Do yourself and us a favour, please!

 
  
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  Harald Vilimsky (ENF). – Herr Präsident, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren! Im Juni 2016 gab es in Großbritannien das Referendum über den Austritt aus der Europäischen Union, und 52 % der Briten haben gesagt: Ja, wir wollen die Europäische Union verlassen. Eineinhalb Jahre Schockstarre, eineinhalb Jahre Chaos, eineinhalb Jahre Ratlosigkeit! Das was hier – und zwar auf beiden Seiten – passiert, ist nicht professionell, es erinnert mehr an einen Kindergarten.

Ich kann nur an Sie appellieren: Respektieren Sie diesen demokratischen Volksentscheid und machen Sie hinter den Kulissen keine Tricks! Denn das, was ich vernehme und was auch hinter den Kulissen zu hören ist, ist, dass längst an einem Plan gearbeitet wird, die Briten mit einem zweiten Referendum, mit einem Hinauszögern der Verhandlungen und mit vielen weiteren Tricks doch in der Europäischen Union zu halten und diesen demokratischen Volksentscheid zu sabotieren und zu boykottieren. Ich appelliere an Sie: Respektieren Sie die Entscheidung des britischen Volkes! Gehen Sie fair und professionell damit um! Achten Sie darauf, dass beide Seiten keinerlei Nachteile erhalten! Als Vertreter eines Nettozahlerlandes kann ich nur sagen: Achten Sie darauf, dass Länder wie Österreich dadurch keinen Euro mehr an Belastungen zu erfahren haben.

 
  
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  Steven Woolfe (NI). – Mr President, Abraham Lincoln famously once said: ‘you can fool some of the people all of the time; you can fool all of the people some of the time; but you can never fool all of the people all of the time’. Well, the British people are no longer fooled that the EU wants to negotiate a fair Brexit agreement, or even negotiate at all. From Verhofstadt to Juncker, to Barnier and to Tusk, the message is clear: the EU will delay, damage and deny Brexit.

When President Tusk says the UK can’t have its cake and eat it, what he actually means is the EU wants its cake – our cake, the morning croissant, afternoon tea and, finishing it, we’re taking a pound of Britain’s economic flesh, washed down with a glass of subsidised EU chianti.

As Shakespeare said: ‘this England never did, nor never shall, lie at the feet of a proud conqueror’. It is clear that the EU will not change its tune, so it is time for the UK to walk away and end this charade.

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissionspräsident, Herr Ratspräsident, Kolleginnen und Kollegen, lieber Michel Barnier! Wenn ich Farage und Co. hier höre, habe ich den Eindruck, wir hätten den Antrag auf Brexit gestellt, nie sie selbst. Jetzt haben sie das Problem damit und versuchen, uns zu beschimpfen.

Wir sollten das eine sehen, und da schließe ich mich Michel Barnier an: Wir verhandeln inzwischen in einer besseren Atmosphäre als vorher. Es sind Fortschritte erreicht worden – nicht genügend Fortschritte, aber es sind Fortschritte erreicht worden –, und das soll man weitermachen. Das ist das Normalste in Verhandlungen. Und wir sollten feststellen, dass wir in einer solchen Atmosphäre Schaden begrenzen wollen. Der Eindruck von Farage und anderen ist: Sie wollen den Schaden! Sie wollen den Schaden provozieren und nicht nüchterne Verhandlungen zur Schadensbegrenzung. Und dafür müssen sie natürlich die Bedingungen entsprechend erfüllen mit den drei Fragen: Bürgerrechte, die Fragen mit der Finanzierung und die Fragen mit Irland.

Auch müssen wir sagen, dass wir keine Verhandlungsstrategien akzeptieren können, die sagen: Die finanziellen Verpflichtungen sollen auf den Zeitpunkt verschoben werden, wenn wir die zukünftigen Beziehungen verhandeln, um das für die Verhandlungen dann als Verhandlungschip einzusetzen. Die vernünftigen Beziehungen zu organisieren, ist im gemeinsamen Interesse. Da braucht man nicht Geld, um sich gegenseitig zu erpressen. Deswegen möchte ich Michel Barnier, Jean-Claude Juncker und die Kommission auffordern, die bisherige Verhandlungsstrategie beizubehalten. Die Verhandlungsstrategie ist richtig. Wir brauchen ein Scheidungs-Agreement, das all das beinhaltet, was da hineingehört. Wenn das geschaffen ist, kann man für eine gewisse Zeit eine Übergangsregelung machen, um für einen Freihandelsvertrag oder was auch immer Zeit zu gewinnen. Aber wir wissen bis heute nicht, was Großbritannien wirklich will. Ich habe den Eindruck, die schreiben Papiere, in denen sie einen Antrag auf die Mitgliedschaft im Binnenmarkt stellen wollen, aber nicht die Belastungen dafür tragen wollen. Das scheint mir doch einer der Punkte zu sein. Hier erbitten wir Klarheit.

Ich meine aber, dass der Wille vorhanden ist und die Atmosphäre vorhanden ist, zu einem vernünftigen Ergebnis zu kommen, und dies sollten wir uns nicht durch diese Propagandareden kaputtmachen. Die große Mehrheit dieses Hauses will eine konstruktive Lösung mit Großbritannien für zukünftige Beziehungen. Daran sollten wir arbeiten.

 
  
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  Richard Corbett (S&D). – Mr President, it is increasingly obvious to all that the negotiations are not proceeding as fast as they should and have no chance, or little chance, of reaching the stage of being able to move on to the second phase. It is also growing increasingly obvious to everyone where the blame lies for this: the chaos, the confusion and the divisions within the British Government, a government which is now a minority government, having lost an election on a platform of going for a particular form of Brexit that the public did not support.

Mr Barnier, you will recall the very first meeting of the negotiations, one year after the referendum. The British Government did not put a single position paper on the table at that meeting. Here we are, six months after triggering Article 50, and we have no agreement on the issues in the first phase of those negotiations, despite David Davis, rightly or wrongly, accepting the sequencing that was proposed for those negotiations. This is just not good enough.

The motion for resolution before Parliament hopes that progress can still be achieved by the next meeting of the European Council – only two weeks away. There is indeed another negotiating round. I suppose this hope is based on the fact that maybe, after the Conservative Party conference has finished this week, there may be some movement in the Conservative Government. I would say, ‘don’t count on it’.

Mrs May’s Florence speech was not so much to improve and clarify her positioning for the negotiations with the 27, it was to improve her negotiating position within the British Conservative Party, and it has clearly failed even to do that. They are still at loggerheads, they are still divided, and sometimes I wonder whether they don’t even want to move on to the second phase of the negotiations because they do not yet know what kind of relationship they want to secure for the future. They are still too split, they are still at loggerheads, and there is still no clarity on that from the British Government.

 
  
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  Hans-Olaf Henkel (ECR). – Mr President, I would like to make it very clear from the beginning: I was against Brexit. Mr Gonzáles Pons made the point that after Brexit, people like Farage are leaving this Parliament. I would like to remind you: not only him, but all British people are leaving this Parliament, and these are the last advocates in this Parliament who are in favour of competitiveness, of decentralisation and of self-responsibility of a country for its debts. But it was – and let’s not forget – the Junckers, it was the Broks, it was the Verhofstadts in this Parliament who carry a lot of responsibility for the Brexit in the first place. It was their mantra for more Europe, more centralisation, more socialisation, which led to the referendum in the first place. And it was their inflexibility on the immigration issue which gave the arguments for the Johnsons and the Farages to swing the results towards Brexit.

To minimise the damage, we now need to do three things. First of all, Mr Verhofstadt, people like you should stop this arrogance vis-à-vis the British voters. Secondly, Mr Barnier, you should stop giving the impression that you want to punish the British for their decision. And here is a message to London: they should really get their act together and come up with a stable and unified government to face this Commission in this critical phase.

(Applause from the right wing of the House)

 
  
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  Catherine Bearder (ALDE). – Mr President, so Mrs May has never felt at home in the EU. Well, she’s not talking for me, nor the millions who voted to stay in and still want to stay in. We have millions of EU citizens who need clarity now with a stand-alone agreement, whatever the negotiations deal. But what Mrs May really meant is that the Brexiteers in her own party haven’t bothered to find out the benefits of the EU. They stay at home and think that the British Empire still owes them a living.

Mrs May is surrounded by Brexiteers. They are in control, and she is too weak to deal with them. Brexiteers constantly blame Brussels for their own failings. They said: ‘In the EU we can’t control our borders!’ That’s nonsense. We can manage EU migration; we just haven’t adopted the laws to do it. They say they have a plan for Ireland, but so far, nothing. They said that the EU stops us making trade deals, but we have over 50 international trade deals now. So where is the vision for Brexit? May’s Florence speech has left more waffle, fudge and half-eaten cake on the table than is good for anyone’s cholesterol.

Prime Minister, get a grip, or pack your bags and leave now. We can exit from Brexit, so allow those of us who do feel European to sort this mess out democratically.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz (GUE/NGL). – Herr Präsident! Ein CEO von Rolls Royce in Ludwigsfelde in Deutschland, unweit von Berlin, sagte mir auf meine Frage zu seinen Sichten, Fragen und Problemen mit den Brexit-Verhandlungen: Er habe nur eine Sorge, ein wichtiges Anliegen: Gewährleistet die Arbeitnehmerfreizügigkeit durch die Verhandlungen! Es geht also auch in der globalen Wertschöpfungskette, der internationalen Produktion, in Absatz, Forschung und Entwicklung eines der britischen Weltkonzerne insbesondere um die Absicherung der erworbenen Rechte und die eindeutige, garantierte rechtliche Absicherung dieser für die Zukunft. Deshalb auch an die Kommission und den Rat gewandt: Seien Sie doch konkret! Wo sind die konkreten Probleme? Wo fallen die Interessen auseinander? Sagen Sie, was in den zwei Jahren Übergangsphase passieren soll und was bereits vorher!

Als wären sie nicht mehr Mitglieder der Europäischen Union, reisen Delegationen von der Insel durch die Welt – auch in der letzten Woche beim WTO-Public-Forum – und versuchen, Freihandelsverhandlungen bereits vorzubereiten. Die Rechtslage des Verhandlungsverbots wird schlicht ignoriert. Jedem, der will, wird radikaler Freihandel angeboten. Das wirft Europa zurück, schreiten Sie deshalb ein! Denn unser künftiges Vertragswerk mit dem Vereinigten Königreich muss konstruktiv sein und unseren gesamten wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Verhältnissen im Rahmen einer Welt globaler Wertschöpfungskette einen Dienst erweisen und sie adressieren.

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, as we debate the Brexit negotiations here in Strasbourg, back in Manchester Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is preparing to deliver his speech to his party conference. He encapsulates the disaster that Brexit is for my country. He was complicit in the biggest lie in the history of British politics and, with his Tory cronies, he has used Brexit as a power grab for himself.

In her Florence speech, Theresa May said that the United Kingdom has never felt totally at home in the European Union. Personally, I have never felt less at home in the UK since the vote to leave the EU. Such a sentiment is echoed by many people: by the majority of young people who still consider themselves European, by people living in our diverse and multicultural cities and, of course, by those European citizens who have chosen – for reasons of love, work or study – to make the UK their home. If Brexit is a divorce, then we are the children of the divorce and the process is a painful and troubling one.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Patrick O'Flynn (EFDD). – Mr President, the Commission’s attitude to the wishes of the British people to leave the EU has been a disgrace. You would apparently rather harm other European nations by placing trade in peril than meet your own obligations to be constructive. If you were truly confident about what the EU has to offer, you would be content to let go an unwilling participant in the process of ever-closer union, but instead you wish to punish us to discourage the others: Poles and Hungarians dismayed by migration bullying; Greeks and Italians disgusted by the consequences of monetary union.

Britain is holding out the hand of friendship, confident of its place in the world, connected to a Commonwealth and to an Anglosphere, as well as to European neighbours. You, by contrast, are the hollow men, afraid that our success will show up your failings. We will not be intimidated. We will not be deterred. Once again, we will set an example to Europe. We are going to show that being free, democratic and truly global can see a great future for our country.

 
  
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  Laurențiu Rebega (ENF). – Domnule președinte, stimați colegi, Brexitul a creat un fenomen de dependență. Nu există sesiune plenară fără o doză de dezbateri despre această chestiune. Încerc să ies din logica grupurilor politice și să intru într-o logică normală. Prin activarea articolului 50, politicul a vorbit deja. Acum să lăsăm echipele de negociatori să își facă treaba. Dacă noi, Parlamentul, ne amestecăm în negocierile tehnice, Brexitul se va produce la calendele grecești. Or, interesul ambelor părți este ca despărțirea să se producă rapid și lin, fără să lăsăm schelete în dulap.

Pe de altă parte, subliniez că Brexitul produce un precedent nu numai prin ieșirea din Uniune, ci și prin faptul că, la un moment dat, orice stat poate să dorească acest lucru. De asemenea, orice stat care a ieșit, după un anumit timp, poate dori să se reintroducă.

