Motion for a resolution - B8-0242/2017Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union

31.3.2017 - (2017/2593(RSP))

to wind up the debate on negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Syed Kamall on behalf of the ECR Group

Procedure : 2017/2593(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on negotiations with the United Kingdom following its notification that it intends to withdraw from the European Union


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to the notification given by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on 29 March 2017 in accordance with Article 50(2) of the TEU,

–  having regard to the United Kingdom’s White Paper of 2 February 2017 on ‘The United Kingdom’s exit from, and new partnership with, the European Union’,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

Principles for the negotiations

1.  Believes that the key objective of the negotiations must be the establishment of a long-term deep and special partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom that meets the differing needs and aspirations of all parties;

2.  Emphasises that this negotiation is taking place among long-standing friends and allies who have achieved much together; welcomes the very constructive and positive approach shown by the British Government in its letter of notification of withdrawal from the European Union dated 29 March 2017; welcomes the response of the President of the European Council; hopes that this tone can be maintained by all concerned throughout the negotiation process and that the withdrawal agreement can therefore be negotiated in a calm, constructive and positive manner in the interests of all parties;

3.  Resolves to seek to play a supportive part in the process, avoiding red lines and excessive demands in order not to undermine the unity of the EU-27 or the mandate of the Commission as the negotiator;

4.  Notes that Article 50 requires the withdrawal agreement with a Member State to take ‘account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union’ and that it is therefore necessary for this framework for a new partnership to be defined early in the negotiation process; calls for negotiations about the terms of withdrawal and the framework for the future partnership to take place simultaneously;

Issues for the negotiations

5.  Welcomes the comments made by the governments of the United Kingdom and of other Member States that a high priority must be given to finding an agreement on the status of EU citizens in the United Kingdom and UK citizens in the European Union; strongly supports a fair and equal reciprocal agreement and calls for this to be concluded at an early stage in the negotiations;

6.  Believes that the negotiations should begin work immediately on building a long-term deep economic relationship that will pragmatically promote the prosperity of all 28 countries; calls for a bold and ambitious free trade and investment agreement with arrangements regarding deep mutual market access in goods and services and which takes into account the volume of trade, and the free trade and investment agreements which the European Union has with third countries; calls for an innovative approach to be taken to ensure minimal customs friction in the future trading relationship; underlines the fact that, unlike other countries with which the European Union has negotiated, the United Kingdom starts from a position of legal and statutory equivalence with matching regulatory standards;

7.  Believes that there will be areas where the European Union and the United Kingdom will agree that they have a mutual interest in continuing close cooperation that may, for example, include specific activities in the fields of education and research;

8.  Underlines the importance of the future cooperative security relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, particularly at a time of increased and enduring terrorist and hybrid threat;

9.  Notes the contribution made by the European Union to the peace process in Northern Ireland, in particular through the PEACE programmes and the Northern Ireland Task Force; stresses the importance of keeping the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland as seamless as possible; emphasises that a Common Travel Area, which has allowed internal controls to be kept to a minimum has been in place between Ireland and the United Kingdom since 1952; notes that the Belfast Agreement enshrined the ‘principle of consent’, whereby Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom for as long as a majority of its people wish it to remain so;

10.  Notes that the withdrawal agreement should also take into account the needs of the people of Gibraltar in the context of the long-standing status of that territory;

11.  Believes that a fair financial settlement needs to be secured on the basis of objective criteria which assess both liabilities and assets;

12.  Welcomes the work of the committees of the European Parliament in listing key issues to be addressed; regrets that this work is not being formally presented to the Commission but asks for these contributions to be taken into account nonetheless in the negotiations; calls for Parliament to be properly and regularly informed during the negotiation process, for the views of all political groups to be taken into account and for any input by Parliament in the negotiation process to be prepared in good faith and with full transparency;

13.  Calls for a dispute resolution system that respects the legal and constitutional arrangements of both sides;

The urgency of reform of the European Union

14.  Emphasises that the imminent departure of a Member State should stimulate a profound reflection on the state of the European Union itself; believes that the European Union achieved much of considerable value during the first forty years of its history and was subsequently able to welcome new members from central and eastern Europe, one of its greatest accomplishments; regrets that the European Union has nonetheless been undermined over the past twenty years by critical policy failings such as:

–  the mistakes made in the establishment and governance of the euro,

–  its ineffectiveness in tackling the migration crisis,

–  a stagnating European economy that has been unable to create sufficient new jobs, to generate increased economic growth, and to address Europe’s competitiveness crisis,

–  the over-centralisation of power in the hands of its institutions that has left the citizens of its Member States feeling remote and powerless;

15.  Notes that the peoples of Europe want their Member States to cooperate freely as sovereign member states in shared institutions that focus on a limited number of specific tasks which have been delegated to them; believes that referendums and elections throughout Europe over recent years have demonstrated that the peoples of Europe reject the over-centralised model of a European federal state based on the principle of a never-ending ‘ever closer union’;

16.  Calls for a reformed European Union as a community of nations cooperating in shared confederal institutions on the basis of the following principles:

–  the European Union must respect its Member States,

–  the European Union should be focused on areas where it can add value,

–  the European Union should be more flexible,

–  the European Union should be more democratically accountable,

–  the European Union should deliver value for money,

–  the European Union should be outward-looking;

17.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the European Council and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.