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Sreda, 13. december 2017 - Strasbourg Pregledana izdaja

8. Priprave na zasedanje Evropskega sveta 14. in 15. decembra 2017 - Stanje pogajanj z Združenim kraljestvom
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca, in discussione congiunta, le dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione

– sulla preparazione del Consiglio europeo del 14 e 15 dicembre (2017/2858(RSP)), e

– sullo Stato di avanzamento dei negoziati con il Regno Unito (2017/2964(RSP)).

Prima di dare la parola a Matti Maasikas, voglio informarvi che domani di fronte al Consiglio europeo, per quanto riguarda la riforma Dublino, intendo difendere le prerogative del Parlamento, il potere di codecisione e anche nel rispetto dei trattati, la possibilità di decidere a maggioranza qualificata. Visto che il Parlamento ha deciso in tal senso nella sua proposta, credo sia giusto procedere nella direzione prevista dal trattato.

Iniziamo allora il dibattito. Il primo intervento è quello di Matti Maasikas a nome del Consiglio.


  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, honourable Members, tomorrow and on Friday, leaders will meet in Brussels for a series of key debates in four different forms. In keeping with the spirit of the leaders’ agenda, presented by President Tusk, they are determined to engage more directly on politically sensitive issues. Brexit discussions will undoubtedly get the most visibility, and I will get to that in a moment, but there will be other important discussions for future work at the EU level that I will start with.

The formal meeting of the European Council will be dedicated to security and defence, the social dimension, education and culture. As you know, leaders keep a close eye on developments in the field of defence to make sure that political ambition is turned into concrete action. This approach has yielded results. It is fair to say that we have made more progress in the last 12 months than in the last 10 years. The most visible example is the launching of the permanent structured enhanced cooperation (PESCO) and leaders will mark the occasion when they meet tomorrow.

Against the background of the recently agreed new proposals for further joint work, leaders will exchange views on EU-NATO cooperation with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg. They will also use the occasion to review other work strands including the European Defence Fund and its European Defence Industrial Development Programme. The adoption of the programme regulation by the co-legislators is now a matter of priority. The Council’s mandate has just been adopted, on 12 December. Leaders will then turn to the social dimension of the EU as well as education and culture. Leaders will adopt forward-looking conclusions in all three topics, building on last month’s fruitful discussions in Gothenburg.

The debate taking place over the dinner at 28 will be informal as per the leaders’ agenda working method. President Tusk considers that a serious political discussion is needed to pave the way forward on the external and the internal dimension of migration. It will be important to look at what has and what has not worked over the past two years and draw the necessary lessons for establishing an effective and sustainable migration policy. There will be no written output from the debate because the aim of the discussion is first and foremost to foster a shared understanding of the main issues ahead, as a basis for further work in the first half of 2018.

On Friday morning, the heads of the 25 Member States who have ratified the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance, joined by the Czech Republic and Croatia as observers, will discuss the future of the Economic and Monetary Union and the Banking Union. The Presidents of the Eurogroup, the Commission and the European Central Bank will take part as well. The aim of the leaders’ discussion will be to scope the priority issues on which work should proceed rapidly and to give a tasking to the Eurogroup and Ecofin to follow this up. To facilitate an open and political exchange of views, there will be no written statement afterwards.

Now I turn to the state of play of negotiations with the UK. After breakfast on Friday, the European Council will meet in its Article 50 format, that is at 27. We are getting very close to sufficient progress on the three Phase 1 issues, thanks to intensive work in the past month. At the October European Council, our assessment was that sufficient progress had not been achieved and it was too early to move to Phase 2. Now, I believe that we are there. The UK’s new improved offer which Prime Minister May presented last week looks like a solid agreement, and accordingly our chief negotiator Michel Barnier has presented a positive assessment for Friday’s European Council. I would like to use this opportunity to thank the European Parliament for your work that has helped us to reach this point.

This is a significant move from the UK, which I expect the EU 27 leaders to welcome. On Friday, the European Council, at 27, will adopt the guidelines with a view to possible transitional arrangements and on the framework for the future relationship. This, however, does not mean that we have finished with Phase 1 issues. There is still a lot to do, and any further progress in the next phase depends on full respect of the agreements described in the joint report of the negotiators.


  Presidente. – Prima di dare la parola al primo Vicepresidente Timmermans, a nome della Commissione europea, volevo informarvi che il Presidente Juncker mi ha chiamato dicendo che non poteva essere presente oggi perché impegnato in trattative per preparare il Consiglio di domani, soprattutto per quanto riguarda la questione Brexit.

Ora la parola al Vicepresidente Timmermans.


  Frans Timmermans, premier vice-président de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, on a bien vu, au fil de cette année, qu’en Europe, il faut travailler sans relâche et investir dans la volonté quotidienne d’avancer et de faire mieux ensemble. Mais les résultats sont là: le socle européen des droits sociaux, la coopération structurée permanente, une meilleure gestion européenne de la migration, des accords commerciaux avec le Canada et le Japon, et aussi la conclusion de la première phase des négociations sur le Brexit.

Il était encore inimaginable, il y a trois ans, que les trois institutions européennes et les vingt-huit États membres proclament ensemble un socle européen des droits sociaux lors du premier sommet social organisé par l’Europe depuis ces vingt dernières années. Je me souviens aussi des regards perplexes lorsque la Commission a proposé de réveiller la belle endormie du traité de Lisbonne, la coopération structurée permanente, et que les États membres coopèrent davantage sur des projets communs en matière de défense. Personne n’y croyait alors.

Aujourd’hui, pas moins de vingt-cinq États membres se sont engagés dans cette voie. Les premiers projets qui feront vivre cette nouvelle coopération, en matière de cyberdéfense, de commandement médical ou de logistique commune, ont dès à présent été identifiés. La Commission a proposé un Fonds européen de défense pour donner un sérieux coup de boost aux investissements de recherche et de développement commun en matière de défense. Je suis heureux qu’hier, juste à temps pour le Conseil européen, les États membres soient parvenus à un accord, à une approche générale, sur cette proposition.

La Commission compte maintenant sur le soutien de ce Parlement et nous invitons les États membres à présenter des projets pour que nous puissions démarrer les financements dès le début de 2019. Ce sont des idées que Jean—Claude Juncker et sa Commission défendaient depuis des années, mais ces idées sont maintenant finalement en bonne voie de concrétisation.

L’avenir de notre Union, c’est aussi celui de la zone euro. Les deux vont ensemble, ce sont deux réalités indissociables.

Natürlich verleihen uns auch der robuste Aufschwung und die niedrige Arbeitslosigkeit Wind in den Segeln. Deshalb ist es unser Auftrag, Europas Zukunft und damit auch die des Euro selbst in die Hand zu nehmen. Das heißt konkret: Wir müssen die wirtschaftliche Schönwetterlage nutzen, um unsere Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion stärker, effizienter und handlungsfähiger zu machen.

Die Kommission hat deshalb in der vergangenen Woche einen Fahrplan vorgelegt. Dieser Fahrplan enthält die wichtigen Etappen zur Vertiefung der Bankenunion, der Kapitalmarktunion und der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion. Von ersten Entscheidungen im Juni bis hin nach Sibiu (Rumänien). Dort werden wir bei einem Gipfel vor den Europawahlen 2019 wichtige Entscheidungen zur Zukunft Europas treffen.

Der Fahrplan soll dafür sorgen, dass der Euro weiterhin sein Stabilitätsversprechen einhält, und gleichzeitig die Länder unserer Union enger vereinen. So gewinnen alle Mitglieder Stärke und Handlungsfähigkeit. Um das zu erreichen, müssen wir dringend die Bankenunion vollenden und Fortschritte dabei machen, Risiken parallel einzudämmen und zu teilen.

Entgegen anderen Behauptungen haben wir bereits viel getan, um Risiken zu reduzieren. So haben die Banken in der EU ihre Kapitalquote seit der Krise fast verdoppelt, und der Anteil notleidender Kredite geht ebenfalls kontinuierlich zurück. Die Kommission hat vor einem Jahr weitere Maßnahmen vorgelegt, um Bankrisiken zu reduzieren, und ich hoffe, dass dieses Haus und die Mitgliedstaaten zügig zustimmen.

Mit dem Paket der vergangenen Woche haben wir außerdem vorgeschlagen, den back stop für den einheitlichen Abwicklungsmechanismus einsatzbereit zu machen. Etwas, worauf sich die Mitgliedstaaten übrigens im Prinzip schon 2013 geeinigt hatten.

Wie viele von ihnen bin auch ich uch davon überzeugt, dass ein gemeinsamer Währungsraum im Laufe der Zeit auch ein gemeinsames Einlagensicherungssystem haben muss. Genauso dringlich ist es, dass wir die Kapitalmarktunion vollenden, denn gut integrierte Kapitalmärkte stellen nicht nur sicher, dass Risiken über private Finanzkanäle geteilt werden, sondern sie sind auch einer der effizientesten Wege, Fortschritte bei der Risikoeindämmung zu machen.