Europa nu poate urma Statele Unite. Avem nevoie de un alt model, mai modern și mai dinamic. Uniunea Europeană va supraviețui și se va dezvolta numai dacă va înțelege că între central și local trebuie să existe un echilibru dinamic. Or, este clar că acum viteza cu care au loc schimbările depășește viteza procedurilor noastre, care sunt centralizate, greoaie și ineficiente.

 
  
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  Diane James (NI). – Mr President, well it is certainly ‘bash-up the Brits day’, isn’t it? I would like to give the Parliament here a gold medal for political bullying, because that is quite frankly what we have heard so far.

A number of people have referred to the lack of clarity of documents coming from the United Kingdom. Can I remind everybody that there was an agreement between both parties to keep those details confidential, and it has taken individuals in this Parliament to divulge them and to criticise the United Kingdom for not being forthcoming. Well I have got more faith in my politicians that abide by confidentiality agreements than I have in a number of the individuals in the Parliament this morning.

One of my political colleagues back in the United Kingdom during the referendum campaign made a very, very strong statement, which is: ‘the United Kingdom should not be a star on somebody else’s flag’. It quite clearly appears to be that this Parliament wants to erase the United Kingdom from the flag but it wants to keep everything that the United Kingdom contributes, be it money, be it defence forces, be it knowledge – whatever it might be. Well, if you want that, go back to the negotiating rules. Go back and understand what negotiation actually means. It means giving a bit to get something back in return. You have not given one iota.

It is all very well holding 27 Member States together in terms of unity but, quite frankly, what we are seeing now is a facade and theatre from Parliament in terms of the negotiations. They are not serious and the sooner this country, the United Kingdom, leaves, the better.

(Applause from the right)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Onorevole James, per Sua informazione, le stelle sulla bandiera dell'Unione non rappresentano gli Stati membri.

 
  
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  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Mr President, I speak as the Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, which in a year from now will be working, hopefully, on the consent procedure of this House.

Michel Barnier said in his introductory remarks that 15 days and one negotiation round separate us from an important meeting of the European Council that will debate and decide. That meeting will be a chance for the European leaders to take stock of the results so far and decide whether to expand the negotiating mandate, allowing for parallel discussions on the future agreement and the transition. But maintaining the new dynamics of the negotiation process depends heavily on whether the UK Prime Minister’s speech in Florence will be translated into new negotiation positions and concrete proposals as soon as possible. Accelerating the pace of meetings has to go hand in hand with progress on content.

On content, I will make four points. We need reassurance on how the direct effect will work in practice. We need reassurance that bureaucratic burdens will be avoided. We also need to avoid the risks of incoherence and distortion in the interpretation of the withdrawal agreement, and we need to see respect for the fact that the situation of Northern Ireland is unique and deserves to be treated in a unique way.

We all want to reach that deep and special partnership that Ms May has called for and which is in the interest of all European citizens, but lack of progress now would delay the whole process of the negotiations. That is why achieving confidence now, and a shared understanding on the essential issues of the first phase, is of such importance.

 
  
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  Mercedes Bresso (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, anzitutto voglio dire che apprezzo la chiara indicazione del presidente Juncker che l'Unione europea deve andare avanti con il dibattito e le concrete proposte e iniziative per il futuro dell'Unione europea. E voglio dire ai colleghi inglesi: non è vero che vogliamo trattenervi; vogliamo semplicemente che ogni tanto oltre ad ascoltare voi stessi, ascoltiate anche gli altri, perché qui praticamente non avete fatto che ascoltarvi. Credo che il nostro negoziatore sia stato chiaro e apprezzo il lavoro che sta facendo.

Vorrei focalizzare il mio intervento su due punti: anzitutto, la questione dei diritti dei cittadini europei e britannici, compresi quelli dei figli nati dopo la Brexit o di eventuali nuovi matrimoni. L'accordo, anche se farà parte di quello generale di ritiro, com'è ovvio, prima saremo in grado di spiegarlo a questi cittadini e meglio sarà. Sono in attesa di capire meglio.

Il secondo punto è quello del Good Friday Agreement, che deve certamente essere rispettato per l'Irlanda: dobbiamo garantire la libertà dei cittadini irlandesi ma dobbiamo anche garantire l'integrità del mercato unico e in questo momento appare evidente che si tratta di due esigenze che sono contraddittorie, che a noi sembrano conciliabili solo se tutto il Regno Unito, almeno l'Irlanda del Nord, restano nell'Unione doganale e nel mercato unico.

Se esistono proposte diverse tocca al Premier britannico darne la dimostrazione, facendo proposte concrete. Su questi temi ci deve essere un accordo chiaro e preciso. Concludo, dicendo che periodo di transizione non può voler dire posticipare la soluzione dei problemi.

 
  
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  Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Przemówienie pani premier Theresy May we Florencji obudziło nadzieję, że negocjacje z Wielka Brytanią wreszcie przyspieszą, a tego oczekują obywatele Unii. Propozycję okresu przejściowego oraz deklarację, że rząd brytyjski będzie nadal wnosił swój wkład do wspólnego budżetu na lata 2014-2020 należy ocenić pozytywnie.

Wydaje się, że także kwestia ochrony praw obywateli UE mieszkających w Wielkiej Brytanii znajdzie odpowiednie rozwiązanie. Teraz Unia powinna zrobić krok naprzód. Być może pan przewodniczący Juncker powinien wygłosić podobne przemówienie jak pani premier.

Zresztą my w Polsce ostatnio martwimy się bardziej o prawa naszych pracowników we Francji niż prawa Polaków zamieszkałych w Wielkiej Brytanii. W ogóle paradoks tych negocjacji polega na tym, że rozmowa z Brytyjczykami o wolnym rynku i przepływie osób i ich praw toczy się w sytuacji, gdy w ramach Unii pod hasłem walki z dumpingiem socjalnym coraz wyraźniejsze staje się dążenie do protekcjonizmu wewnątrz UE.

 
  
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  Morten Løkkegaard (ALDE). – Hr. formand! I denne uge var der besøg fra Købehavn i London. Den danske erhvervs- og økonomiminister var af sted sammen med den danske nationalbankdirektør og med ham 20 CEOs fra de største danske finanshuse og pensionskasser. Hvad skulle de så i London? Ja, de skulle være med i kampen om at tiltrække nogle af de 30 000 finansarbejdspladser, som i øjeblikket er på vej ud af London til andre steder i Europa. Fra hele Europa – Tyskland, Frankrig, Holland, Sverige og alle andre steder – er finansbosserne nu i London for at finde ud af, hvordan de skal tiltrække alle disse mennesker.

Det lader til, at man nogle steder i Storbritannien har fundet ud af, at det er den gale kurs, man er på, og at man er ved at betale prisen for konsekvenserne af det, der foregår. I det halvandet år, der er gået siden brexit, er jeg blevet rystet over den forudsigelighed, hvormed man bevæger sig ud i sumpen fra britisk side. Jeg mangler stadig at høre, hvad den britiske regering vil stille op med de 759 aftaler med 168 lande uden for EU, som skal genforhandles. Hvordan i alverden har man forestillet sig, det skulle foregå og hvornår? Hvad regner man med, at der skal ske? Alle vi, der elsker Storbritannien, og som følger godt med, kan undre os over, at der er så meget kaos, og at man ikke snart finder ud af, hvad man skal stille op. Jeg håber på, at der snart indsniger sig en eller anden form for realisme i disse brexitforhandlinger, og jeg håber, at Storbritannien finder ud af det, så man kan komme i gang med noget realistisk og på den måde også kan få gang i de forhandlinger om fremtiden, som er så virkelig nødvendige for, at det britiske erhvervsliv og det britiske samfund ikke skvatter sammen.

 
  
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  Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL). – Senhor Presidente, o respeito pela decisão soberana e legítima do povo britânico de sair da União Europeia não é compatível com chantagens, ameaças ou punições. Os impasses e bloqueios das negociações resultantes de contradições do grande capital britânico e europeu não são alheios a uma agenda que visa perverter, contornar e, eventualmente, reverter a decisão do povo britânico.

O caráter neoliberal das forças em presença, a natureza da classe do poder em ambos os lados das negociações fica patente na intenção anunciada de manter e aprofundar políticas comuns, nomeadamente na vertente securitária, militarista e de resposta à crise dos refugiados.

Neste quadro é imprescindível afirmar a exigência de que os direitos dos imigrantes sejam assegurados nas negociações, incluindo os emigrantes portugueses no Reino Unido, os seus direitos laborais e outros direitos sociais, como o de residência, a igualdade de tratamento ou o acesso a serviços públicos, à portabilidade das prestações de segurança social, ao reagrupamento familiar ou ao reconhecimento mútuo de diplomas académicos e de qualificações profissionais.

 
  
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  Jean Lambert (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, I have to say that at some points this morning this debate has taken me back to my teaching days, where you used to get the occasional pupil who would behave so badly, as if they wanted to be thrown out of your lesson because they felt that way they were going to have an easy time and not have to do any work. I see some have bunked off early today.

So let’s say here that this is a serious setup. It is a serious negotiation, and we do want an ongoing relationship. Some of us would like the same one, but that is not on the table. So we have to ask whether walking away actually makes this a serious relationship. And no, it does not. Aiming and continuing to say that no deal is better than a bad deal, or no deal is okay, is not a serious outcome. And does all of that show to other countries that you want to be a trusted partner in future negotiations? No, it does not.

Let’s also be clear that paying what you promised to pay is not a punishment: it is also about keeping your word.

(Applause from the centre)

 
  
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  Gerolf Annemans (ENF). – Ik zou onze Britse vrienden willen waarschuwen voor wat er nu gaande is. Ze mogen niet onderschatten welke tegenstander ze tegenover zich hebben. Dat is een Europese elite die uit is op revanche, op weerwraak, op een soort van strafexpeditie; in ieder geval een strategie die tijd wint en die zorgt dat de remain-strategie wind onder de vleugels kan krijgen.

Dat is wat er gaande is en dat is de reden waarom deze hele procedure op dit ogenblik langzaam maar zeker in een soort van chaos wordt omgebouwd. De parlementaire procedure die hier wat mij betreft eigenlijk niks mee te maken zou mogen hebben – want het zou gewoon een afhandeling tussen twee executieve niveaus moeten zijn – maakt daar deel van uit.

Ik ken Verhofstadt al 35 jaar. Hij is de geknipte man om van die brexitprocedure een chaos te maken, met allerlei nevenpaadjes zoals het bedreigen van de burgers, het praten over geld en het praten over Noord-Ierland. Laat dat niet gebeuren. Zorg dat je een goed plan B hebt, zeg ik aan onze Britse vrienden: een goed plan B voor de onafhankelijkheid van uw land.

 
  
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  Zoltán Balczó (NI). – Elnök Úr! A brexit-tárgyalások során az Európai Unió elsődleges feladata a 27 tagállam érdekeinek képviselete. Mindenekelőtt az Egyesült Királyságban élő állampolgárok jogainak biztosítása a kölcsönösség alapján, valamint előnyös szabadkereskedelmi megállapodás megkötése.

A cél a rendezett megállapodással történő távozás. Ehhez azonban figyelembe kell vennünk az Egyesült Királyság méltányos érdekeit. Méltányosak vagyunk-e akkor, amikor elvárjuk, hogy a kilépés után is elfogadják az Európai Unió Bíróságának joghatóságát? Vajon méltányosak vagyunk-e akkor, amikor meg akarjuk tiltani minden előzetes kereskedelmi tárgyalás folytatását harmadik országokkal?

Mindezzel én az EU huszonhetek érdekeit képviselem, ugyanis, ha mi büntetni akarjuk a kilépésért a briteket, azért mert egyesek álmát szertefoszlatta az Európai Egyesült Államokról, akkor veszélyes útra tévedünk, mert nem lesz szervezett kilépés, nem lesz megállapodás, ennek pedig mindkét oldal vesztese lesz.

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). – Mr President, this resolution merely states the obvious, that insufficient progress has been made on the three key issues before us. But I want to accentuate the positive, and I think Michel Barnier, Mr Verhofstadt and others have said that there are welcome developments in the British Prime Minister’s speech.

Let me be very clear: on citizens’ rights, we can make progress because we have to. We cannot let people down. Some of the banter in this debate will frighten citizens who are listening to it. So on that issue, let us make progress. On the issue of the financial settlement, there is a solution and that the UK will meet and honour its commitments. They are an honourable nation and I believe they will do that.

But let me be very frank. I am the first Member of the European Parliament from the Republic of Ireland to speak. I listened with great respect to my colleagues from Northern Ireland who spoke here. Nobody owns the peace process, but let us salute those who lost their lives for the peace process, those politicians and civil society actors on all sides who won peace so that my children do not see the violence of the past. Nobody, including this Parliament, wants to see that. But I would like to make this observation: we want things to remain the same as they are today on the island of Ireland after Brexit. That is why I say that we do need the United Kingdom to stay in the single market and the Customs Union. If that is not to be, then please tell me what will replace that. I want a solution. I am afraid I hear nothing from the UK side that will leave things as they are today, but we will welcome a proposal with open arms. Michel Barnier wants that too. In the negotiations, we will have to make progress on this issue. I cannot go back home to my constituents in Donegal, in Cavan, in Monaghan, in Louth, in Meath, in all of that constituency, and say that we are going to return to the borders of the past. I will not let that happen.

