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Brexit: MEPs concerned over UK government priorities


MEPs acknowledge that progress has been made in Brexit negotiations, but stress that the hardest part of the talks is yet to come.     > Hardest part of Brexit negotiations yet to come > UK government should not take Brexit transition deal for granted > MEPs welcome steps towards more EU defence cooperation


In a debate with European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the 14-15 December EU summit conclusions, MEPs cautioned the UK government not to take a Brexit transition deal for granted, and highlighted the need to formalise the withdrawal agreement as fast as possible.

They also called on the UK government to lay out clearly its vision for the country’s desired future relationship with the EU, avoiding apparently celebrated priorities such as the colour of passports, which it was always free to choose. Some MEPs made it clear that no status outside the EU will ever be as good as full EU membership.

Others stressed that the EU-UK negotiations are bound  to be tough, but emphasised that this is because all parties involved are trying to achieve the best solutions for citizens. Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt underlined the need for guarantees regarding residence application procedures for EU citizens wishing to live in the UK in the future, stressing that the new residence status proposed by  the UK should not come into force until the end of the transition period.

MEPs also welcomed the concrete steps recently taken towards more defence cooperation among EU countries, stressed the need to reform the eurozone, and called for more EU-wide measures to tackle migration challenges and youth unemployment

live replays of the debate

European Council conclusions 14-15 December 2017
Brexit / United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU [Ten issues to watch in 2018] (At a glance, January 2018)
The Brexit process: Moving to the second phase of negotiations (Briefing, December 2017)
Brexit Top story:
Future of Europe Top story
Video: Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 14 and 15 December 2017: extracts from the debate