Mit den Initiativen zur Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion wollen wir auch bereits existierende Strukturen stärken und nicht neue Strukturen schaffen. Hier geht es nicht um einen Machtkampf, sondern um mehr europäische Effizienz. Indem wir etwa den Europäischen Stabilitätsmechanismus schrittweise zu einem Europäischen Währungsfonds ausbauen, werden wir Europäer selbst handlungsfähiger.

Wir helfen uns auch selbst, wenn wir die Mitgliedstaaten bei den notwendigen Reformen unterstützen. So stellt die Kommission eigens Strukturreformspezialisten zur Verfügung, um Verbesserungen auf dem Arbeitsmarkt, im Gesundheits- und im sozialen Bereich oder beim Management öffentlicher Haushalte umzusetzen.

Dieses Haus hat schon lange gefordert, dass wir den Fiskalpakt in EU-Recht überführen. Wenn wir das nun tun, werden wir ein besonderes Augenmerk darauf legen, nationale Haushaltsverantwortung und Solidarität miteinander in Einklang zu bringen. Je robuster und erfolgreicher unsere gemeinsame Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion ist, desto mehr Schutz und Chancen, Arbeitsplätze und Wachstum schafft sie für die Menschen.

Deshalb setze ich in dieser Frage ganz besonders auf Ihre Unterstützung. Sie sind das Parlament der Europäischen Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion.

The next year will be critical in shaping our future. This is why I am delighted that President Juncker, together with President Tajani and Prime Minister Ratas, will tomorrow sign the new Joint Declaration on Legislative Priorities for 2018. The Joint Declaration will help focus all our minds on the issues where we can make the biggest difference and show real results to citizens, ahead of the European elections.

Nowhere is this more important than in migration, an issue on the Leaders’ Agenda this week. We need a comprehensive European approach, including much more than just border management and support to Africa, but also solidarity within the European Union and preserving the Schengen Area of free movement. I firmly disagree with the statement that relocation as an emergency response has been ineffective. Over 32 000 people have been relocated. That is over 90% of all those eligible. Migration is an issue that will stay with us for generations, and we have to be ready for a possible next crisis. So let me be clear: all building blocks of our comprehensive approach are needed. Take one brick out and the whole edifice crumbles. Temporary internal borders may become permanent, with lasting damage also to the internal market. This Parliament has adopted its position on the Dublin reform. It is now time for leaders to unblock the stalemate in Council and strike the right balance between solidarity and responsibility.


Let the Treaty lead. What is up to co-legislators should be left in the hands of co-legislators, and not ‘returned’ to Member States. We will either find a European solution to the migration challenge, or there will be no solution.


Only by getting the reform of the Dublin Regulation done will we be able to get back to Schengen. This cannot be left on the shoulders of a few Member States. Every single Member State will have to do its measure and show solidarity to the Union as a whole. We must also urgently improve the conditions of migrants in detention camps in Libya. At the African Union—EU Summit in Abidjan, leaders agreed to work in concert with the United Nations to save and protect lives of migrants and refugees along the routes and, in particular, inside Libya.

I want to briefly mention the successful conclusion of the final discussions of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. Last Friday, the negotiators concluded the talks for the biggest bilateral trade agreement ever negotiated by the European Union. The Economic Partnership Agreement will remove most of the EUR 1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan. It will also open up the Japanese market of 127 million consumers to key EU agricultural exports. It will increase EU export opportunities in a range of other sectors. With this partnership, Europe and Japan send a powerful message in defence of open, fair and rules-based trade. Now let us do the necessary to submit the agreement for approval to you, the European Parliament, and to the EU Member States, so that our companies and citizens can start exploiting its full potential before the end of the mandate of this Commission.

Mr President, with your permission I would now like to pass the floor to Michel Barnier to enlighten us on the Article 50 negotiations.



  Michel Barnier, négociateur en chef pour le Brexit. – Monsieur le Président, merci aussi à Frans Timmermans et à vous-même de m’autoriser à m’exprimer au début de votre assemblée plénière sur cette négociation extraordinaire et extraordinairement difficile et complexe avec le Royaume-Uni et à évoquer le premier résultat auquel nous sommes parvenus ensemble vendredi dernier.

C’est une étape importante, il y en aura beaucoup d’autres à franchir, mais cet accord est important parce qu’avec ce rapport conjoint et détaillé (96 paragraphes, 15 pages), nous traitons en amont des sujets difficiles de la séparation que le Royaume-Uni a voulue. Si le Conseil européen le souhaite, en tenant compte de votre propre résolution, cette première étape nous permettra d’envisager la suite des négociations de manière plus sereine.

Nous affirmons aussi la stabilité de notre continent. Dans un monde – nous le savons tous – incertain, notre Union doit être capable de trouver avec le Royaume-Uni des solutions rationnelles et doit pouvoir ensuite, ou en même temps, se concentrer et concentrer son énergie sur toutes les initiatives et tous les défis que nous avons à affronter ensemble et que Frans Timmermans vient d’évoquer au nom de la Commission européenne.

Nous passons aussi un message de confiance à beaucoup de gens, à beaucoup d’acteurs, à beaucoup de citoyens qui sont inquiets, parfois même angoissés, à la suite de la décision du Royaume—Uni de quitter l’Union européenne. Dans cette négociation – je l’ai déjà dit souvent parmi vous –, notre état d’esprit n’a jamais été de faire des concessions mutuelles. Il ne s’agissait pas de faire des concessions sur les droits des citoyens. Il ne s’agissait pas de faire des concessions sur le processus de paix et la stabilité en Irlande, ni même de faire des concessions à l’égard des milliers de porteurs de projets qui sont financés par les politiques et par le budget européen. Je sais que cette ligne a toujours été partagée par le Parlement et aussi par le Conseil.

L’accord qui a été trouvé vendredi doit beaucoup – je veux le dire, Matti – à la coopération permanente avec le Conseil, avec les États membres. Cet accord doit beaucoup à votre soutien permanent et exigeant, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés. Je voudrais, Monsieur le Président Tajani, vous en remercier et remercier sincèrement à ce stade – nous ne sommes pas au bout de la route – votre coordinateur Guy Verhofstadt, les membres du groupe de pilotage sur le Brexit, que vous avez créé, Elmar Brok, Roberto Gualtieri, Danuta Maria Hübner, Gabriele Zimmer et Philippe Lamberts, les présidents de vos groupes politiques et également les présidents des commissions, avec lesquels je continuerai de travailler.

Je voudrais évoquer les points principaux de notre accord. Je rappelle aussi que l’objectif que votre assemblée et le Conseil européen m’avaient fixé était à ce stade, sur une base objective, d’obtenir des progrès suffisants. «Des progrès suffisants», cela ne veut pas dire 100 %, mais de vrais progrès suffisants, c’est-à-dire des progrès suffisamment précis qui engagent et forment une base solide pour la poursuite de nos négociations. C’est cette appréciation positive que – Frans Timmermans pourrait le dire mieux que moi – la Commission européenne et son président, Jean-Claude Juncker, ont portée sur ce rapport conjoint.

Les engagements politiques qui ont été pris au plus haut niveau vendredi et que nous avons traduits de manière très précise dans le rapport conjoint me paraissent – je le dis en toute responsabilité – remplir ces conditions. Je veux être très clair sur ce point, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés: jamais je n’aurais présenté ce rapport conjoint dans ma responsabilité de négociateur s’il n’était pas l’occasion d’acter et de prendre acte, avec le Royaume-Uni, de vrais progrès pour sécuriser les droits des citoyens, pour sécuriser les porteurs de projets financés par le budget européen et pour sécuriser le processus de paix en Irlande et les conditions de la coopération Nord-Sud.

Nous n’accepterons aucun retour en arrière par rapport à ce rapport conjoint. Ces progrès sont actés et devront être rapidement traduits dans un accord de retrait juridiquement contraignant sur chacun de nos trois sujets et sur quelques autres aussi qui restent à négocier ou à clarifier. C’est l’une des conditions pour la bonne poursuite des négociations.

Au début de ce débat en plénière, je voudrais insister essentiellement sur le sujet qui a été notre priorité commune depuis le début: les droits des citoyens. Quatre millions et demi de citoyens européens, que vous représentez, ont décidé de vivre de l’autre côté de la Manche ou chez nous sur la base du droit de l’Union, qui permet la libre circulation des personnes. Notre rapport conjoint préserve leurs droits. Il garantit que tous les citoyens européens arrivés au Royaume-Uni et tous les citoyens britanniques arrivés dans l’Union avant la date du retrait britannique pourront continuer à vivre comme aujourd’hui avec des garanties appliquées sans discrimination pour la nationalité et pour la durée de leur vie.