 
  
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  Josef Weidenholzer (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Es ist für uns alle von Interesse, dass die Brexit-Verhandlungen mit Konsequenz und Realitätssinn abgeschlossen werden. Viel zu lange ist eigentlich nichts substanziell weitergegangen, und das liegt vor allem an der britischen Seite. Jetzt scheint etwas Bewegung in die Sache zu kommen. Gut so! Die Menschen haben es satt, nur Reden zu hören – Ergebnisse sind notwendig. Bei aller Bereitschaft, Kompromisse zu machen, dürfen diese Kompromisse aber nicht zulasten von gewissen Problembereichen gehen.

Da sind zwei Eckpunkte zu nennen: Das ist einmal Irland. Wir brauchen keine neue Grenzen und kein Wiederaufleben der alten Konflikte. Vor allem aber geht es um die Millionen Unionsbürger im Vereinigten Königreich und Briten in der EU. Hier geht es um Menschen, die ihre Lebensplanung auf ganz anderen Grundlagen gemacht haben und die jetzt deswegen nicht benachteiligt oder gar diskriminiert werden dürfen. Vor allem darauf müssen wir uns konzentrieren.

 
  
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  Anneleen Van Bossuyt (ECR). – Ik denk dat het heel belangrijk is dat we vooruitgaan met de brexitonderhandelingen. Onduidelijkheid creëert onzekerheid en dat is voor niemand goed: niet voor het Verenigd Koninkrijk, maar ook niet voor Europa.

Het is inderdaad belangrijk om duidelijkheid te hebben over de rechten van EU-burgers in het Verenigd Koninkrijk, over de financiële verplichtingen van het Verenigd Koninkrijk, over de grens tussen Noord-Ierland en de Republiek Ierland. Maar het is nog veel belangrijker om op het einde van de rit een goede brexitovereenkomst te hebben.

Daarom een warme oproep om de twee fasen niet te allen tijde op een kunstmatige wijze gescheiden te willen houden. Op het einde van de rit zal er één deal op tafel liggen en die zal ook niet uit twee delen bestaan.

 
  
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  Marian Harkin (ALDE). – Mr President, research has shown that in the event of a hard Brexit, the UK would lose half a million jobs whilst the EU would lose 1.2 million. Crucially, they say that these losses will not be evenly distributed, with Ireland being worst hit, suffering a relatively greater loss in both jobs and GDP than even the UK itself. This must be factored into any final outcome of the negotiations.

Largely, today’s debate was positive, and just like the negotiations it must be about establishing a cooperative future – not about settling old scores, or, heaven forbid, opening new wounds. Today’s resolution offers hope in the context of Northern Ireland, where it speaks of Northern Ireland staying in some form in the internal market and Customs Union. I believe the majority of people in Northern Ireland who voted to remain would support today’s proposal, and it would fit in with Theresa May’s proposal to exclude any physical infrastructure at the border.

Those who represent Northern Ireland must be clear: do they want a hardening of the border, will they accept a harder border, or do they support a unique solution for Northern Ireland that will avoid a hardening of the border, maintain the travel area and uphold the Good Friday Agreement?

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: MAIREAD McGUINNESS
Vice-President

 
  
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  Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL). – Paní předsedající, od samého začátku jsme věděli, že jednání o odchodu Velké Británie z Evropské unie nebudou vůbec jednoduchá. Hlavním problémem však je, že EU nemá na druhé straně jednacího stolu rovnocenného partnera. Britská vláda se utápí ve vnitřních konfliktech a situace na britské politické scéně je velmi nepřehledná. Premiérka Mayová žádá po EU kreativní řešení, ale nepřináší nic na jednací stůl. Boris Johnson znovu opakuje lži o bájných 350 milionech a občané EU v Británii a Britové v EU se stále utápí v nejistotě, jak to bude po brexitu s jejich právy. Občané jsou zase jednou nuceni sledovat mocenské a stranické hry, které mohou mít zásadní dopady na jejich životy a budoucnost. Souhlasím, že je nutné se dohodnout, ale už je opravdu nejvyšší čas pro to to udělat. Občané nesmí být rukojmí a my nesmíme dopustit, aby se tak stalo.

 
  
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  Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, as a politician I understand that political negotiations take time, that legal studies need to be conducted, that there are political games being played, and maybe I even understand that one side of the House wants to make a circus out of this. But, as a citizen, I must admit I am still completely lost as to what the British Government actually wants out of these negotiations. And I think this is deeply worrying.

That is why I have two points to make to Theresa May, and I think she can clarify them tomorrow in her speech at the party congress: Finally, Madam Prime Minister, let us, and the millions of citizens who are waiting for this, know what the British Government actually wants out of these negotiations. And secondly – and this is also an important signal to send here from this European Parliament – never forget that there is still a way out of this mess. The strength of a leader is demonstrated not by stubbornness but by insight. You can still turn this around, Ms May. It is high time to do so!

 
  
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  Auke Zijlstra (ENF). – Het siert meneer Juncker niet dat hij nu net weggelopen is bij het debat, maar oké.

Voorzitter, ik ben vorige week in Engeland geweest en de EU heeft zich daar zó onmogelijk gemaakt dat niemand nog sympathie voelt voor Brussel. Premier May doet een keurig voorstel voor een permanente verblijfsvergunning voor iedereen die zich daar nu legaal bevindt en de EU wijst dat direct af. Ze stelde dat een redelijk bedrag betaald kan worden en de EU wil meer, meer, meer. Iedere vorm van onderhandeling over een toekomstig vrijhandelsverdrag wordt afgewezen totdat Londen zich onderwerpt aan deze afpersing.

Voorzitter, waar is onze eeuwige dankbaarheid voor het land dat de Duitse spijkerlaars heeft verslagen? Brussel wil het de Britse burgers inpeperen dat ze iedereen hier diep hebben beledigd door te stemmen vóór het verlaten van de EU, alsof dat hoogverraad is. Brussel vindt het oké om een Brits referendum te frustreren. Morgen gaan we horen waarom Brussel het ook oké vindt om Catalaanse stemmers in elkaar te knuppelen. Voorzitter, het totale morele failliet van de EU kan deze week niet duidelijker zijn.

 
  
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  David McAllister (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren! Als jemand, der neben der deutschen auch die britische Staatsbürgerschaft besitzt, bedaure ich nach wie vor unendlich die Entwicklungen seit dem Mai 2016. Ich halte den Brexit für einen historischen Fehler mit schwerwiegenden Konsequenzen für das Vereinigte Königreich. Am Brexit ist nichts, aber auch gar nichts gut.

Aber der britische Weg – so irrational er auch erscheinen mag – ist natürlich zu akzeptieren. Und deshalb sollten wir nun – und dafür machen wir uns als Parlament heute einmal mehr stark – eine ordentliche und vernünftige Trennung und anschließend eine wegweisende Vereinbarung über unsere künftigen Beziehungen anstreben. Viele Vorredner haben bereits darauf hingewiesen: Ein ausreichender Fortschritt mit Blick auf die Scheidungsbedingungen ist bislang nicht festgestellt worden. Hier muss die britische Seite konkret liefern. Und auch, wenn durch die Rede in Florenz mancher Fortschritt erzielt worden ist, bleibt es Frau Mays Aufgabe, morgen auf dem Parteitag der britischen Konservativen etwas mehr Klarheit zu schaffen. Und dann müssen wir sehen, was in der nächsten Verhandlungsrunde beginnt. Ansonsten wird das im Oktober nichts werden, wie es bereits mehrfach angesprochen wurde.

Es liegt aber auch in unserem eigenen Interesse, dass wir die künftigen Beziehungen zum Vereinigten Königreich vernünftig organisieren und dass wir nach wie vor eine intensive wirtschaftliche und politische Partnerschaft pflegen werden.

Ich möchte abschließend ausdrücklich einen Dank an Michel Barnier und an sein gesamtes Team aussprechen. Ich glaube, viele von uns hier in diesem Hause haben das Gefühl, dass unsere europäischen Anliegen bei Ihnen, lieber Michel Barnier, in besten Händen sind.

 
  
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  Birgit Sippel (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Nach der Trennung der Beatles schrieb Paul McCartney den Song Too many people: „That was your first mistake, you took your lucky break and you broke it in two.” Das passt zum Brexit. Die britische Regierung scheint es langsam zu begreifen: Ihr Referendum war ihr first mistake, und die Euphorie der Brexit-Anhänger – endlich lucky break! – ist längst verflogen. You broke it in two – Konsequenzen folgen.

Die Unteilbarkeit von Binnenmarkt und Zollunion, bestehende finanzielle Verpflichtungen, volle Anerkennung des EuGH sind nicht verhandelbar. Es fehlt nach wie vor eine Garantie für Reziprozität, für Gleichheit und Nichtdiskriminierung der Rechte von EU-Bürgern in Großbritannien und von Briten in der EU. Und dies auch für die Kinder, die nach dem Brexit geboren werden, denn es darf keine Familienmitglieder erster und zweiter Klasse geben.

Frau May, Sie könnten sich verzocken. Auch dazu ein Beatles-Song: We can work it out –vor der Trennung geschrieben: „Think of what you’re saying. You can get it wrong and still you think that it’s alright. Think what I am saying, we can work it out and get it straight, or say good night.” Es ist Ihre Entscheidung.

 
  
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  Peter van Dalen (ECR). – Collega Verhofstadt heeft met anderen een resolutie over de brexit opgesteld en aan het begin van die tekst worden mooie woorden gezegd over de gezamenlijkheid van de EU en het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Bijvoorbeeld dat EU-burgers ook Britse burgers zijn en dat het Europees Parlement ook de Britse burgers vertegenwoordigt.

Vervolgens legt de tekst echter alle verantwoordelijkheid geheel eenzijdig bij de Britten. Zij moeten de rechten van de burgers volledig garanderen. De Britten dragen volledige verantwoordelijkheid voor de relatie tussen Noord-Ierland en Ierland, en de Britten moeten de betaling eerst volledig regelen.

Gebeurt dat niet, dan worden de onderhandelingen opgeschort. Geen woord dus over andere wederzijds gemeenschappelijke belangrijke onderwerpen, zoals handel en visserij. Slechts eenzijdige Brusselse eisen en die kunnen maar één doel hebben, Voorzitter: never nooit moeten de burgers van welke lidstaat dan ook het in de kop krijgen en er zelfs maar aan dénken om uit de EU te willen stappen. Verhofstadt en de zijnen willen een vechtscheiding. Dat levert aan beide kanten slechts verliezers op.

 
  
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  Luke Ming Flanagan (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, Ireland needs these negotiations to work out more than any other country. Diplomacy is a bit like dating. If you want it to succeed, you need to be careful what you say. One thing you don’t say to your future partner if you want your relationship to work is that they would be a dwarf without you. That is what you said, Mr Verhofstadt, if you could come off your phone for a second.

Another thing you don’t do is run down their family, no matter how bad their brother or sister might be, even if they have a lower of opinion of them, you don’t run them down! Today, Manfred Weber did just that by demanding that Boris Johnson resign. I agree. I don’t like him, but it is the British people’s choice. You have made it harder today, Manfred!

Another thing you don’t do with your date is tell them you are in a hurry. Jean-Claude Juncker, you said you would not have much time to spend on this. Another thing you don’t do is make public what happens in the bedroom! You brought out what happened in private discussions.

We need this to work! We have been bitten by Europe on Lisbon and Nice and on bank debt. It is time to put your egos away, time to make this work, and time to stop insulting people that you ultimately want to work with you.

 
  
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  Steeve Briois (ENF). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, dans cette résolution, vous exigez des Britanniques le respect de la libre circulation des individus et le respect des décisions de la Cour de justice européenne. Nous l’avons compris, l’Union européenne veut faire payer ainsi au peuple britannique son désir légitime de liberté et de retour de sa souveraineté. Car, souvenons-nous de ce qui s’est passé: à peine l’article 50 du traité déclenché, nous avons assisté à une avalanche de sommations et de menaces de la part d’une Union européenne aux abois. En réalité, l’Union européenne a peur, peur de voir le Royaume-Uni mieux s’en sortir à l’extérieur de l’Union qu’à l’intérieur, ce qui, évidemment, pourrait inciter d’autres États membres à suivre cette voie vers la souveraineté nationale.

Les négociations sont un véritable chantage, un chantage insupportable, mais le Brexit aura eu au moins ce mérite: celui de montrer le vrai visage d’une Union européenne antidémocratique et incapable de respecter la volonté des peuples car on ne peut pas négocier avec un revolver sur la tempe.

