EP President Statement on Brexit and Syria
The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, spoke to journalists on the dramatic events in Syria and on this morning’s plenary debate and vote on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
A resolution passed overwhelmingly with more than 500 votes in favour, clearly providing the Parliament's guidelines ahead of the upcoming negotiations.
President Tajani made the following statement:
“Let me first express the European Parliament’s strong condemnation for the horrible gas attack in Syria.
Almost 100 people are reported dead, many of them are children. Several hundred are injured.
I am conveying the European Parliament’s solidarity to the victims, their families and to all the people of Syria.
The use of chemical weapons is barbaric in itself, to see them used on innocent children is beyond words. This is not just another attack on the martyred people of Syria. It is an open wound on all humanity.
Today we cannot limit ourselves to empty rhetoric. This is the moment for unity and action.
Earlier, I spoke with the High Representative Federica Mogherini to express the Parliament’s strong support for her work and today’s Brussels Conference on Syria.
I call on our Member States to act with determination - jointly with the international community - to put an end to this conflict.
We must obtain immediate access for humanitarian aid in the country.
We support the efforts of the UN towards achieving peace and stability, also in order to begint reconstruction and restore hope.
The use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity. Those responsible must be held accountable and brought to justice.”
“Following an open debate, in which a wide range of views were heard, a majority of 516 passed a resolution that clearly defines the European Parliament’s initial position on Brexit.
The Parliament’s message is clear: the interests of our citizens is our first priority.
An orderly exit, conducted in good faith and in full transparency, is in the interests of both the EU and the UK. In fact, it is an absolute requirement and precondition for any potential future EU-UK partnership.
As the directly elected representatives of millions of EU citizens affected by the UK’s departure, we carry the burden of defending their rights.
These students, workers and families, some of whom have spent their entire lives in another EU country, deserve absolute certainty over their future.
Continued cooperation on defence, police, intelligence and judicial matters with the UK is a shared interest. Terrorism knows no borders and they do not care about Brexit. The security of our citizens must always come first.
We also must work to preserve the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement.
I would like to make clear that, while the Council defines parameters and the Commission negotiates, any possible final deal must approved by this House.
I therefore call on the Council and Commission to carefully take note of our position, as all three institutions will need to work together.”