Cela veut dire, par exemple, qu’un citoyen du continent ou du Royaume-Uni qui a choisi de vivre d’un côté ou de l’autre de la Manche pourra continuer à y résider après le Brexit. Ce droit de résidence sera même étendu par rapport au droit existant. Si ce citoyen décide de revenir dans son pays et, donc, s’absente du Royaume-Uni ou d’un autre pays, il pourra revenir et retrouver ses droits après une période d’absence d’un maximum de cinq ans, contre deux années seulement aujourd’hui.

Une étudiante britannique dans l’un des pays de l’Union ne subira pas les effets du Brexit. Elle pourra continuer ses études, payer les mêmes droits d’inscription que les citoyens du pays où elle étudie et même y travailler après ses études. Cela vaut évidemment pour tous les étudiants européens au Royaume-Uni. Des infirmières ou des médecins en fonction avant le Brexit pourront continuer à travailler dans leur pays d’accueil. Leurs qualifications professionnelles resteront reconnues, tout comme ce sera le cas des autres professions.

Les membres de la famille conserveront leur droit à rejoindre leurs proches dans le futur, après le Brexit, au Royaume-Uni ou dans l’Union. Tous les enfants seront protégés, même ceux qui naîtront après le Brexit. Les citoyens garderont leurs droits aux soins de santé, à la retraite, aux autres prestations de sécurité sociale, même s’ils quittent leur pays d’accueil pour un autre pays de l’Union. Cela vaut aussi pour un point qui était en débat jusqu’au dernier moment: la portabilité des droits aux allocations familiales.

Je veux être aussi clair sur la mise en œuvre de ces droits. L’accord de retrait primera sur le droit national, qu’il soit britannique, français, slovaque ou maltais. Les garanties qu’il comportera seront directement invocables par les citoyens concernés pendant toute leur vie. Il n’y aura enfin aucune ambiguïté sur l’interprétation de ces droits d’un côté ou de l’autre de la Manche. La jurisprudence actuelle de la Cour de justice fera partie de l’accord et la jurisprudence future qu’il faudra construire s’appliquera. Les tribunaux britanniques devront la prendre dûment en compte – c’est ce qui est écrit dans le rapport – pendant toute la durée de la vie des citoyens concernés également. Enfin, les autorités britanniques ont prévu de créer une autorité indépendante qui pourra être saisie par les citoyens européens au Royaume—Uni, comme d’ailleurs les citoyens britanniques peuvent saisir de leurs droits la Commission européenne. Cette autorité indépendante sera détaillée dans son fonctionnement dans la suite de l’accord de retrait.

Alors, Mesdames et Messieurs, il y a un autre problème s’agissant de tous les citoyens européens – 3 millions et demi de personnes – qui vivent actuellement et travaillent au Royaume-Uni, qui concerne la procédure d’enregistrement que le Royaume-Uni a exigée pour les citoyens européens sur son territoire. Il me semble – je sais la sensibilité et l’attention que vous portez à ce point – qu’il s’agit d’une démarche administrative qui sera pratique et nécessaire pour faciliter l’exercice effectif des droits. Mais nous avons obtenu – et cela est inscrit dans le rapport joint – que cette condition de cette démarche administrative soit transcrite dans l’accord de retrait avec les garanties nécessaires. Il s’agit bien d’un enregistrement ou de démarches administratives pour ces citoyens avec un pays qui deviendra un pays tiers, le 29 mars 2019 à minuit ou à 23 heures, heure de Londres.

Ce que nous avons prévu dans ce rapport conjoint, c’est que la procédure que le Royaume-Uni mettra en place devra être simple d’utilisation, fondée sur des critères objectifs, accompagnée des mêmes garanties procédurales qu’aujourd’hui, notamment en termes de recours. Les citoyens européens qui sont déjà résidents permanents au Royaume-Uni obtiendront ce statut spécial gratuitement. Pour le reste, les coûts ne devraient pas excéder ceux imposés aux citoyens britanniques pour la délivrance de documents similaires, autour de 70 livres sterling. Mais je veux répéter que les conditions de cette procédure administrative – que les autorités britanniques ont exigée – seront précisées. Vous pourrez vérifier leur simplicité dans l’accord de retrait lui-même, qui vous sera soumis pour ratification.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, nous ne sommes pas au bout de la route ni sur les droits des citoyens – je viens de le dire – ni sur les autres sujets du retrait ordonné, nous resterons donc vigilants. Theresa May s’est engagée au nom de tout le gouvernement britannique. Il nous revient désormais de décider si ce résultat est un progrès suffisant pour ouvrir, dans certaines conditions, la deuxième phase des négociations. Si votre résolution va dans ce sens et si le Conseil européen constate également vendredi un progrès suffisant, j’engagerai, en votre nom, les travaux de rédaction formelle de l’accord de retrait – et nous pouvons le faire assez vite sur la base de ce rapport conjoint, notamment.

Nous poursuivrons les négociations sur tous les sujets où il nous faut encore clarifier, approfondir, négocier la gouvernance de l’accord futur, différents sujets comme les indications géographiques, la question des données et puis l’Irlande qui fera l’objet d’une voie de négociation spécifique. Nous devons trouver pour l’Irlande, ensemble, chacun dans sa responsabilité, des solutions spécifiques pour répondre à une situation unique sur l’île.

En fonction des décisions du Conseil européen, nous avancerons également dans la définition d’une période de transition qui sera courte et encadrée pendant laquelle nous maintiendrons, avec les politiques européennes, l’ensemble de l’architecture de régulation, de supervision et, évidemment, le rôle de la Cour de justice.

Enfin, nous poursuivrons – si vous le voulez – notre préparation interne à 27, avec vous aussi, sur la relation future; nous avons à nous mettre d’accord entre nous sur le cadre de cette relation future. Mais, d’ores et déjà – je le dis clairement et tranquillement –, il y a des points qui ne seront pas négociables: ni l’intégrité du marché unique, ni les quatre libertés qui sont indissociables et sont la fondation du marché unique, ni l’autonomie de décision de l’Union, que le Royaume-Uni a choisi de quitter.

Le Royaume—Uni deviendra un pays tiers, le 29 mars 2019. Nous pensons qu’un étroit partenariat dans le futur doit rester notre horizon commun. Nous savons où nous sommes aujourd’hui et nous savons où nous pourrons aller. Je vous propose aujourd’hui de reconnaître que cette étape est importante. Il nous reste beaucoup d’autres étapes pour aboutir à un retrait ordonné du Royaume-Uni, qui vaut beaucoup mieux qu’un retrait désordonné.

Je vous remercie, à ce stade, Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, pour l’avenir aussi, de votre soutien et de votre confiance, mais aussi de votre vigilance sur le déroulement futur des négociations.


  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, a few days ago, the Mail on Sunday published an opinion poll: 50% of British people are in favour of a new referendum.


The British people realise now that Brexit means losing many things but not gaining anything. Let me mention just one example, which was an interesting one: the debate in recent days in Britain about the decision of the Commission that British cities can no longer be European Capitals of Culture.


A very easy message that you can understand, the British will lose a lot. And on the other hand, the European Member States understand that sticking together makes all of us much stronger.


I want to use Ireland as an example of this. Whereas the United Kingdom could easily set the terms of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, the recent negotiations have clearly demonstrated that Ireland is today much stronger because it belongs to the European Union.

(Heckling and applause)

We are all Irish: that is the main message, and we Europeans have secured Irish interests in the negotiations in the last few weeks.

I want to underline two concrete points: one is that in this first phase, the idea was to create trust between Great Britain and the European Union. I have to say that the recent statement by David Davis about what this outcome now means practically was not helpful in securing this trust-building approach, so we ask the British Prime Minister to clarify by Thursday that the outcome of the first phase is binding on both sides, and is a basis for future talks in the second phase.

For the second phase we have a key role to play. We finally decide about the withdrawal treaty and for my group, one thing is clear: we can only accept a kind of transitional period if we have a sufficient outcome from the second phase. Without a withdrawal treaty there will be no transitional period – that must be clear for next year, 2018.

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, ich möchte noch auf ein zweites Thema eingehen, weil wir uns heute in der Dezembersitzung befinden. Wenn wir die Menschen von Europa überzeugen wollen, müssen wir über unsere Erfolge reden, wie es auch Frans Timmermans heute gemacht hat.

Im Jahr 2017, in diesem abgelaufenen Jahr, haben wird insgesamt 74 Legislativakte auf den Weg gebracht. Wir sind beim Pariser Klimaabkommen, beim wirtschaftlichen Aufschwung für Europa, bei CETA vorangekommen, und bei anderen internationalen Handelsabkommen haben wir gezeigt, dass wir Brücken bauen und nicht Brücken abreißen wollen. Bei der Verteidigung sind historische Schritte gemacht worden. Bei der Zusammenarbeit im Verteidigungsbereich und auch bei der Sozialunion gibt es Fortschritte zu vermelden.