 
  
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  György Schöpflin (PPE). – Madam President, anyone following the relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom since the Brexit vote will be struck by a number of factors. First of all, why is everything in slow motion? The Brexit referendum took place well over a year ago, yet the pace of discussions has been glacial.

Second, the United Kingdom never seems to have believed that the EU 27 would preserve its unity. Indeed, the UK made a serious diplomatic effort to split that unity. This failed.

Third, the EU’s position was made very clear indeed in the Council mandate and in the various statements by Michel Barnier. Despite the clarity, the message never seems to get through. The UK side, when it responds, does so in vague all too often unfocused language or makes complaints of inflexibility or punishment. Fourth, the discussion in the UK itself seems to be entirely unaware of what the EU is saying. It is as if the UK has become another planet.

From the outset, in the 1970s – and I was there – the UK never sought to understand what the EU was for. The attitude was entirely transactional. Equally England – and I mean England, and not the UK as a whole – has become intensely focused on itself, thereby making it very hard to see the EU as it is, a body of values.

 
  
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  Pervenche Berès (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, nous étions contre le Brexit, mais le peuple britannique a voté pour. Alors, Monsieur le Président de la Commission, jusqu’au 29 mars 2019, les Britanniques restent membres de l’Union européenne, et il est de votre devoir, en votre qualité de président de la Commission, de veiller à ce que la législation soit entièrement appliquée.

Tout d’abord concernant les droits des citoyens, qui, avant même la sortie du Royaume-Uni, sont trop souvent victimes de discriminations; concernant également la lutte contre la fraude à la TVA car, manifestement, le Royaume-Uni est devenu la plaque tournante d’une fraude générée par des importations en provenance de Chine; concernant enfin la situation à Gibraltar, qui semble être devenu une passoire pour les licences bancaires et les captives d’assurance.

Et puis, un nouvel élément est apparu récemment: la «phase de transition». Pour une fois, je vais vous surprendre, je suis d’accord avec M. Weber. Il ne faudrait pas que l’on ramène tout à cette phase de transition avant même qu’elle soit effective. La transition, nous y serons quand nous serons parvenu à un accord : 1) sur les conditions du divorce, et 2) sur les conditions de la relation future.

C’est le bon séquençage. Nous devons nous y tenir.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-жо Председател, г-н Юнкер, г-н Барние, колеги, хубаво е, че най-накрая виждаме известен прогрес в преговорите с Обединеното Кралство относно Брексит. В своята реч г-жа Мей показа готовността на Великобритания да продължи преговорите в духа на компромиса. Ако искаме да запазим близките си отношения с Обединеното Кралство след напускането на Европейския съюз, то е нужно възможно най-бързо да преминем към установяване пряко на споразумение, което да влезе в сила след Брексит. Това ще успокои хората, работодателите, икономиката и пазарите.

Вярвам, че никой не иска в Европа отново да се повторят икономическите трусове от последните години. Те са неминуеми, ако Европейският съюз не постигне добро, приятелско и разумно споразумение с Великобритания. Нека да спрем да говорим за това как Великобритания трябва да бъде наказана. Това отношение е неконструктивно и бих казал глупаво.

Очевидно Обединеното Кралство има добра воля да реши трите важни въпроса: правата на гражданите, ирландския въпрос и плащането на дължимото по договори с Европейския съюз. Не може да очакваме това плащане, ако няма добра сделка.

Искам да призова за рационалност, разум, запазване на добрите отношения. Великобритания трябва да остане най-добрият съюзник на Европейския съюз след Брексит.

 
  
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  Paloma López Bermejo (GUE/NGL). – Señora presidenta, durante estos meses de negociaciones hemos visto diferentes posiciones, más o menos duras, pero lo que no hemos visto ha sido ningún avance. Se habla de unidad de Europa, de las empresas, de los derechos de los ciudadanos, pero, en todo este periodo, no se ha dicho nada, absolutamente nada, de los trabajadores, los grandes olvidados del brexit.

Pondré el ejemplo de los más de 12 000 trabajadores fronterizos españoles, que suponen el 27 % de la mano de obra de Gibraltar y cuyos puestos de trabajo están en peligro por la falta de concreción de su estatus futuro. En la zona existe una interdependencia social y económica que va a ser alterada, alterada, por supuesto, a peor, porque nada se dice en las negociaciones de cómo proteger el empleo y las condiciones de los trabajadores.

Todos los intentos por tener el brexit más beneficioso atienden a los intereses económicos de las empresas y los mercados y, una vez más, son los trabajadores los que se ven amenazados y desamparados, al ser la última prioridad en la mesa de negociación.

 
  
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  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Rok temu wydawało się, że referendum brytyjskie i jego następstwa to będzie problem egzystencjalny całej Unii Europejskiej. Zgłaszali się naśladowcy w innych krajach. Dzisiaj już widzimy, że szok brexitu zamienił się w swoistą terapię szokową dla Europy, bo odnowił wiarę Unii Europejskiej we własną przyszłość. Natomiast ujawnia się w całości problem, jaki mieszkańcy Wysp Brytyjskich zgotowali sami sobie. Można współczuć, ale nas interesuje przede wszystkim zabezpieczenie interesów Irlandii, naszych obywateli na Wyspach oraz projektowanie finansów przy niepewności, jaką stwarza brexit. Dlatego strategia realizowana przez Michela Barnier zgodnie z wytycznymi Rady i rezolucją Parlamentu ma sens – najpierw postęp w tych sprawach, a potem rozmowy o przyszłym modelu relacji między Unią Europejską i Wielką Brytanią. Ale nie ma tej przesłanki, jest chaos po drugiej stronie.

Chciałbym wyrazić swoje osobiste rozczarowanie. Mam prawo do tego wyrazu osobistego rozczarowania dlatego, że w komunistycznej Polsce w podziemiu, co rodziło pewne ryzyko osobiste, wskazywałem Wielką Brytanię jako wzór dojrzałej demokracji. Dojrzałej, czyli takiej, która jest odporna na demagogię i populizm. Niestety referendum brytyjskie było świadectwem nieprawdy (fake news) i stąd moje rozczarowanie, ale też cieszę się, że Unia Europejska jako całość odzyskała wiarę we własną przyszłość.

 
  
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  Nicola Danti (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Presidente Juncker, è stato evocato stamattina da più parti l'intervento che la Premier May ha tenuto nella mia città, Firenze, qualche giorno fa: mi lasci dire che nel discorso di Theresa May, a Firenze, di bello c'era solo Firenze e nessuna rassicurazione, almeno su alcuni punti importanti.

Primo: abbiamo sempre affermato che al rispetto degli accordi del Venerdì Santo debba corrispondere l'integrità del mercato unico e l'Unione doganale, evitando che si creino varchi, dai quali possano arrivare in Europa merci prive di alcun controllo, capaci di eludere i dazi doganali all'entrata; in secondo luogo, credo inoltre, che davanti alla richiesta, da parte del governo inglese di un periodo transitorio, l'Unione europea debba, sicuramente dimostrarsi disponibile. Ma un periodo di transizione non è un periodo senza regole e dovrà basarsi sull'insieme delle attuali norme dell'Unione europea, incluso il rispetto delle quattro libertà fondamentali.

Duemila anni fa, Seneca scrisse che "non esiste vento favorevole per il marinaio che non sa dove andare". Il tempo scorre e noi – e penso con noi anche i cittadini inglesi – vorremmo sapere qual è la rotta che la signora May vuole seguire.

 
  
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  Julie Girling (ECR). – Madam President, we have heard the usual ranting from UKIP and far-right colleagues fuelled by their diminishing testosterone levels. They state the obvious. They say they want a cliff edge, no deal and a complete withdrawal – what Kenneth Clarke called a calamitous act of national self-harm. Well, there is no surprise there: that’s what they want. Be clear about that, colleagues. That’s what they want.

But I don't want that, and let me assure you that that’s not what a lot of British Conservatives want. We want to make progress. Ms May has signalled in Florence that she wants to move. Let’s speed this process up. This Parliament can play an important role in moving the deal forward. We are experienced in negotiating; we are experienced in reaching consensus and compromise. I would like to make one point about this resolution, which is the one point I do not agree with. It is really important that this Parliament urges Mr Barnier, the Commission and the Council to move forward with a parallel negotiation on some of the issues that the UK is signalling are important, on the principle that no deal is agreed until everything is agreed. That would open up channels of communication that would show goodwill and the willingness to go forward without digging our heels in and being just as stubborn and just as awkward as those gentlemen that I mentioned earlier. I’m not with them; I’m with this parliament, and I think that we could play a useful role here. Let’s get on and do so.

 
  
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  Jérôme Lavrilleux (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, mes chers collègues, dans à peine 420 jours, la convention de divorce, négociée de main de maître par Michel Barnier, devrait être adoptée par les Vingt-Sept et votée par notre Parlement, qui aura le dernier mot.

Or, à 420 jours de cette échéance cruciale, que constatons-nous? Qu’une fois de plus, une classe politique britannique, qui n’est décidément pas plus à la hauteur des enjeux qu’elle ne l’est de son propre peuple, n’a pour seule préoccupation que son propre nombril. Son problème n’est pas l’avenir de la Grande-Bretagne, sinon celle-ci serait restée dans l’Europe. Son problème n’est pas non plus l’Union européenne, ni une supposée technocratie supranationale qui n’existe que dans leurs fantasmes. Non, la seule obsession de cette classe politique nombriliste et cynique est d’échafauder des plans pour conserver ou conquérir des majorités de circonstance au sein même de ses propres partis politiques. Peu importe si pour cela elle doit mentir, se renier et se trahir elle-même en excitant au besoin quelques dangereux populistes. Nous devons lui dire «stop»!

Ceux qui pensent, en Grande-Bretagne comme ailleurs, que l’avenir consiste à rejeter l’autre parce que l’on est trop riche pour être solidaire et trop fier pour être fraternel, trompent leur peuple. Car ce n’est pas plus de richesse ou d’indépendance qu’ils trouveront au bout du chemin, mais plus de pauvreté et d’isolement.

Chers collègues britanniques, il vous reste encore quelques jours pour avoir du courage et arrêter ce processus qui n’a aucun sens. Si vous n’avez pas ce courage, trouvez alors au moins celui de la clarté et cessez vos atermoiements dont vous êtes et serez les seules victimes.

In c’est in, et out c’est out.

 
  
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  Bernd Lange (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Barnier, Herr Verhofstadt! Ich habe nun über 40 Verhandlungen mit dem Rat über Gesetzgebungen geführt und viele Handelsverträge begleitet, aber solche Zustände, wie wir sie in den Brexit-Verhandlungen erleben, habe ich noch nie gesehen. So unklare Positionen des Verhandlungspartners habe ich noch nie erlebt. Wenn ich mir den Parteitag jetzt in Manchester angucke – wem solch ich da zuhören? May, Johnson, Davidson, Mogg oder Hammond? Völlige Unklarheit, und das kann doch keine seriöse Grundlage für Verhandlungen sein! Wir brauchen Klarheit – intern für die Verhandlungen zwischen EU und Großbritannien, aber auch darüber hinaus!

Ich war letzte Woche in Genf die WTO-Partner gucken: Wir wollen wissen, wie es mit Großbritannien und der EU weitergeht. Wir brauchen auch hier Klarheit in einer Situation, wo das Welthandelssystem eh in einer destabilisierten Situation ist. Und wir brauchen auch für unsere Handelsverträge in Zukunft z. B. mit Australien Klarheit.

Also die dringende Bitte an die britische Regierung: Klarheit schaffen, damit wir auch weiter vorankommen können! Ich glaube, wir können wirklich Herrn Barnier, Herrn Verhofstadt für die gute Zusammenarbeit Danke sagen. Kooperativ und transparent – so arbeiten wir weiter!

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Madam President, I too would like to thank Mr Verhofstadt and his team for his good work and for the resolution before us today, and also to thank him for coming to Ireland two weeks ago, where he was well received as was Mr Barnier when he came to the PPE Bureau meeting in May and went to the North to see the position of the border. Thankfully – and I appreciate this very much – there is a determination to maintain the provisions of the Good Friday Agreement, the special circumstances of Northern Ireland, and a seamless border.

Some progress has been made was in relation to a transition period. This has now been recognised, and I appreciate that. However, one thing I would say is that a transition period needs to be open-ended, with a target minimum length of maybe two years, without setting a maximum, because it is during that transition period that people will realise what Mr Barnier has said today and what has not been realised up till now: that the consequences, like the extraordinary complexity of the issue, have been underestimated. Given enough time, people will realise that, and then come to an arrangement that would be in the best interests of the EU and the best interests of the United Kingdom and of Ireland.

The other point I would like to make is that an awful lot of speeches, even here today, have to be taken with a pinch of salt, because they are aimed at constituents back home. This is grandstanding. We need less of the public speeches and more engagement where it matters most – around the negotiating table. I think that, over a period of time, around the negotiating table, trust can be built and we can come to conclusions that are satisfactory to everybody.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (S&D). – Señora presidenta, esta mañana hemos oído aquí un apoyo encendido por parte de Mister Farage al nacionalismo catalán, y creo que es un torpedo mortal a la causa independentista de Cataluña, porque no puede haber peor amigo, no puede haber peor apoyo en Europa y en el mundo al nacionalismo que el de Mister Farage, que el de la ultraderecha.

Señorías, Europa se construyó para superar las guerras entre nuestros países; Europa se construyó para superar los nacionalismos, y el brexit, como estamos viendo hoy en esta negociación, es la expresión de un nacionalismo viejo, es la pretensión de una independencia anacrónica. Hoy lo estamos viendo en una negociación que va a requerir de una transición muy larga —como ha pedido la señora May—, una transición que tenemos que negociar de nuevo.

Señorías, los referéndums de independencia los carga el diablo: son un barco lleno de problemas ciudadanos; son un barco que navega hacia ninguna parte, la mayoría de las veces.

La bandera del nacionalismo es la independencia, es la soberanía. Pero la soberanía, hoy, es Europa: una Europa más fuerte, más unida y más democrática, como dicen Juncker y Macron.

 
  
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  Luděk Niedermayer (PPE). – Madam President, first of all, I must say I deeply regret the decision of the UK to leave the EU. The UK in this way abandons a community of more than 500 million people, a community that has an essential role in the future of our continent and the world. The economic impact of that is just one small part of the problem, but it is an important one. Let me illustrate that in numbers: the UK, by leaving the single market, will make it complicated for its businesses to join and use the market of 450 million people, while the opposite way around this is just 65 million people.

In today’s interconnected and highly effective world, any uncertainty means job losses, lower wages and budget and investment problems. Unfortunately, for the time being, it seems to me that we are not on the way to reducing this uncertainty. The reason is that while the EU 27 has quite a clear negotiating position, it seems to me that the UK side of the negotiation table is trying to square a circle. We know that squaring a circle is not possible, and we have known that for more than 100 years.

It is time to act. It is important that we can move forward, and the recent speeches by the UK Prime Minister show the possibility to get improvement, but they must understand that there are some limits and some conditions that must be fulfilled. This is the only way to reach progress and reduce the cost and uncertainty of Brexit. The cost will be there, but it depends on whether it is high or low. I hope it will be low!

 
  
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  Patrizia Toia (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, (fuori microfono) almeno una parte di esso sembra capire o cominciare a capire che non si può avere accesso al mercato unico e insieme costruire muri contro i lavoratori comunitari; come dicono gli inglesi, non si può avere la torta e poi mangiarla.

Gli alfieri della Brexit, qui tutti scomparsi, fanno i conti con la realtà che sarà inevitabilmente dura per la Gran Bretagna e cambiano tono ma noi continuiamo sulla nostra strada: chiediamo a Theresa May concretezza e certezza sulle condizioni di recesso. Apprezzo completamente la posizione esposta stamattina dalla Commissario Barnier.

Il Parlamento lo deve dire chiaro: nessuna tattica dilatoria, nessuna transizione senza certezze. Non si gioca con la vita delle persone. Io penso che la vita dei cittadini non possa essere messa tra parentesi, per un certo periodo di tempo, in attesa magari di rimandare il momento in cui i politici conservatori britannici, che hanno spesso giocato per le loro reciproche posizioni di partito, saranno chiamati a rendere conto dei propri errori.

Il nostro non è un atteggiamento punitivo bensì è la voglia di arrivare a un risultato. Ma vedo invece oggi e sento dalle parole dei colleghi molta paura di rispondere delle conseguenze delle proprie scelte.

 
  
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  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). – Madam President, I would first like to say one thing about a mistake we must not make here in this Chamber: Mr Farage and his friends might be British, but they are not the representatives of Great Britain.

(Applause)

Great Britain is much greater than that. They are loving the conflict and the tensions, and they are, for me, contradictory to what the United Kingdom is, and has been, for Europe. I think Brexit is a sad thing. It is not win-win; it is lose-lose. In the negotiations we need to be counterparts, but in the future we need to be partners. That means that this is time for negotiation more than agitation. We need the British Government to get its act together, and we need to secure the rights of citizens, secure a way to deal with the bill and proceed with the Irish issue. But in day-to-day life, regarding prosperity and our big challenges, we need to be serious about how we manage this divorce and create a new partnership.

 
  
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  Jens Geier (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Präsident Juncker, Herr Barnier! Im Frühjahr dieses Jahres hat OLAF, das Amt für Betrugsbekämpfung der Europäischen Union, einen Zollbetrug in Großbritannien aufgedeckt, der durch systematische Unterbewertung zustande gekommen ist. Der Schaden für unseren Haushalt – für den Haushalt der EU – beläuft sich auf knapp zwei Milliarden Euro, eine Summe, von der ich nicht weiß, ob sie in den Rechnungen der EU-Kommission über die Abschlusskosten des Brexits auftaucht, und einen zusätzlichen Schaden von 3,2 Mrd. EUR an entgangener Mehrwertsteuer für die Mitgliedstaaten. Der britische Zoll weiß das, und er tut nichts dagegen, denn er ist nicht in der Lage dazu. Er hat zu wenig Personal, und er hat die Anweisung seiner Regierung, den Fokus der Aufgaben auf eine andere Stelle zu richten., Ob den administrativen Empfehlungen, die OLAF ausgesprochen hat, nachgegangen worden ist, ist mir unbekannt; eine juristische Aufarbeitung findet nicht statt.

Vor diesem Hintergrund glaube ich, dass wir sehr hohe Aufmerksamkeit darauf richten müssen, wie die Kontrollen an der irischen Grenze organisiert sind. Wir können nicht hinnehmen, dass die Integrität der Europäischen Union und der Zollunion durch schlampiges Verhalten des britischen Zolls beeinträchtigt werden. Ich bitte Sie, an dieser Stelle hohe Aufmerksamkeit zu haben und Garantien einzufordern, damit uns nicht weiter passiert, was uns zurzeit passiert, denn der Skandal dauert an.

 
  
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  Jeroen Lenaers (PPE). – Madam President, it has been six months since Article 50: six months in which substantial progress could have been made on citizens’ rights, on the financial settlement, and on the Irish border issue; six months that could have paved the way for a meaningful conversation about our common future; six months in which bridges could have been built between those who voted to leave and those who would have preferred to remain.

But all we have seen in the past six months is chaos: a Prime Minister who is so preoccupied with her own position that she cannot focus on these negotiations; a Foreign Secretary who is the main cause of the Prime Minister’s preoccupations; a House of Commons leader who said yesterday that the UK will take back control of its borders, its money and its laws in 2019, denying the idea of a transition period; David Davis, who first agreed to the sequencing of negotiations, but now cannot stop complaining about it; Michael Gove, who is too busy selling pigs’ ears to China to make any meaningful contribution to the process; and then Nigel Farage stands here in this House and demands a meaningful, intelligent conversation while even he himself has said that, if he does not Brexit his way, he will be forced to pick up a rifle. Well, good luck having an intelligent conversation with someone like that.

So please, our friends in London, be serious. Get your act together. Stop your party political games and come to the table as a serious, united and credible negotiating partner. All our citizens deserve that.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, por razões que, em larga medida, se ficaram a dever a erros sucessivos na política económica e na gestão da crise dos refugiados da União Europeia, uma maioria dos eleitores do Reino Unido decidiu deixar esta União. A concretização dessa decisão legítima tem que ser conduzida com toda a transparência. Proteger os direitos dos cidadãos europeus e o futuro do projeto europeu no quadro dos Tratados é a prioridade absoluta.

Portugal tem uma longa tradição de cooperação bilateral com o Reino Unido. Essa cooperação sempre se pôde desenvolver no quadro da pertença comum à União Europeia. Autonomia, identidade e cooperação são pilares que não se anulam, mas antes se valorizam entre si. Uso o meu país como exemplo para tornar mais clara a mensagem que devemos deixar clara na resolução do Parlamento Europeu.

Queremos continuar a cooperar com o Reino Unido. Nada nos move contra o seu povo. Mas devemos fazê-lo no quadro da integridade das instituições europeias e dos seus valores e princípios. Com calendários transparentes e claros. Com garantias de total respeito pelos direitos dos cidadãos europeus que vivem no Reino Unido. Assegurando a indivisibilidade e a proteção da coerência e da integridade do projeto europeu. Queremos, em síntese, um projeto europeu que continue forte e aprenda com a experiência do BREXIT para não voltarem a ser cometidos os erros que a ele nos conduziram.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Κύρτσος (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, έφτασε η ώρα να αναπτύξουμε πρωτοβουλίες για να είναι η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση μετά το Brexit ισχυρότερη και ελκυστικότερη. Χρειαζόμαστε μια σοβαρή συζήτηση για την αύξηση των ιδίων πόρων της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και για τη χρηματοδότηση νέων πολιτικών. Και μη μου πείτε ότι οι φορολογούμενοι των χωρών σας δεν θέλουν να χρηματοδοτήσουν ευρωπαϊκές πολιτικές, γιατί θα σας απαντήσω ότι τα ίδια έλεγε ο David Cameron και είδατε τι έπαθε! Δεν υπάρχει αμφιβολία ότι το City του Λονδίνου θα παραμείνει και μετά το Brexit ένα ισχυρό χρηματοπιστωτικό και ναυτιλιακό κέντρο. Έχουμε υποχρέωση όμως να ενισχύσουμε τη συγκριτική μας θέση στη Φρανκφούρτη, στο Δουβλίνο, στο Παρίσι και στον Πειραιά, ειδικά σε ό, τι αφορά την εμπορική ναυτιλία. Να συνδυάσουμε, λοιπόν, την πολύ καλή διαπραγμάτευση από την πλευρά της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, που βρίσκεται σε πλήρη εξέλιξη, με την οργάνωση ενός καλύτερου μέλλοντος για την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση των 27.

 
  
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  Enrique Guerrero Salom (S&D). – Señora presidenta, hace ya dieciséis meses que los británicos decidieron salirse de la Unión. Quienes gestionaban a esa salida soñaban con una estrategia cherry picking: escoger las cerezas que les gustaran. Soñaban con que, al otro lado, en la Unión Europea, habría división e intereses contrapuestos, pero la realidad, hoy, es que donde hay confusión y división es en la parte británica y aquí hemos sido capaces de mantener la unión en torno al proceso de negociación.

La Resolución de este Parlamento subraya el apoyo de esta Cámara a la estrategia negociadora del señor Barnier. Me sumo a quienes han visto esta mañana con sorpresa como el líder del UKIP y el líder del grupo del Frente Nacional apoyaban con entusiasmo la estrategia independentista de Cataluña. Solo quiero recordar que tomen nota de que se trata de dos partidos, dos movimientos supremacistas, entre cuyos objetivos fundamentales está sacar a sus países de la Unión Europea, esa unión que los otros veintisiete queremos mantener y reforzar.

 
  
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  Christofer Fjellner (PPE). – Fru talman! Ingen borde förvånas över att de här förhandlingarna om en skilsmässa mellan EU och Storbritannien går uselt. För det är en konstig skilsmässa. Ingen kommer ju att flytta. Det kommer att förbli 32 kilometer mellan Dover och Calais. Vår framtid och vårt öde är och förblir sammanflätat. Storbritannien kommer fortfarande att bo kvar, men har liksom sagt att man vill flytta ner i källaren, kanske bo på soffan.

Jag har här i parlamentet under 13 år följt handelsförhandlingar. Det här är egentligen precis samma sak, men tvärtom. För i handelsförhandlingar är alla vinnare. Man avskaffar handelshinder och gränser som alla tjänar på, oavsett vem som ger med sig. Men här gör vi motsatsen. Här förhandlar vi om vilka handelshinder och gränser vi ska resa – en förhandling där alla blir förlorare. Frågan är bara hur mycket. Och det vet vi inte, för Storbritannien har ju faktiskt ingen aning om vilka handelshinder eller gränser man vill införa.

Men för att lyckas måste vi alltid ha samma sak: ett tydligt mandat och en bred politisk uppslutning. Där är EU ett föredöme. Vi har ett solklart mandat och den bredaste totala uppslutningen, men Storbritannien måste ta sig samman. För man är inte ens överens i regeringen om vad man vill åstadkomma, och än mindre verkar det tydligt att man har parlamentet eller folket med sig. Ta sig samman!

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, le droit des citoyens et la question irlandaise sont parmi les deux préoccupations essentielles.

Il faut souligner ici, et c’est une surprise, la faiblesse du gouvernement britannique qui ne semble ni savoir ce qu’il veut, ni assumer le résultat d’un référendum qu’il a pourtant voulu. C’est la faiblesse d’un gouvernement désuni, au sein duquel Boris Johnson, irresponsable enfant gâté, continue de sévir.

L’attitude de M. Farage tout à l’heure, qui parle de l’Espagne pour éviter le débat, est inqualifiable. Son succès électoral, il ne sait pas l’assumer, parce qu’il a plongé son peuple dans le désarroi et l’inconnu. Le peuple britannique mérite mieux.