Wir liefern in der Sache. Das ist die wichtigste Botschaft an die Bürger. Wenn wir sie von Europa überzeugen wollen, brauchen wir keine Theoriedebatten – wir brauchen Lösungen in der Sache. Da sind wir in den letzten Monaten sehr stark vorangekommen.

Für 2018 möchte ich deutlich machen, dass ein Hauptthema die Frage der Grenzsicherung ist. Wir müssen den Bürgern in Europa deutlich machen, dass es uns gelingt, unseren eigenen Kontinent zu sichern, vor allem, wenn es um die illegale Migration geht.

Meine sehr verehrten Damen und Herren! Der European Way of Life ist eines der Themen, das meine Fraktion stark umtreibt. Es gilt ihn zu definieren und zu beschützen, und das gerade in unsicheren Zeiten. Lassen Sie mich deswegen heute als dritten Gedanken einen sehr grundsätzlichen Gedanken einbringen, nämlich dass ich gerade jetzt in der Weihnachtszeit darauf verweisen will, dass unser Kontinent christliche Wurzeln hat. 75 % aller EU- Bürger sind Christen. Meine Fraktion ist stolz auf dieses christliche Erbe, das Europa in unseren Kirchen, aber auch in unseren Traditionen und im täglichen Leben lebt.

Wenn wir heute auf die Grundstruktur unseres Kontinents blicken, auf die Ideen der Solidarität, auf die Ideen der Subsidiarität, auf die Ideen der Toleranz im Umgang miteinander, dann sind viele dieser Grundwerte nicht denkbar ohne die christlich-jüdischen Wurzeln unseres Kontinents.

Diese Fundamente sollten wir uns bewusst machen. Auch Nicht- Christen, auch Menschen, die den Glauben ablehnen, werden in den nächsten Tagen froh sein, dass Europa stillsteht, dass wir auf diesem Kontinent einmal zur Ruhe kommen. Das Erbe, dass Weihnachten in ganz Europa praktiziert wird, führt dazu, dass unser Leben und auch unser Jahresablauf Struktur hat.

Deswegen möchte ich zum Schluss zum Ausdruck bringen, dass diese Werte für uns als Fraktion wichtig sind, dass uns die Grundlage dieses Kontinents immer wieder bewusst sein sollte und dass wir auch stolz darauf sein dürfen.



  Gianni Pittella, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, a proposito di tradizioni cristiane, ricordo che oggi è il giorno di Santa Lucia, protettrice della vista, che aiuti i nostri governi a vedere l'urgenza delle decisioni.

Sento dire che bisogna aspettare la formazione di un governo in Germania: oggi la Germania, ieri erano le elezioni in Francia, domani quelle in Italia. Siamo di fronte alla dittatura dell'immediato, e la dittatura dell'immediato allontana la visione di un'Europa più forte, dotata di una vera governance dell'area euro, di un ministero del Tesoro e delle Finanze, di una capacità di gestione dei flussi migratori e dei richiedenti asilo.

Questa volta la Commissione ha messo sul tavolo una proposta concreta. Noi avremmo voluto che fosse più ambiziosa. Mi riferisco alla proposta sull'Unione economica e monetaria: pensiamo ad esempio che la logica del fiscal compact vada ribaltata e non semplicemente addolcita, però la proposta c'è e presenta anche novità positive, come l'istituzione di un fondo monetario europeo che possa aiutare gli Stati in difficoltà.

Ma tutto ciò deve tradursi in decisioni concrete, e queste decisioni sono ferme perché il Consiglio deve attendere. Io dico al Presidente Tusk: si vada avanti, non alzi la bandiera come sta facendo, ad esempio, sulle quote obbligatorie dei rifugiati, cerchi di convincere gli Stati membri, perché questo è il suo ruolo, non quello di alzare la bandiera in segno di rassegnazione. Bisogna procedere: istituiamo un vero e proprio ministero delle Finanze, che non sia solo il guardiano dei conti, ma che possa appoggiarsi su una linea di bilancio e aiutare la convergenza tra economie diverse, e che sia responsabile di fronte a questo Parlamento.

Sulla Brexit: abbiamo fatto un buon lavoro, grazie ai negoziatori del Parlamento, allo steering group – non li cito tutti ma li conosciamo bene – grazie alla Commissione europea, grazie all'amico capo negoziatore Michel Barnier. Ora, non smarriamo il momentum, e mi rivolgo al Governo britannico: basta con le dichiarazioni improvvide, come quella di David Davis, che ha definito questo accordo un semplice statement of intent. Dobbiamo pensare che questo valga anche per il confine irlandese? In questo caso il primo ministro May dovrebbe spiegarlo ai suoi alleati di governo.

Questo accordo, come è stato ricordato da Barnier, contiene molti passi in avanti positivi, abbiamo protetto i diritti dei cittadini britannici ed europei e delle loro famiglie, e in un momento in cui molti additano l'Europa come matrigna, l'Europa ha dimostrato di essere una madre che assicura diritti ed opportunità. E le stesse ansie dei cittadini della Repubblica d'Irlanda e dell'Irlanda del Nord fanno riemergere il ruolo di un'Unione che smorza i conflitti e porta pace, e anche sui timori dei sindacati e dei lavoratori, sui rischi di dumping sociale ed ambientale, l'Unione europea con il negoziato ha ricordato che l'Europa, l'Unione europea, resta una forza che protegge.

Infine, voglio concludere parlando della dichiarazione congiunta delle tre istituzioni. Come ha ricordato il vicepresidente Timmermans, vi sono elementi positivi in questa dichiarazione, anche prodotti dalla nostra iniziativa di Socialisti e Democratici. Ma non possiamo non ribadire la nostra insoddisfazione su altri punti che mancano: le questioni sociali, la governance economica e le risorse proprie. E so bene che questa responsabilità non appartiene tanto al Parlamento, quanto al Consiglio, ancora una volta il Consiglio che frena su queste cose. E a maggior ragione queste priorità che mancano devono essere parte di una forte iniziativa politica, nelle prossime settimane e nei prossimi mesi, di tutto il Parlamento europeo.


  Syed Kamall, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, after last week’s talks, we are finally looking to the future and no longer just looking back at the past. This is a positive step for all of those involved. I know that there will be people on both sides of the English Channel who may not have got everything that they wanted. For some, what was agreed was too much. For others, it will never be enough. But for so many of us in this Chamber, who know the everyday realities of trying to find a deal, we know that where there is compromise, there are concessions.

I believe that the important progress that we saw last week was made when both sides sought to avoid a no-deal situation, when both sides understood the need for flexibility, and when both sides focused on building a better future rather than looking back at the past. I am aware that within this House there were a large number of people that hoped for a different result to the June 2016 referendum in the United Kingdom, including from my own political group and from my own country of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Amongst those people are friendships I value and opinions I greatly respect, but my message to them is simple: Brexit will not change our common interests in trading with each other and with the rest of the world, in sharing intelligence to tackle terrorism and crime, in cooperating on security issues to keep our citizens safe.

I was in Latvia a few weeks ago as they celebrated the 98th anniversary of the British Navy helping the Latvians to defeat the Bermont West Russian army. The Latvian politicians I spoke to stressed the importance of looking to the future and continued military cooperation with the UK through NATO, a future where the UK continues to work with individual European nations as well as continuing to work with the European Union as a whole. A future where the ECR Group, and the Members sat behind me, will continue to be a voice for a reformed Europe, a voice for those who believe in free enterprise, free and fair trade and competition, a voice for those who believe in the freedom of the individual, personal responsibility and greater democratic accountability, a voice for those who believe in respect and equitable treatment for all EU countries, new and old, large and small.

I hope that, last week, the British Prime Minister and Donald Tusk laid the first foundations for the journey ahead. A future where the EU signs a mutually-beneficial trade agreement with the UK, as one of the world’s largest economies, but where we both make the case for open and free trade. A future which reduces the burdens on businesses, allowing them to create jobs, growth and prosperity in all our countries. A future where both the EU and the UK cooperate where we have common challenges to build a better future for all our citizens.

I just wonder whether I could end on a personal note, in response to Manfred’s comments. Manfred, as a Muslim, I fully understand the Christian roots of Europe. But you must not confuse that with Europe being synonymous with Christendom. When I see the lack of diversity in European institutions, you have a long way to go to make those who are not standard white Christian European feel comfortable in Europe. You need to do more work, and do not allow Brexit to blind you to that.


  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, first of all, when I hear Mr Kamall, I ask myself if he simply wants to continue full cooperation inside the European Union, in which case why for hell does he want to leave? I do not understand it. Mr Kamall, you criticise the European Union and then you say you want to continue (a), (b), (c), (d), up to (z). We will see.

I want to come back to other unfortunate statements, such as that of the Brexit negotiator, Mr Davis who called – as I think Gianni has already said – the agreement a statement of intent. I spoke to him yesterday on the phone, and he assured me that it is absolutely not his intention, nor the intention of the UK Government, to backtrack on their commitments. I take note of that and I think the best way, Michel, to secure this is, in the coming weeks, to transpose all these commitments into the legal text of a withdrawal agreement. That is the best way to do it – not in the coming months but in the coming weeks, when we start the second phase of the negotiations. Talking about this withdrawal agreement, dear colleagues, especially on citizens’ rights, there are three outstanding issues, I think, that need to be solved in the withdrawal agreement.

First of all, there is the fact that residing citizens’ rights should also be granted to future partners. There is no reason why future partners of European citizens should not have the same rights as the rights that we have defined here.

Second, we also want full protection for UK citizens living in Europe. From the beginning, it has been Parliament’s point of view that if a UK citizen living on the continent has the right of residence or a work permit in one country, our opinion is that this permit and this right of residence is in fact valid in all 27 Member States. That is our view and I have to tell you that I sometimes have the impression that we care more about this than the whole British Government at the moment. It is our task, as the European Parliament, to defend these citizens, be they European citizens living in Britain or UK citizens living on the continent.

Thirdly, if you allow me, dear colleagues, the concrete procedure. I think that Michel Barnier has done a great job. All rights are protected now. This is very clear. All benefits also. The word ‘settled’ has been skipped because we are not settlers. Europeans living in in Britain are not settlers. That is very clear. That word has been skipped but there is a problem with the procedure, and we need to solve it. The problem is that, apparently, nobody seems to trust the Home Office. In every letter that I receive from Britain and from EU citizens, they are saying that all their rights are protected, but be aware that it is a procedure in which an enormous administrative burden was created, and where the burden of proof is on the back of the citizens instead of on the Home Office. I think we need to take that into account. I think that this Parliament can never give the green light to the final agreement if, in the withdrawal agreement, we do not have a simple procedure, a declaration, one form per family, cost-free, and where the burden of proof is on the Home Office and not on the back of our citizens. It is not our citizens who decided for Brexit, yet they will have the negative consequences of a burdensome procedure that is introduced here. In our view, this is part and parcel of citizens’ rights because citizens’ rights are worth nothing if they are drowned in a sea of red tape and if they are bogged down in rules and regulations. To make it more understandable, we will never allow a situation where, for example, a European banker living in the City who has enough money to pay a very important lawyer can make it, and a Polish plumber or a Romanian doctor cannot make it. That we will not allow. There has to be a proportionate approach in this.

We will all be very keen, as Michel Barnier knows, on the issue of Ireland. Ireland cannot become the collateral damage of Brexit. We will always show solidarity and be fully behind Ireland in these negotiations.

Finally, talking about solidarity – because being behind all our Member States and behind Ireland is a question of solidarity – I have to tell you that I was completely shocked yesterday by the paper issued by President Tusk, and I say this to the representative of the Council. He issued a statement and a paper in which he mainly says that the EU has only to assist the Member States, and that the Member States are responsible for the migration crisis. Echoing what Mr Timmermans said, I think the solution can only in fact come from the European Union. There will be no solution for the migration crisis if it is not a European solution. I mean a European Border and Coastguard to manage the outside borders, a European asylum package and not the Dublin approach, with the negation in fact of such a European approach, and also a European economic migration policy. Let us make the European Blue Card the sole system of economic migration inside the European Union. That is what we need, instead of a paper coming from Mr Tusk, who is undermining, in fact, the whole approach by the European Commission and, at the same time, the whole approach of our rapporteur here in Parliament, Ms Cecilia Wikström, who has worked hard to have an agreement here in this House. Let us go forward with European solutions and the European Council has to show that it is on the same level as Parliament and Commission in this fight.


  Gabriele Zimmer, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! An erster Stelle möchte ich genau hier anknüpfen. Auch ich halte den bekanntgewordenen Brief des Präsidenten Tusk an die Regierungschefs für sehr fatal. Anstatt über die Verteilung zu reden und das als das Hauptproblem der europäischen Flüchtlingspolitik zu kritisieren, sollte darüber nachgedacht werden, dass die EU ihre Politik gegenüber Staaten wie Libyen und anderen ändern muss, damit nicht Menschen, die auf der Flucht sind, letztendlich in Haftlager gesperrt werden. Das wäre ein anderer Ansatz, darüber sollte nachgedacht werden.

Aber zu dem Hauptpunkt, der uns heute hier beschäftigt: Das ist die Frage der Zwischenbilanz der Brexit-Verhandlungen. Ich möchte noch mal klarstellen: Es handelt sich hierbei um eine politische Bewertung. Das heißt, es gibt eigentlich nichts, was uns von vornherein in die Lage versetzen sollte zu sagen: Genau das ist jetzt ein für allemal beschlossen, und das wird jetzt der Ausgangspunkt sein. Es muss der Hintergrund sein dafür, dass wir das alles in Gesetzestexte umsetzen und dass wir auch die Belastbarkeit dessen, was jetzt vereinbart worden ist, prüfen.

Wir haben Zweifel daran. Wir haben Zweifel am Verhalten der britischen Regierung in den letzten Wochen. Das hat nicht dazu beigetragen, Vertrauen zu stärken. Eine Regierung, die von mehreren Seiten getrieben wird, die sich der DUP fast ergibt – einer Partei, die das Good Friday Agreement in Nordirland niemals richtig anerkannt hat, die sich gegen Rechte wendet und die bereit ist, Rechte von Bürgern in Nordirland zu reduzieren, um ihren Einfluss geltend zu machen. Das kann es nicht sein! Deshalb wird unsere Rolle hier im Parlament auch entscheidend sein. Wir werden klar sagen: Auf der Basis unserer Entschließung vom April 2017 werden wir die Ergebnisse letztendlich im Herbst des kommenden Jahres bewerten und entscheiden, ob wir einem withdrawal agreement unter diesen Bedingungen dann zustimmen können.

Worin sehen wir dringenden Handlungsbedarf? Zunächst bei den Bürgerrechten. Hier ist vieles schon angesprochen worden, ich möchte das nur kurz erwähnen. Uns geht es natürlich um die Frage der Familienzusammenführung, die Betrachtung der Familie als Familie und nicht herausgelöst einiger weniger. Uns geht es um die Zukunft der Kinder, uns geht es auch um die Zukunft möglicher neuer Paare, es geht uns darum, dass die Rechte der Familie insgesamt geschützt sind. Wir wollen die volle Anerkennung der Berufsqualifikationen. Wir wollen natürlich auch das Recht von Menschen sichern, Zugang zu den Gesundheitssystemen, zum Bildungssystem, praktisch zum öffentlichen Dienst in jeder Beziehung auch in Großbritannien zu haben. Wir wollen den Export von erworbenen Ansprüchen, dass der auch weiterbesteht und nicht reduziert wird. Und wir wollen natürlich, dass es eine direkte Wirksamkeit auch des withdrawal agreement für die betroffenen Bürger und Bürgerinnen gibt mit der Interpretation des EuGH. Hier haben wir Zweifel, ob die vorgesehenen acht Jahre wirklich ausreichen. Wir würden vorschlagen, dass es für den Fall, dass die britische Regierung nicht in der Lage ist, ein eigenständiges Gremium aufzubauen, eine Weiterführung, eine Verlängerung des Zeitraums der Wirksamkeit des Europäischen Gerichtshofs gibt.

Wir wollen, dass die Freizügigkeit der britischen Bürger innerhalb der Europäischen Union zwischen den 27 Mitgliedstaaten gewahrt bleibt, sie darf nicht eingeschränkt werden. Und wir wollen natürlich auch, dass der new settled status mit allen Rechten und den Maßstäben verbunden ist, die vom EU-Recht abgeleitet sind und für Bürgerinnen und Bürger gelten. Das ist uns wichtig.

Einen Punkt möchte ich noch dazu sagen: Uns geht es auch darum, im Blick zu behalten, dass der Brexit, die Frage der Bindung der Rechtsprechung des EuGH an die britischen Gerichte und auch ein mögliches, offensichtlich ja vorgesehenes Freihandelsabkommen die Rechte der Beschäftigten auch in Großbritannien einschränken wird. Hier geht es nicht nur um zukünftige Rechte, hier geht es vor allem auch um existierende Standards, die die britischen Beschäftigten bereits erworben haben. Hier sind wir als Parlament auch in der Verantwortung, genau darauf zu gucken und nicht einfach nur wegzuschauen und zu sagen: Das ist jetzt eure Sache, wie ihr damit umgeht.