Quant à vous, Monsieur Barnier, Monsieur le négociateur en chef, je vous félicite de préserver l’unité de l’Union européenne et de privilégier l’intérêt des citoyens, ce qui devrait être la préoccupation principale de tout responsable politique.

Continuez dans cette voie, car vous êtes vraiment, comme on dit à Londres «the right man in the right place».

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, sobre o Brexit, três notas breves sobre a clareza, sobre as pessoas e sobre a celeridade.

Clareza: estamos atrasados. O artigo 50.° foi acionado há mais de seis meses e não há verdadeiros progressos nas negociações. Este impasse não aproveita a ninguém. Há mais tempo para discursos mediáticos do que para apresentar propostas concretas. Ouvimos Theresa May em Florença, mas continuamos a ignorar propostas concretas consequentes.

Sobre as pessoas: há cinco milhões de cidadãos com o futuro hipotecado. Europeus que vivem no Reino Unido e britânicos que escolheram outro dos 27 países. 400 mil portugueses vivem num limbo inaceitável. É urgente que o Reino Unido se comprometa com a salvaguarda dos direitos dos cidadãos europeus residentes. Violar o direito da União de forma mais ou menos camuflada e retirar direitos seria intolerável.

E sobre a celeridade: por isso é tão importante decidir e decidir agora. Para preservar os direitos de todos os cidadãos europeus e trabalhar para uma transição tranquila. Isso implica a aplicação do acervo comunitário assente nas quatro indissociáveis liberdades de circulação. Precisamos de um bom acordo e o relógio está a contar.

 
  
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  Marita Ulvskog (S&D). – Fru talman! Som många påpekat idag är det olyckligt att den fjärde förhandlingsrundan inte har resulterat i tillräckliga framsteg vad gäller medborgarnas rättigheter, situationen i Irland och Nordirland och Storbritanniens ekonomiska förpliktelser inom EU. Därför är det bra att vi kräver konkreta framsteg på dessa områden. Men samtidigt: Varför talar vi om britterna som ett enigt kollektiv som har gjort ett välinformerat val när de röstade ja till Brexit? Vi vet ju att det inte är så.

Själv känner jag i likhet med exempelvis kollegan Lavrilleux stor sorg över att britterna sannolikt lämnar. Jag minns också vad Michel Barnier sa när ni inledde ert arbete: ”Se upp med hatet”, sa ni. ”Det kommer att dyka upp efter ett tag.” Så låt oss alltså hålla en anständig ton, samtidigt som vi kräver resultat i förhandlingarna.

 
  
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  Μαρία Σπυράκη (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, κύριε Barnier, έξι μήνες μετά την ενεργοποίηση του άρθρου 50 της Συνθήκης για την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, η πρόοδος είναι ισχνή, αλλά η σύγχυση γύρω από την πορεία του Brexit μεγάλη. Η ασάφεια στη σχέση Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης-Ηνωμένου Βασιλείου υπονομεύει την προοπτική της και, κυρίως, δεν εξασφαλίζει τα συμφέροντα των Ευρωπαίων πολιτών. 3,2 εκατομμύρια Ευρωπαίοι πολίτες ζουν σήμερα στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο, εκ των οποίων 63.000 είναι Έλληνες. Είναι υποχρέωσή μας να τους παράσχουμε ασφάλεια άμεσα, ενσωματώνοντας όλα τα δικαιώματα που απολαμβάνουν, χωρίς να υπάρξει ουσιαστική μεταβολή στη θέση τους για εκείνους και τα παιδιά τους.

Στο πεδίο του οικονομικού διακανονισμού είναι απαραίτητο να επιτύχουμε συμβιβασμό το ταχύτερο δυνατόν. Υπάρχουν χώρες όπως η πατρίδα μου, η Ελλάδα, που εξαρτούν σε ένα μεγάλο βαθμό την οικονομική τους ανάπτυξη από τη χρηματοδότηση από τον κοινοτικό προϋπολογισμό. Υποχρεώσεις που ανελήφθησαν από 28 κράτη μέλη δεν μπορούν να εκπληρωθούν από τα 27 και το Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο πρέπει να τηρήσει στο ακέραιο τις δημοσιονομικές υποχρεώσεις που έχει αναλάβει. Αλλιώς, τον λογαριασμό θα τον πληρώσουν οι πιο αδύναμοι και ανάμεσα σε αυτούς είναι και οι Έλληνες.

Τέλος, ενόψει της απόφασης του Συμβουλίου τον Νοέμβριο του 2017 για τον προσδιορισμό των εδρών των ευρωπαϊκών οργανισμών που εδρεύουν στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο, θα ήθελα να επαναφέρω εδώ ενώπιον της Ολομέλειας του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου, ενώπιον των αντιπροσώπων όλων των κρατών μελών, το αίτημα της Ελλάδας για τη φιλοξενία της έδρας των Ευρωπαϊκού Οργανισμού Φαρμάκων στην Αθήνα. Διαθέτουμε τις υποδομές, μπορούμε να εξασφαλίσουμε στις οικογένειες των 900 εργαζομένων πρόσβαση σε πολύγλωσση εκπαίδευση, μπορούμε να συνεισφέρουμε σε τεχνογνωσία. Σας καλώ να δώσουμε αυτή την ευκαιρία στην Ελλάδα, στέλνοντας ένα ηχηρό μήνυμα ίσων ευκαιριών στην Ευρώπη μετά το Brexit.

 
  
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  Jeppe Kofod (S&D). – Madam President, in Florence, Prime Minister May gave the best Remain speech never held. Ms May touched on a range of extremely important issues – terrorism, climate change, the refugee and migrant crisis, global free trade, organised crime and territorial aggression – issues so challenging, so dangerous and so complex that we can only solve them together. To put it bluntly, one could paraphrase Ms May’s speech like this: ‘you need now, more than ever, to work together – so I am leaving!’

Ms May was very concrete on what she does not want. She does not want a Norway model and she does not want a Canada model, but what does the British Government want? Nobody knows! All we get from Ms May is a desire, and I quote from the speech, for ‘a bold, new strategic, comprehensive framework that is unprecedented in breadth’. That sounds like something out of ‘Yes, Prime Minister’. Did Sir Humphrey write the Florence speech, one could ask?

How can we negotiate a workable Brexit agreement if the UK Government cannot state clearly what they want? Please, Prime Minister May: wake up, speak up! You owe it to your citizens.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Othmar Karas (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, meine Damen und Herren! Ich möchte am Ende der Debatte noch einmal klarstellen, dass dieses Parlament heute mit breiter Mehrheit eine Entschließung beschließen wird, die eine logische Folge des Beschlusses über die Verhandlungsposition des Parlaments vom April dieses Jahres ist. Wir beschließen diese Entschließung deshalb mit großer Einigkeit, weil wir Verhandlungen wollen, weil wir berechenbar und entschlossen sind, eine klare Position haben. Diese Entschließung ergreift Partei – Partei für die Bürger, Partei für den Friedensprozess in Irland, Partei für die Steuerzahler, Partei für unsere rechtlichen, politischen und moralischen Verpflichtungen. Das muss die Grundlage von Verhandlungen sein, weil wir uns unseren gemeinsamen Werten, dem gemeinsamen Recht und den gemeinsamen Zielen verpflichtet fühlen.

Alle jene schreien heute, die das nicht wollen, sondern die sich immer auf die Seite der Verletzung des Rechts, des Nationalismus, des Extremismus und der Verlogenheit als politisches Instrument von Taktik und Strategie gestellt haben. Die Mehrheit dieses Parlaments steht auf klaren Grundlagen. Man weiß, woran man ist, wenn man mit uns verhandelt.

 
  
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  Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Muszę przyznać, że w pełni solidaryzuję się z tym, co usłyszałem i w jakiej formie usłyszałem – powiedziane tym spokojnym tonem – od pana Michela Barnier, i również od Guy Verhofstadta. Przyznam się, że dawno nie słyszałem Guy Verhofstadta bez teatralnych gestów, i to jest właśnie bardzo dobre. Dwie zasady, o których Panowie powiedzieli, a które mnie szczególnie przekonują: po pierwsze, byłe państwo członkowskie Unii Europejskiej nie jest państwem członkowskim Unii Europejskiej, po drugie, ludzie są najważniejsi, czyli my chcemy traktować bardzo życzliwie i normalnie obywateli Zjednoczonego Królestwa w Unii Europejskiej, pod warunkiem że będzie wzajemność – i to podejście również bardzo mi odpowiada.

Chciałbym też zwrócić Państwa uwagę na sprawę studentów wyższych uczelni. Otóż dotychczasowe zapisy przewidują, że po brexicie nie będziemy uznawać dyplomów w sposób automatyczny. Namawiam, abyśmy uznawali dyplomy brytyjskie, a także aby dyplomy wyższych uczelni, stopnie i tytuły uzyskane w Unii Europejskiej były uznawane w Wielkiej Brytanii.

 
  
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  Derek Vaughan (S&D). – Madam President, some in the UK Government want to blame the EU for the lack of progress in negotiations, but of course it was the UK Government who, knowing the consequences, triggered Article 50 – and now, six months after triggering Article 50, the UK Government still doesn’t know what it wants. It is spending all its time negotiating, or rather fighting, with itself; it is an embarrassment to watch. It can’t agree amongst itself what it wants from the divorce settlement, from transitional arrangements or from a future relationship with the European Union. And as they squabble, companies in the UK go bust or look to relocate elsewhere, and people are losing their jobs. Day after day now, we hear bad economic news, and as they squabble things get worse and worse. It really is about time the UK Government pulled itself together: they should be clarifying their position and negotiating properly. They should be accepting the view of the Scottish and Welsh Governments that the UK needs to be in the single market and the customs union for the transitional period, and indeed permanently. For once, the British Government should put the country first, before the party.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Andrzej Grzyb (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Pan Michel Barnier stwierdził, że oprócz uregulowań finansowych, kwestii irlandzkiej, to tak naprawdę prawa kilku milionów obywateli są tutaj najważniejsze, i one są głównym aspektem prowadzonych negocjacji. Za chwilę przyjmiemy rezolucję, która, niektórzy mówią, że jest twardą rezolucją, ale im więcej informacji dociera do tych wielu milionów obywateli, tym więcej jest pytań o ich przyszłość. Dotyczy to również moich rodaków, Polaków, których wielu mieszka w Wielkiej Brytanii. To jest kwestia prawa do pobytu, warunków, które winni spełnić, kwestia uprawnień socjalnych, również emerytalnych, zasad, które dotyczą przemieszczania się osób po brexicie – te pytania są związane z troską, czy będzie równe traktowanie obywateli, wielu pyta również o kwestię łączenia rodzin.

Ostatnie deklaracje pani premier May są obiecujące. Z drugiej strony Wielka Brytania jest ważnym partnerem i chcemy to tak widzieć również po brexicie, bowiem jest partnerem w NATO, sąsiadem w Europie, zatem konieczny jest w tych negocjacjach również wzajemny szacunek, ale ważna jest też treść tych negocjacji, ostateczny wynik korzystny dla Unii Europejskiej.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, ni este Parlamento Europeo ni los ciudadanos de los 27 Estados miembros votaron el brexit: lo hizo una exigua mayoría de ciudadanos británicos; y solo entonces se pone en marcha el equipo negociador —dirigido por el señor Barnier, con el apoyo de este Parlamento Europeo— para velar por los derechos de los ciudadanos europeos, por la integridad de las cuatro libertades —tal y como están interpretadas por la jurisprudencia del Tribunal de Justicia— y por la justicia en el reparto de los costes. Esta es la posición de la Unión Europea.

Pero del lado británico solo vemos confusión; y hemos visto deportaciones; y hemos visto la división social, generacional y territorial, la fractura de la propia sociedad británica. Ese es el resultado de un referéndum en el que se han salido con la suya el nacionalismo reaccionario y la demagogia populista azuzada por la extrema derecha, cuyos discursos infames hemos soportado, una vez más, en esta Cámara.

Y esos son los fantasmas contra los que nació la Unión Europea; esos son los enemigos a los que se enfrenta la Unión Europea y a los que tenemos el deber de derrotar. Y nos vamos a asegurar de que lo haremos.

 
  
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  Branislav Škripek (ECR). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, dovoľte mi na začiatok povedať, že práve teraz je čas na spoluprácu a hľadanie prienikov. Spojené kráľovstvo a Európska únia musia nájsť vhodnú cestu pre odchod z Európskej únie. Žiaľ, tento návrh uznesenia diktuje Spojenému kráľovstvu, ako má napredovať. Napríklad pán Verhofstadt odmietol ďalší dialóg, kým pani premiérka nepríde s finančnou ponukou. Ale nevie pán Verhofstadt, že pri akomkoľvek vyjednávaní prehráva ten, kto prvý udáva cenu? Všetci vieme, že živobytie mnohých Britov v Európe a tiež občanov EÚ v Spojenom kráľovstve je ohrozené. Aj pre viac ako deväťdesiattisíc Slovákov v Spojenom kráľovstve, ktorí tam žijú, je potrebné zabezpečiť dodržanie ich sociálnych práv vrátane možnosti bývať na britskom území s celými rodinami. Slováci popri iných Východoeurópanoch prispeli k životnej úrovni Britov a nesmú byť len tak odložení nabok. Som presvedčený, že moji britskí kolegovia budú vo svojich rozhodnutiach prezieraví a múdri, pretože akýkoľvek rozvod je drahý, bolestivý a zanecháva jazvy. Napriek odchodu by sme sa mali naučiť spolu vychádzať ako bratské národy a príkladom by mohlo byť rozdelenie Československa v roku 1993.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE). – Señora presidenta, estas negociaciones certifican que ni los defensores del brexit ni el Gobierno del Reino Unido creyeron nunca que los británicos decidiesen abandonar la Unión Europea. Ahora hay que asumir lo decidido y aparecen la improvisación y la melancolía. Por eso, antes que nada, hay que persistir en negociar rápidamente las condiciones del divorcio, incluido el coste de la factura, priorizar el debate sobre los derechos de la ciudadanía y blindar el trabajo por la paz realizado por la Unión Europea en Irlanda del Norte. Mostrar, en definitiva, lo mejor de la Unión; asentar la mejor convivencia posible por separado en el futuro; y, quién sabe, ofrecer argumentos para regresar a la vida en común.

Toda una lección sobre lo que aporta a la Unión y sus valores el derecho a decidir. Aclara a quienes se van el alcance real de su decisión; obliga a quienes nos quedamos a insistir en lo que nos une: un espacio de derechos, libertades y prosperidad; una unión voluntaria, construida desde abajo, suma real de toda nuestra diversidad, capaz de representarnos como agente global, que nunca se nos ocurriría imponer a porrazos, porque convence. Y, en un escenario así, nuestro futuro —como ha dicho Juncker— es la unión, no el brexit.

 
  
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  Indrek Tarand (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I have been listening to this debate with extreme attention. I am not a specialist in divorce issues, as I have been living with my spouse almost as long as the UK has been in the EU and we do not have any thoughts of breaking up. However, the key to a harmonised and hateless divorce lies on the basis that both sides recognise their mistakes and do not blame it all on the other side. In my opinion, there is space for improvement in that respect on both sides of the British Channel. Finally, I would ask the British Conservatives: please do not hire Boris Johnson as your defence lawyer, because he is so untypical of the British people: a man with no good manners.

(Applause)

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. ANTONIO TAJANI
Presidente

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η διαδικασία της αποχωρήσεως του Ηνωμένου Βασιλείου από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση πρέπει να γίνει με τρόπο πολιτισμένο, ανάλογο του κύρους των δύο μερών. Από την πλευρά της, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση δεν πρέπει να επιδεικνύει εκδικητική διάθεση, διότι οι πολίτες της Μεγάλης Βρετανίας αποφάσισαν να αποχωρήσει η χώρα τους από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Αλλά και η κυβέρνηση του Ηνωμένου Βασιλείου δεν πρέπει να χρησιμοποιεί ως ομήρους τους υπηκόους των υπολοίπων χωρών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως που ζουν και εργάζονται εκεί, απειλώντας να καταστρέψει τη ζωή των ιδίων και των οικογενειών τους.

Θα συμφωνήσω με τη θέση του κυρίου Verhofstadt ότι πρέπει στο Μπέλφαστ να γκρεμιστούν οι φράκτες που χωρίζουν κάποιες συνοικίες της πόλεως. Αυτό πρέπει να γίνει, διότι η κατάσταση αυτή είναι απαράδεκτη. Είναι όμως, εξίσου, απαράδεκτο να διατηρείται η πράσινη γραμμή στη Λευκωσία, την πρωτεύουσα της Κύπρου, τμήμα της οποίας κατέχεται παράνομα από την Τουρκία. Πρέπει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση –γιατί και αυτή ευθύνεται για αυτή την απαράδεκτη κατάσταση–, να λάβει τα μέτρα της ούτως ώστε να πιεστεί η Τουρκία και να λήξει αυτή η απαράδεκτη κατάσταση, η οποία μειώνει το κύρος της πολιτισμένης Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já se domnívám, že Evropský parlament dnes musí vyslat jasný signál jako odpověď těm občanům, kteří žijí v nejistotě. Ať už je to 3,2 milionu občanů z členských zemí, kteří žijí na území Spojeného království, nebo naopak občanů Spojeného království, kteří žijí na území členských států, kterých je 1,2 milionu.

Říkáme, že přechodné období je možné, ale musí mu předcházet dohoda o všech zásadních otázkách a po tuto přechodnou dobu budou platit acquis communautaire. Tedy Evropská unie dokazuje svoji akceschopnost a reakci na zásadní problémy, zatímco Spojené království nemá jasno. Myslím, že to je také jasný signál populistickým a separatistickým snahám v jiných členských státech. Na závěr chci říci, že brexit je pro mne zklamáním, o to více se musíme snažit, aby naše vztahy do budoucna byly co nejlepší, abychom dokázali spolupracovat, je to závazek vůči těm, kteří hlasovali proti brexitu.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, stimați colegi, doresc de la bun început să subliniez că susțin rezoluția și felicit grupurile politice care și-au asumat o asemenea revoluție. Vin dintr-o țară care are îngrijorări privind situația cetățenilor săi care trăiesc în Marea Britanie. Problematica eventualei introduceri de către Marea Britanie a vizelor pentru cetățenii din țara mea ulterior datei retragerii Marii Britanii din UE, constituie un subiect major pentru mine și țara mea.

Discriminarea unor cetățeni europeni, oricare ar fi naționalitatea lor, este de neacceptat. De aceea, felicit că în rezoluție avem acest cuvânt magic: „reciprocitate”. Trebuie să asigurăm un tratament egal, de reciprocitate. Aceasta trebuie să fie condiția de bază alături de plata în 28 a tot ce s-a cheltuit din bugetul Uniunii Europene și nu în 27. Felicit raportorii - decizia de a părăsi Uniunea Europeană are un cost și acest cost trebuie suportat și de cel care și-a asumat decizia, nu numai de cei cărora, oricum, le-a creat probleme de reorganizare.

Este păcat însă că suportă acest cost și cetățenii care nu au votat Brexitul. Ar fi foarte interesant ca Marea Britanie să aibă un referendum în cunoștință de cauză după ce se negociază în Brexitul.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η συζήτηση για το Brexit αναδεικνύει τα θεμελιώδη στοιχεία λειτουργίας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Tο δικαίωμα αποχώρησης ενός κράτους μέλους από την Ένωση είναι αδιαπραγμάτευτο. Είναι κυρίαρχο δικαίωμα ενός κράτους μέλους να φύγει. Oι διετείς διαπραγματεύσεις έχουν ως στόχο να διευκολύνουν την ενάσκηση αυτού του δικαιώματος και όχι να παρακωλύσουν το δικαίωμα εξόδου. Εδώ γίνεται μια προσπάθεια, από την πλευρά της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, να τεθεί σε ομηρία ένα κράτος μέλος το οποίο επιθυμεί να αποχωρήσει. Γίνεται ουσιαστικά προσπάθεια διάσπασης αυτού του κράτους μέλους, καθώς δίνονται δικαιώματα στη Βόρειο Ιρλανδία να παραμείνει μέλος της Τελωνειακής Ένωσης. Επίσης, δίνεται δικαίωμα στο Δικαστήριο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης να αποφασίζει και για το Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο μετά την αποχώρησή του. Νομίζω ότι η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση πρέπει να επικεντρωθεί στη διασφάλιση των δικαιωμάτων των πολιτών της Ένωσης που βρίσκονται στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο, μεταξύ των οποίων πάνω από 63.000 Έλληνες συμπολίτες μας.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura catch-the-eye)

 
  
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  Michel Barnier, négociateur en chef pour le Brexit. – Monsieur le Président, au terme de ce débat dense, vif et long, mes premiers mots seront pour remercier le Parlement européen de ses nombreux témoignages de soutien au travail que j’ai l’honneur de conduire avec la confiance du président Juncker, des services de la Commission, et en confiance avec votre propre équipe, celle de Guy Verhofstadt et tous les membres du Brexit Steering Group du Parlement européen et des présidents de groupe.

Nous avons besoin de ce soutien et de cette confiance, et aussi de cette unité dont fait preuve le Parlement, dans sa très grande majorité. Au terme de ce débat durant lequel je vous ai tous écoutés avec attention et en m’excusant de ne pas répondre, comme je le fais habituellement, à chacune et à chacun d’entre vous, je voudrais dire brièvement quelques mots.

D’abord, je voudrais dire clairement à beaucoup de ceux qui se sont exprimés, qu’il y a deux mots que je ne peux pas accepter, car ils ne correspondent nullement, ni à mon état d’esprit, ni à mon attitude. Ce sont les mots de revanche et de punition.

J’ai pour le Royaume-Uni, depuis très longtemps, une très grande admiration. Je rappelle même souvent qu’en 1972, pour mon premier vote en tant que jeune citoyen français, j’avais alors 21 ans, j’ai fait campagne en faveur du référendum organisé dans mon pays pour l’adhésion du Royaume-Uni, de l’Irlande, du Danemark et de la Norvège. Cela n’a pas été facile pour le jeune membre du parti gaulliste que j’étais à l’époque, et je n’ai jamais regretté ce vote. J’ai pour votre pays, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés du Royaume-Uni, une très grande admiration et jamais, au grand jamais, vous ne trouverez dans mon attitude le moindre esprit de revanche et la moindre intention de punition. Jamais!

(Applaudissements)

Monsieur Farage, il y a un autre mot que je n’accepte pas et que vous avez prononcé à nouveau, qui est celui de rançon. Il n’y a pas de rançon, il n’y a pas de facture de sortie. Il y a simplement le fait qu’au moment où vous décidez de partir, nous vous demandons de solder les comptes. Ni plus, ni moins! De payer ce à quoi vous vous êtes engagés!

(Vifs applaudissements)

J’ajoute que ce point est important si nous voulons, comme vous l’avez vous-même souhaité, bâtir dans l’avenir une relation différente, mais solide et durable, en matière de commerce, en matière de protection de la sécurité, de lutte contre le terrorisme et de défense. Nous avons besoin de confiance entre nous pour une relation durable dans l’avenir. La clé de cette confiance est aussi que vous acceptiez objectivement de solder les comptes.

Il y a quelque chose que vous avez dit, les uns et les autres, que je ne comprends pas. C’est l’idée que le négociateur européen que je suis ou l’Union européenne voudrait faire traîner les choses ou voudrait vous retenir, qu’elle jouerait la montre. Mais, Mesdames et Messieurs, le référendum au Royaume-Uni a eu lieu le 23 juin 2016. Nous avons reçu la lettre de Theresa May notifiant cette volonté de retrait le 30 mars 2017. Nous avons, en raison des élections au Royaume-Uni, attendu la fin juin 2017 pour commencer cette négociation. Nous ne jouons pas la montre. Vous avez pris le temps. Nous respectons ce temps, mais franchement je ne peux pas accepter ce reproche.

(Vifs applaudissements)

Nous sommes même prêts, et je suis prêt, à accélérer et à intensifier le rythme des négociations autant que nous le pourrons.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, il y a quelques points que je voudrais télégraphiquement qu’on comprenne bien ou qu’on comprenne mieux.

Le Royaume-Uni a décidé de quitter l’Union européenne. C’est son choix souverain. Il quitte en même temps, selon ce que dit le gouvernement britannique, «le marché unique et l’union douanière», après 44 ans d’intégration. Je recommande que personne, vraiment personne, ne sous-estime la complexité, les difficultés juridiques, humaines, sociales, économiques et financières de cette décision. Je recommande également que chacun de ceux qui ont pris cette décision accepte d’en assumer les conséquences.

(Applaudissements)

Deuxième point, nous respectons le choix souverain des citoyens britanniques. Nous mettons en œuvre le retrait que vous avez choisi. Nous voulons que ce retrait soit ordonné, et pour beaucoup de raisons je pense qu’il vaut mieux que vous quittiez l’Union européenne le 30 mars avec un accord plutôt que sans accord. Il en va de l’intérêt commun. Nous respectons ce choix, mais nous vous demandons de respecter l’Union européenne. Nous vous demandons de respecter le fait que nous serons intransigeants sur l’intégrité du marché unique, le respect des règles de fonctionnement et l’autonomie de décision de l’Union européenne. Le Brexit ne peut pas avoir des conséquences payées par les contribuables de l’Union européenne. Le Brexit ne peut pas avoir pour conséquence de fragiliser le marché unique et les quatre libertés qui en font intrinsèquement partie.