Nordirland, Irland: Wir haben hier die volle Verpflichtung, und dazu haben wir uns als Parlament bekannt, uns voll und ganz zum Good Friday Agreement, zum Vertrag von 1998, zu bekennen. Es ist für uns wichtig, dabei nicht nur zu schauen, was dort im Einzelnen geregelt wird an Strukturentscheidungen, sondern auch zu gucken, welche Rechte dort festgeschrieben sind. Es geht uns darum – das ist nach wie vor die Forderung auch meiner Fraktion –, dass keine Minderung der Rechte, die für die Iren auf beiden Seiten – innerhalb der Republik Irland und in Nordirland – aufgrund des EU-Rechts bisher gegolten haben, erfolgen darf. Darauf werden wir bestehen. Daran werden wir auch viele Dinge messen. Und ich möchte hier noch mal deutlich sagen: Wir als Parlament sollten uns in die Pflicht nehmen, den EU-Bürgerinnen und –Bürgern im Vereinigten Königreich, den Menschen in Nordirland und Irland und auch für die UK-Bürgerinnen und —Bürgern, die in der EU leben, gegenüber die Verpflichtung zu übernehmen, dass wir für ihre Rechte kämpfen werden, dass wir der Garant für ihre Rechte sind.


  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, until some days ago I was quite optimistic about this Council: there might actually be some steps ahead, there were some positive developments and I thought that doesn’t happen so often, so I was quite optimistic. On Brexit there was a sort of agreement, even some hiccups, but there was a step forward. On the eurozone there was some movement, and even on migration there were some steps in the right direction – looking at the Commission, for example, and ECJ court cases... But that didn’t last so long.

On Brexit, even though we had an agreement, it was then put into question in London, and that of course raises a lot of questions about any sort of agreement that we make here, that you are making with your counterparts. I would also say this especially concerns the future relationship, because you cannot trust one another if you are not sure that whatever you agree is actually going to hold, so this is going to put a major strain on any future relations.

I would also add that this is not just for the European Union, because if the UK wants to be a global player and find their new friends elsewhere, then that is going to be just as tricky, or even more tricky because while we have a long relationship, others might find it even more bewildering if there is this untrustworthiness on the other side. So I hope this can be clarified. We will make a very clear deal, legally binding and everything, but I hope that this will not happen again in the future.

On Northern Ireland, as colleagues have mentioned, this is of course a crucial issue that really goes into the question of peace and living together. This is something that will remain as the main concern of our group, but I am sure for other colleagues as well. There we still have a square to circle: we all agree there should not be a hard border and whatever, so that’s nice... but we don’t say yet how we are going to do that. We cannot have our cake and eat it, we need to find a solution here. And I join with colleagues in saying that we must ensure there is no restriction on the rights of Irish citizens and of people on both sides of the border in Ireland, we must ensure that their rights will be safeguarded. But there is no solution yet.

I hope we will have a proposal soon, but for us this remains the main issue along with the rights of citizens. Of course, there as well we have made some important progress, but there are also important problems – the rights of future partners and spouses, for example. Already now we hear stories of major hiccups with administration, where residency permits are not being granted as they should be. This is something that urgently needs to be addressed.

On migration, as has already been mentioned, I did find the letter of Tusk extremely irritating because basically, just when the Commission stands up for solidarity, goes to the ECJ, and has been bringing infringement procedures, now basically the Council and Tusk come and shoot the Commission in the back. That is not a nice way to proceed and I think Mr Tusk, and I think the entirety of the Member States, will have to answer some questions here. How should it be understood when Tusk calls solidarity ‘ineffective’? How should this be understood by the Commission, which was standing firm by this Parliament? We actually have the same parties here in this House as in the governments in the Member States. We are not a detached, totally different galaxy. We are the same political groups, the same parties, but we have managed to find an agreement in the European Parliament on the Dublin reform and on the future asylum system. Sure, it wasn’t easy, but we managed to put forward an ambitious proposal, but apparently this is ‘ineffective’, this is irrelevant for Mr Tusk – I do find this really irritating. What about the Member States who have been calling for many years for more solidarity? What about Italy? What about Greece? In the past it was Malta and Spain, and it could be Poland tomorrow, as well. There is no guarantee that any Member State will be spared, so to say. So I am wondering whose president Mr Tusk is trying to be here, and I hope that this will not be reflected in the leaders’ meeting, and I hope indeed that the other co-legislator will make progress here because we in Parliament have been ready for a long time.

I hope too that the Heads of State and Government will have a look at what EU Member States have contributed to the misery that we see in Libya and also what they are going to do in order to alleviate that misery. I think that proposing just 1 000 resettlement places for the whole European Union, well that is really a meagre number so I hope that the Member States will add on a little there.


  Nigel Farage, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, I don’t think I have ever heard so little criticism of the United Kingdom in this Chamber in all my life, and I guess it doesn’t really take much working out why, does it? Mr Barnier said earlier that there were key areas upon which he wasn’t prepared to make many concessions. Well, you didn’t need to, sir, because you were up against Theresa May, and she was all for making as many concessions as she possibly could, including agreeing a ludicrous bill of up to 40 billion sterling for us to have the right to leave, a continued role for the European Court of Justice and, in line with that, family reunions that mean, frankly, that open-door immigration from the European Union is going to continue for years to come, and – almost bizarrely – a commitment for ongoing regulatory alignment. It is as if, even though we are leaving, effectively the British Government wants to keep us in some form of single market relationship, so I am not surprised that you are all very pleased with her. Theresa the Appeaser has given in on virtually everything.

But as an observation in an exercise of power, it’s fascinating. Whether we like or dislike the European Union, we cannot deny the power that it has got, because you managed to make a British Prime Minister leave Downing Street in the middle of the night and fly to Brussels to forge an agreement with unelected bureaucrats based in Brussels. It’s a form of ritual humiliation, which she was prepared to put herself through. She has danced to your tune all the way through this – you must be very, very pleased indeed.

And now we enter into what perhaps may be the biggest deception yet, played on the British public. She is seeking a transition phase, and there are one or two comments here about whether the Brits will get that phase. Of course they will, because we are volunteering to go on paying the membership fee, to accepting all the existing rules and all the new rules. We will effectively, once transition is granted, have left the European Union at the end of March 2019 in name only, and if that transition phase lasts up until the next general election, there is a real possibility that a new incoming British Government/coalition could sign us up to a single market and the Customs Union forever.

So I do understand why many in this place feel encouraged by the performance of our Prime Minister and, I can assure you, millions who voted for Brexit are increasingly feeling frustrated and perhaps even now moving to the point of anger. It’s the same story across the whole of the West: the aspirations of the people and the aspirations of our political leaders and class are in a very, very different place. I fear Brexit at some point in the future may need to be re—fought all over again.


  Marcel de Graaff, on behalf of the ENF Group. – Mr President, with regards to Brexit, I stress the sovereignty of the UK. This implies no jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, no restrictions on free trade agreements, application of UK law with regard to EU citizens, and these are to us the central elements of any acceptable deal.

Having said that, migration is again an important topic of the European Council meeting, and rightly so. Mass migration still threatens the survival of our civilisation, our security and our culture. These illiterate illegal fortune-seekers believe in the barbarism of Sharia, Hadith and Quran. They come to the EU and still come in hundreds of thousands to benefit from our prosperity, and they do not contribute a single bit to our societies. They take without giving and if necessary by force. This has to stop. So I praise the governments of the Visegrád countries who stand for their own traditions, for their people and culture; they lead the resistance against Juncker and Timmermans, they are the ones guiding Europe.

This is how you deal with illegal migrants: first, no admissions, and next no incentives, and that is: no housing, no social benefits, no family reunion and no endless legal procedures. I also praise the courageous Libyan coastguard who set sail against aggressive human traffickers and rogue NGOs while risking their own lives. The coastguard of a country that was destroyed by France, the EU and the US, now protects the EU borders. The EU cannot show more clearly that it is utterly bankrupt.

Schengen has to end now and national borders must close now. Finally, the migrants who are already here must be returned straight away. Do not tolerate them, do not pay them off, do not send them back, but round them up and bring them back. So listen, Mr Juncker and Mr Timmermans, this is how you do it.


  Diane Dodds (NI). – Mr President, the Phase 1 agreement reached between the United Kingdom and the European Union is another step forward in the process of exiting the European Union. As a result of the strengthening of the text, there are clear statements that Northern Ireland will leave the single market and Customs Union along with the rest of the United Kingdom. There will be no special status. Northern Ireland’s businesses will have unfettered access to the United Kingdom single market; there will be no internal trade borders within the United Kingdom.

We share the goal of ensuring that there is no hard border between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It is our view that these issues can only be fully resolved in Phase 2 of the negotiations. However, the union that matters economically to Northern Ireland is the union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, where trade is worth six times more than trade with the Irish Republic. Let us be absolutely clear, Northern Ireland’s constitutional and economic stability will not be damaged by EU bullying in the Brexit negotiations. It is important that we now move on to the next stage of the negotiations. We should not miss the opportunity for a new relationship based on shared democratic values, trade and security. This would be for the betterment of all those we represent in this House.





  Elmar Brok (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Ratspräsident, Herr Vizepräsident der Kommission, lieber Michel Barnier, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Dass der Rat sich nicht nur mit dem Brexit beschäftigt, sondern einen wesentlichen Schritt zur Schaffung der Europäischen Verteidigungsunion macht, dass Vorschläge für eine solidarische, eine konditionierte und eine die EU stärkende Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion diskutiert werden, dass die Frage eines sozialen Pfeilers diskutiert und hier Fortschritte erzielt werden – das alles zeigt, dass die Europäische Union vorangeht und nicht nur auf den Brexit wartet.

Aber beim Brexit müssen wir deutlich sagen, dass hier eine Vereinbarung getroffen wurde, die ich als bindend betrachte. Wenn ich heute hier vom britischen Kollegen höre, das gilt alles so nicht, dann muss ich für uns klar sagen, in unseren Beziehungen ist allein die Haltung der Regierung verbindlich, und die Regierung hat ein klares commitment gemacht und dieses commitment muss in den Ausstiegsvertrag hinein. Dieser Ausstiegsvertrag ist Bedingung dafür, dass eine Übergangsregelung kommt oder dass überhaupt ein Handelsvertrag abgeschlossen werden kann.

Deswegen bitte ich, hier nicht herumzuspielen. Wenn Herr Farage dann sagt, das seien alles ungewählte Leute gewesen – die einzige Partei im ganzen Land, die ungewählt ist, ist die Partei von Farage. Die hat keinen Sitz im nationalen Parlament, sie soll also hier nicht über nationale Legitimation reden. Herr Juncker ist vom Europäischen Parlament gewählt, das von europäischen Völkern gewählt worden ist.

Ich glaube, dass wir deutlich machen müssen, dass in unserer Beziehung Vertrauen da sein muss. Bei dieser Vereinbarung ist Vertrauen entstanden. Dieses soll nicht zerstört werden. Dieses Vertrauen ist notwendig, damit wir am Ende des Tages wirklich einen Vertrag hinbekommen, der für beide Seiten Nutzen mit sich bringt. Deswegen ist es notwendig, dass am Anfang dieser Verhandlungen das Vertrauen auch eingehalten wird und nicht wieder durch interne Diskussionen in Großbritannien zerstört wird.

Die Europäische Union ist stark, weil sie einig war, und deswegen wird sie auch in den nächsten Monaten einig sein. Das ist die Bedingung für den Erfolg der Verhandlungen.


  Roberto Gualtieri (S&D). – Madam President, the progress achieved in the negotiations is an important success for Europe, and I would like to congratulate Michel Barnier and his team.

We consider this a sufficient basis for moving on to the second phase. At the same time, we underline that any positive development of the discussion on the future relationship and the transition requires that the commitments defined in the joint report be translated fully and in a timely manner into the draft withdrawal agreement. This includes on Ireland, where full regulatory alignment means full regulatory alignment, and our final consent vote is conditional upon this.

I’m confident that this drafting exercise –and we will be vigilant on that – will ensure the goal that this Parliament has committed to achieve: the full safeguard of the rights of the four and a half million citizens affected by Brexit, and the full protection of the life choices that they have made. We are glad to see that, despite some propaganda by some Brexiteers, the joint report clearly states that all the rights established by EU law and interpreted by the Court of Justice shall have direct legal effect through the withdrawal agreement, and that any inconsistent or incompatible rule or national rule set out in the national legislation will be disapplied.

And we are proud to have contributed, together with the Commission, to broadening the personal scope not only to all family members, but also to all future children. All this is very far from the original UK proposal of ‘settled status’, but this should not be seen as the success of one part over the other, but rather as a common success for all our citizens and for all our common European principles.

In order to be consistent with these principles we will insist that the withdrawal agreement should cover both future spouses and the rights of UK citizens to move freely across the EU, and we will be extremely vigilant in order to ensure a really simple and friendly administrative process that doesn’t have to be declaratory in nature.


  Hans-Olaf Henkel (ECR). – Madam President, I noticed a lot of Schadenfreude here this morning. Mr Weber was apparently enjoying the fact that there are a lot of negative economic effects for the British economy. I would like to remind all of us here that Europe is suffering at least as much as Britain is. I must remind Mr Timmermans of the fact that to map out a future trade deal with Canada or Japan is one thing, but to map out a trade deal with a country with which we have had relations for more than 40 years is quite another. There are a lot of logistical and sophisticated supply chains which are at danger.

I am obsessed with the disappointment that we are not losing only a good trading partner potentially, but we are losing 73 people in this Parliament who have always been advocates of freedom, of autonomy and of competitiveness. President Tusk last month said the following: there will either be a deal, there will be no deal, or there will be no Brexit. He is right. We have to stop two trains running on the same track against each other, because this is going to be a real catastrophe. Brexit is a lose-lose situation for both, for Britain and for the EU.

That is why I believe that it must be Brussels, it must be Mr Tusk himself, who should try to offer Britain a new deal – a new deal which avoids Brexit. It is my strong opinion that Europe will never be a complete Europe, will never be a competitive Europe, without Great Britain.

(Interjection from the floor: ‘Europe is finished’)


  Sophia in 't Veld (ALDE). – Madam President, I actually think Europe is not finished, but very much alive. I would like to thank Mr Barnier for his efforts, and indeed progress has been made but, in my view, not sufficient progress and that is why I will not support paragraph 2 of the resolution. However, I will endorse the resolution as a whole, as it is imperative that we avoid a cliff-edge scenario and I believe that Parliament’s conditions for consent are crystal clear.

The three key issues must be addressed. First of all, it must be clear that citizens in the UK do not have to apply for a status but must register or declare, that is key. Secondly, citizens should retain the right to bring cases before the ECJ and thirdly, Brits in the EU 27 must retain the right to free movement because, Mr Barnier, British citizens today are still EU citizens. We represent their interests as well and we have to secure their future, too.

Finally, Ms May has promised to create a hostile environment and she has succeeded wonderfully well. Every day we get messages from people in the UK facing harassment, hatred and violence – and we are hearing the noises from that side of the House. Over 5 000 Europeans have been deported from the UK this year; the UK Government has a responsibility to create a welcoming and safe climate for people who have contributed to British society for many years.


  David Coburn (EFDD). – Madam President, on a point of order, we are not having any blue cards. This is a denial of democracy. They are trying to close down debate. They do not want debate. Their staff are trying to stop us having our say. This Parliament is not democratic. It is a farce.


  Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, the British Government has done it again. They have pulled off a spectacular piece of theatre over the last week or so. No sooner did they get the Irish Government and the Commission to acclaim sufficient progress, than they immediately started to rubbish the joint report they solemnly signed. ‘Only a statement of intent’, says David Davis; ‘we’re coming to a gentlemen’s agreement’, says David Davis, who thinks nothing of misleading his own parliament. But it is no surprise. It is the way they do things. They create drama through late night and last minute negotiations. They flush out the bottom line of those they are negotiating with; they make promises necessary to get others to move things forward and then they start to negotiate compromises downwards. They use ambiguity to confuse and disorientate their opponents, and then, when they don’t like what the final compromise is, they simply ignore it and don’t implement it.

No one knows them better than us. The British Government has been making promises to Irish people for years, and then refusing to fulfil them. Even today, they are negating the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, and that is an international agreement lodged at the United Nations. They are opposing rights that they signed up to, and they are aligned with the most reactionary political party in Ireland, the DUP, to describe and describe their policy in Ireland.

So let us be clear. The resolution says that it must be fully enforceable with regard to Ireland, so when the joint resolution is turned into legal action there can be no more ambiguity, no more contradictions, no more taking the British Government at their word. Their word counts for little, as they care little about their word.


  Jill Evans (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, we have said from the very start that people must be at the heart of this process. I must protect the best interests of all my constituents in Wales, including those who have chosen to make Wales their home and have contributed so much to our country. I also have to protect the interests of those who have chosen to make their home in other EU countries and it is unacceptable that people are still uncertain and anxious about their futures. The negotiations need to move forward, but not at the expense of citizens’ rights. So agreeing progress cannot mean that all issues are resolved or closed; they are clearly not and they need to remain a priority. This is not the final vote on this. There is a lot still to be done. Looking to the future for Wales and building our economy, maintaining access to the single market is critical to protect jobs and our agricultural industry and that is what I will continue to do.


  Rolandas Paksas (EFDD). – Taip jau atsitiko, kad keletą pastarųjų kartų man pradėjus kalbėti ponas Junkeris kažkodėl palikdavo salę. Norėjosi tikėti, kad bent ponas Frans Timmermans pasiliks salėje ir išklausys ne tik daugumos, bet ir mano nuomonę. Deja ir tai neįvyko. Bet kokiu atveju mano klausimas, Europos institucijų vadovai, visiems jums.