(Vifs applaudissements)

Enfin, nous aurons les uns et les autres, et vous-mêmes Mesdames et Messieurs les députés comme élus des peuples, des comptes à rendre aux citoyens, qui sont notre priorité, s’agissant de leurs droits. Nous aurons des comptes à rendre aux contribuables. Nous aurons des comptes à rendre aux entreprises. Nous aurons des comptes à rendre aussi à ceux qui ont construit depuis 60 ans cette Union européenne et dont nous sommes les cogarants et les coresponsables.

Je veux simplement que les comptes que nous allons rendre au terme de cette négociation, Mesdames et Messieurs, soient des comptes justes et vrais.

Je ne reviendrai pas sur les différents points de la négociation qui sont en suspens. Nous avons accompli des progrès, clarifié beaucoup de points. Je dis que l’intérêt général requiert d’avancer par étapes. Nous avons peu de temps entre aujourd’hui et octobre ou novembre 2018 pour aboutir à ce traité sur le Brexit, c’est-à-dire sur le divorce ou le retrait ordonné, et le cas échéant, puisque cela a été demandé par le gouvernement britannique, sur une éventuelle période de transition dont les conditions ont été clairement encadrées par votre résolution d’avril dernier et par les lignes directrices du Conseil. Ce sera une période courte, encadrée, pendant laquelle nous maintiendrons, parce que c’est notre raison d’être, la totalité de l’architecture de régulation des conditions budgétaires, juridiques et le rôle de la Cour de justice. C’est votre demande que d’avoir cette période de transition courte, c’est notre droit de dire qu’elle se fera dans les conditions qui sont celles du marché unique.

Nous ne sommes pas surpris par cette demande de transition, nous l’avions prévue, nous en discuterons le moment venu, et j’aurai besoin d’un mandat pour le faire.

Je précise aussi simplement à l’intention de M. Farage un point juridique. L’accord commercial que vous souhaitez ne peut pas être signé avec un État membre de l’Union. Il faut que vous soyez juridiquement sortis, que vous soyez en dehors, pour que nous signions cet accord.

Mesdames et Messieurs, nous garderons tout au long de cette négociation qui continue, l’espoir que le ton constructif, adopté par Theresa May dans son discours de Florence, sera maintenu et consolidé, et que nous pourrons dès la semaine prochaine accomplir de nouveaux progrès.

Pour ce qui me concerne, dans la responsabilité qui m’a été confiée, avec votre confiance et votre soutien, tout au long des mois à venir, je ferai en sorte que les négociations restent dignes, calmes et fermement attachées aux principes de l’Union européenne.

(Applaudissements vifs et prolongés)

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà oggi.

* * *

 
  
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  Angelo Ciocca (ENF). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, chiedo davvero un attimo di attenzione, è un intervento importante. In Tunisia, esattamente nel porto di Sfax, si sta consumando il rapimento di due cittadini europei, di due cittadini italiani che si chiamano Giacomo e Salvatore, due cittadini che sono detenuti sul loro peschereccio sequestrato dal governo tunisino da ben 18 giorni: 18 giorni senza cibo, senza energia elettrica e a Salvatore mancano ormai i medicinali.

Chiedo davvero, in nome del rispetto dei pescatori, del lavoro, della libertà, di aiutare Salvatore e Giacomo a rientrare in Europa, a rientrare in Italia.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Avvertirò immediatamente il Servizio esterno perché si possano intraprendere tutte le iniziative utili quanto meno in relazione alla fornitura di medicinali a uno dei due cittadini europei che sono detenuti dalla Tunisia.

Mi auguro che si possa arrivare quanto prima alla loro liberazione. Appena uscito dall'Aula chiamerò il Servizio esterno in modo che si possa avviare immediatamente un'iniziativa da parte europea.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (PPE), in writing. – Negotiation efforts between the EU and the UK seem to be stagnating. It has become apparent, now more than ever, that there is a great need for clear political direction from the UK and for a sense of partnership between the two parties. To my mind, the most important aspect of the negotiations is the status of European citizens living in the UK – especially that of Romanian nationals – which must be clearly defined so as to avoid the risk of confusion with non-EU migrants. Moreover, the UK must honour its promise to continue its financial contributions to the EU budget until the end of this financial year (following rule n+3). I am delighted to see that, given the circumstances, the EU is speaking with one voice, highlighting the coordination and collaboration among all the leading EU players.

 
  
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  Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D), por escrito. – Los negociadores de la UE y el Reino Unido no han logrado progresos suficientes en las áreas clave, condición necesaria para comenzar las discusiones sobre la futura relación bilateral. Valoramos positivamente las clarificaciones de la primera ministra británica, Theresa May, en su reciente discurso en Florencia, pero seguimos pidiendo propuestas concretas para: garantizar en su totalidad los derechos que disfrutan actualmente los 4,5 millones de ciudadanos de la UE y el Reino Unido, respetar los compromisos financieros asumidos por el Reino Unido con la UE, y resolver la cuestión fronteriza entre Irlanda e Irlanda del Norte, en línea con el acuerdo de Viernes Santo. Además, para dar por concluida la primera fase de negociación es necesario que se garantice el respeto a la legislación comunitaria hasta el momento de la salida oficial del Reino Unido de la Unión. La votación de esta sesión plenaria confirma la unidad del Parlamento junto a las otras instituciones comunitarias.

 
  
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  Péter Niedermüller (S&D), írásban. – Több mint hat hónapja tartanak a Brexit tárgyalások, de még mindig nem látszik tényleges előrelépés. A brit miniszterelnök firenzei beszéde adott némi lendületet a tárgyalásoknak, de még mindig jelentősek a nézetkülönbségek. Különösen igaz ez a mintegy 3 millió, az Egyesült Királyságban élő EU állampolgárok ügyében.

Szaporodnak azok a jelek, amelyek arról tanúskodnak, hogy a brit hatóságok már jelenleg is hátrányosan megkülönböztetik az EU-s állampolgárokat. Éppen ezért támogatom az Uniónak azt a javaslatát, amely szerint az Egyesült Királyságban élő EU-s állampolgárok, illetve az EU-ban élő brit állampolgárok kollektíve kapjanak azonos jogokat. Vonatkozik ez a családegyesítés, valamint a már korábban megszerzett jogok fenntartására is. Ez a megoldás jelentős mértékben javítaná az Egyesült Királyságban élő, az ott dolgozó magyarok helyzetét is.

Hiszen az Orbán kormány semmit nem tesz ezeknek az embereknek az érdekében, magukra hagyta őket. Nemcsak szavazati jogaik gyakorlásában korlátozza őket, hanem szociális biztonságukkal sem törődik. Számunkra azonban az Egyesült Királyságban élő honfitársaink ügye fontos, meghatározó európai kérdés. Csak akkor fogjuk megszavazni a brexit-tárgyalások eredményeit, ha azok egyértelműen megvédik az állampolgári jogokat, s biztosítják honfitársaink már megszerzett jogait.

 
  
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  Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández (S&D), por escrito. – Los negociadores de la UE y el Reino Unido no han logrado progresos suficientes en las áreas clave, condición necesaria para comenzar las discusiones sobre la futura relación bilateral. Valoramos positivamente las clarificaciones de la primera ministra británica, Theresa May, en su reciente discurso en Florencia, pero seguimos pidiendo propuestas concretas para: garantizar en su totalidad los derechos que disfrutan actualmente los 4,5 millones de ciudadanos de la UE y el Reino Unido, respetar los compromisos financieros asumidos por el Reino Unido con la UE, y resolver la cuestión fronteriza entre Irlanda e Irlanda del Norte, en línea con el acuerdo de Viernes Santo. Además, para dar por concluida la primera fase de negociación es necesario que se garantice el respeto a la legislación comunitaria hasta el momento de la salida oficial del Reino Unido de la Unión. La votación de esta sesión plenaria confirma la unidad del Parlamento junto a las otras instituciones comunitarias.

 
  
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  Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner (ECR), kirjallinen. – Brexit-neuvottelut ovat edenneet ristiriitaisten viestien saattelemana ja moni asia on edelleen auki. Tosiasia on, että Britannia voi lähteä unionista ilman varsinaista erosopimusta, sillä sopimuksen Euroopan unionista (SEUT-sopimus) 50 artiklan mukaisesti pelkkä ilmoitus riittää. On näin ollen kaikkien EU-maiden ja kansalaisten intressissä, että erosopimus syntyy.

Britannian pääministeri May on todennut, että on parempi lähteä ilman sopimusta kuin huonon sopimuksen kanssa. EU:n tulisi pyrkiä välttämään sopimukseton tila, sillä se vaikeuttaisi mm. ulkomaankauppaa ja kansalaisten asemaa. On selvää, että Britannia edellyttää erosopimuksen lisäksi kattavaa vapaakauppasopimusta. Parasta olisikin pyrkiä neuvotteluissa nopeasti eteenpäin ja varmistaa, että kaikkia osapuolia hyödyttävä vapaakauppasopimus voi syntyä. Näin on mahdollista saavuttaa erosopimus, jonka pohjalta Britannia vastannee taloudellisista velvoitteistaan pidemmän aikaa. Mikäli kustannuksia tulisi lisää siksi, että Britannia ei vastaisi velvoitteistaan maaliskuun 2019 jälkeen, olisivat seuraukset kaikkien jäljelle jääneiden EU-maiden veronmaksajille kohtuuttomia. Olennaista on varmistaa, että brexitin jälkeen EU:n budjetti myös pienenee samassa suhteessa kuin brittien osuus on ollut maksuista. Lisäkustannuksia EU:n nettomaksajille kuten Suomelle ei saa syntyä.

 
  
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  Monika Smolková (S&D), písomne. – Pri rokovaniach EÚ s Veľkou Britániou má rozhodujúce slovo aj EP, ktorý je aj priebežne informovaný o stave rokovaní. To dáva záruku transparentnosti a v konečnom dôsledku aj schválenia zmluvy, ktorá bude po vystúpení Veľkej Británie z EÚ dávať záruky všetkým 3,2 milióna občanom EÚ, ktorí žijú alebo pracujú vo Veľkej Británii, všetky práva a povinnosti také, aké mali pred brexitom. Týka sa to aj 1,2 milióna občanov Veľkej Británie, ktorí žijú alebo pracujú v niektorom členskom štáte EÚ. Oceňujem prácu komisára p. Barniera, ktorý sa veľmi dôsledne zhostil úlohy hlavného vyjednávača. Vyjednávanie zmluvných podmienok, za akých Veľká Británia vystúpi z EÚ, nie je jednoduché, pretože brexit má vážne dôsledky ľudské, sociálne, hospodárske a finančné. Medzi hlavné témy pri vyjednávaní sa tiež musí dostať aj otázka Írska a Severného Írska, kde osobitné okolnosti je potrebné zahrnúť do zmluvy o vystúpení, aby sa nezaviedli pevné hranice, aby bol zachovaný mierový proces a aby platila Veľkopiatková dohoda. Ako najťažší bod v rokovaniach sa javí finančné vyrovnanie, pri ktorom EÚ chce, aby Veľká Británia splatila všetky svoje záväzky, ku ktorým sa zaviazala pri schvaľovaní viacročného finančného rámca na roky 2014 – 2020. V konečnom dôsledku nemôže 27 členských štátov doplatiť na rozhodnutie jedného členského štátu, ktorým bol brexit.

 
  
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  Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski (PPE), na piśmie. – Kolejna runda negocjacji pomiędzy Komisją Europejską a Wielką Brytanią zakończyła się 28 września. Pomimo iż po wystąpieniu premier Wielkiej Brytanii Theresy May we Florencji dało się odczuć nową dynamikę rozmów i przebiegały one w konstruktywnej atmosferze, postęp nadal nie został uznany za wystarczający. Wielka Brytania zgodziła się nadać „bezpośredni skutek” umowie o wyjściu z UE. Daje to więcej pewności i stabilności obywatelom UE w Wielkiej Brytanii. Jednak nadal pozostają rozbieżności w zakresie jurysdykcji Europejskiego Trybunału Sprawiedliwości. Konieczne jest także przedstawienie klarownego stanowiska Wielkiej Brytanii w zakresie pełnego wywiązania się ze zobowiązań finansowych wobec UE.

Nierozwiązana pozostaje także m.in. kwestia uznawalności wykształcenia. A jest to szczególnie ważne, ponieważ dotyczy tysięcy młodych osób, zarówno obywateli Wielkiej Brytanii, jak i UE. Studenci, którzy rozpoczynają naukę przed dniem wyjścia Wielkiej Brytanii, muszą mieć pewność, że mogą ukończyć kurs na tych samych warunkach, na jakich go rozpoczęli, oraz że nadal będą mieli dostęp do pożyczek studenckich i innych form wsparcia finansowego na takich samych warunkach. Dodatkowo studenci, którzy rozpoczynają naukę muszą mieć pewność, że uzyskane kwalifikacje zostaną uznane zarówno w UE, jak i w Wielkiej Brytanii, a po ukończeniu kursu zachowają takie same prawa pobytu w Wielkiej Brytanii, jakie przysługiwały im przed dniem wyjścia.

 
Last updated: 18 December 2017Legal notice