Ar pritariate buvusio Europos Parlamento pirmininko Martino Šulco planams iki 2025 m. įkurti Jungtines Europos Valstijas? Jei taip, tai ar tose valstijose matote lygiateises, savarankiškas valstybės? O gal matote vienodą piliečių pensijų ir minimalų atlyginimą, jų dydį, pavyzdžiui, Vokietijoje ir Lietuvoje? Ar dabartinis devizas „Suvienijusi įvairovę“ Jums pradeda trukdyti? Gal planuojamas naujas – „Viena sąjunga, viena valstybė, viena tvarka“? Ir kaip tas valstijas kursime? Kaip naujo tipo demokratiją lazdomis Katalonijoje? Tuo senuoju keliu, kaip visuomet buvo kuriama imperija – prievarta, rimbu, karais, krauju? Negi šiuos atributus, kolegos, siūlysite padėti ant derybų stalo Vadovų Taryboje?


  Janice Atkinson (ENF). – Madam President, I can’t believe that the Conservative Party, after all the years of wrangling over the EU, is now caving in to Brussels. Why are we letting the odious Guy Verhofstadt dictate terms? He is only interested in one thing and that is himself. As the EU moves to a united states of Europe, we should be looking to our oldest friend, our ally, the United States of America.

I was in Washington last week and I spoke personally to Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of State for Trade, who said to me: ‘Don’t take the poison pill that Brussels will offer you if you want to deal with us’. I agreed with him. Then he said: ‘otherwise they’ll send in the EU army’. He thought he was joking; I said: ‘that will probably happen’. Yes, and there is clapping in there for that. Yeah. Against the Democrats.

At a time when we should be valuing our friendship with the US above all friendships, you are taking the poison pill. Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, instead of looking forward to a low-tax, low-regulation economy, co-signed a letter with other EU Finance Ministers to denounce Mr Trump’s tax reforms. How dare he? As a Remainer, he is totally trying to sabotage a US deal.

In a few years’ time, over 90% of world trade will be outside of the EU. Why is Ms May shackling us to this failing block? Yes, business does need certainty and that is why we should just walk away and move to WTO rules. Voters want an end to immigration. This deal doesn’t do it. Voters want an end to the jurisdiction of the ECJ, but Mrs May has signalled another eight years. This is unacceptable. Let’s walk away. Thank you for your time, Mr Barnier, but it ain’t working.


  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, we are used to Ms Atkinson’s nonsense, but she really has crossed the line this morning. She referred to Mr Verhofstadt, our negotiator, as ‘odious’. I see she is nodding, so I would urge her to apologise for that and retract that comment. Mr Verhofstadt is not of my political family, he is not of my political group, but your comments today, Ms Atkinson, are way beyond the line. We are used to your nonsense, but personal abuse has no place in this Chamber. I urge you to retract that comment.


(Interjection from Janice Atkinson)


  La Présidente. – Madame Atkinson, il n’y a pas de «carton bleu». Madame, de toute façon, vous n’avez pas le micro et donc cela ne sert à rien.


  Diane James (NI). – Madam President, well, how do I follow that? But I am going to try. The EU objectives throughout the negotiations have been very clear: first, make the United Kingdom look as weak as possible internationally, and second, extract as much money as you possibly can from us. So Mr Barnier, you have done a very good job, you certainly achieved that, and I take no pleasure in giving you that compliment.

There has been gloating in the Chamber this morning. There have also been lots of misleading statements. But I am going to ignore those and I am going to point out that the European Union would not be where it is now but for the United Kingdom joining in 1973 and contributing to the finance and international presence that you now have. So stop moaning about it and give us some recognition – if you don’t mind – for what we have contributed.

But the big fudge this morning, the stuff that you don’t want to hear, the emperor’s new clothes, if you like, is the fact that the migration story is not a positive one. The economic mess that is still there in the background in terms of the European Union hasn’t gone away. So please, wake up, take a reality check, stop just focusing on Brexit in this Chamber, and get on with doing the job you were elected to do. Ms Anderson, can I just remind you of one thing: I would like to see your MPs take their places in Westminster – that would be helpful.


  Daniel Caspary (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! 2017 war auch ein gutes Jahr für Europa: Statt 1,5 Millionen Flüchtlingen im Jahr 2015 sind gerade noch 150 000 über den Seeweg nach Europa gekommen. Wir haben heute wieder mehr sozialversicherungspflichtig Beschäftigte als vor Beginn der Krise. Wir haben mit der PESCO einen ersten wesentlichen Schritt in Richtung Verteidigungsunion geschafft. Ja, es gibt immer noch viele Dinge, die schlecht laufen und die wir besser machen müssen. Aber wir sollten uns auch trauen, auf gemeinsame Erfolge unserer Politik in der Öffentlichkeit hinzuweisen.

2018 wird das Jahr der Vertiefung der Wirtschafts- und Währungsunion werden. Ich wünsche mir einen aufgewerteten EU-Haushalt für Investitionen mit europäischem Mehrwert. Ich wünsche mir einen Wirtschafts- und Währungskommissar mit neuen Kompetenzen. Ich wünsche mir eine Stärkung des Konditionalprinzips mit einer verbesserten Berücksichtigung der länderspezifischen Empfehlungen. Ich wünsche mir eine realistischere Bewertung von Staatsanleihen. Ich wünsche mir einen europäischen Währungsfonds, der dann entsprechend auch Schlagkraft entfalten kann. Ich wünsche mir eine Weiterentwicklung des Kohäsionsfonds und der bestehenden Zahlungsbilanzfazilität für Nicht-Euro-Staaten, damit wir wirklich Zukunftssicherung und Krisenvorbeugung gemeinsam vorantreiben können.

Gianni Pittella hat Santa Lucia angesprochen als Schutzpatronin für klare Sicht. Wir haben am 1. Januar das Hochfest der Gottesmutter Maria. Sie ist die Schutzpatronin der Verirrten und Verfahrenen. Und wenn ich mir die Vielen anschaue, die hier im Parlament ständig nur motzen, desorientiert rummaulen oder auch beim Brexit Realitäten nicht zur Kenntnis nehmen wollen, dann kann ich nur bitten: Heilige Lucia und heilige Maria, bitte helft den im Nebel tappenden Verirrten und Verfahrenen, damit 2018 auch für sie ein gutes Jahr wird!


  Richard Corbett (S&D). – Madam President, in moving to the second phase of the Brexit talks, some might hope that the UK Government will be better prepared for this than it was for the first, but probably not. It has just admitted that there has not yet been a discussion in government on what final outcome it actually wants.

It has also done no impact assessments on what would it would cost to leave the Customs Union, nor on what it would cost British industry, agriculture or finance to leave the European Union. Even phase one is put into question. According to the Daily Telegraph, ministers only accepted the deal because they were told that points in it were ‘meaningless, not binding or simply included to secure Ireland’s approval’. Ministers have even said that the concept of keeping legislation aligned has no meaning in law. Despite agreeing on the outstanding budgetary commitments, Britain said it might not honour them.

(Interjection from Mr Coburn: ‘Good!’)

Despite Theresa May at last conceding that EU citizens in Britain and vice versa have rights, the deal still leaves them facing uncertainty, whereas the deal on Ireland specifies that it ‘must be upheld in all circumstances, irrespective of any future agreement’. No such promise is given here to citizens, leaving them in limbo until the uncertain final agreement, unsure of their future status, unable to plan their future. Let’s move on to the second phase, but do not pretend that the first phase issues are settled.


  Roberts Zīle (ECR). – Priekšsēdētājas kundze! Prieks redzēt M. Barnier kungu kā vienīgo no atbildīgajām personām joprojām šeit.

Vispirms par Brexit jautājumu. Laiks rādīs, vai bija pareiza taktika sadalīt sarunas divās fāzēs vai nē. Mani izbrīna arī tas, ka šeit lielu sašutumu izraisīja David Davis teiktais par to, ka “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. Šī frāze ir pazīstama visu triju institūciju pārstāvjiem sarunās, tas nav nekas jauns, un es domāju, ka sašutums ir mazliet ar viltus pieskaņu. Protams, man arī ir prieks dzirdēt dažu grupu līderus, kuri ļoti rūpējas par rumāņu un poļu santehniķu likteņiem Lielbritānijā, tajā pašā laikā ar viesstrādnieku likumdošanu mēģinot viņus izspiest no Eiropas Savienības tirgus vairākos sektoros, ko mēs darām arī ar mobilitātes pakotni attiecībā šoferiem.

Runājot par ekonomisko sadarbību ar Lielbritāniju, otrajā fāzē, manuprāt, ārkārtīgi svarīgi Padomē ir uzklausīt arī mazāko dalībvalstu ekonomiskās intereses Lielbritānijā, sadarbībā ar Lielbritāniju. Vienkārši nevar būt situācija, ka par viņu interesēm tiek pateikts “tas ir antieiropeiski, tāpēc jūs intereses mēs neņemsim vērā otrajā sarunu fāzē”.

Šis jēdziens “antieiropeisks” manu sašutumu izraisa arī attiecībā uz D. Tusk kunga kritizēšanu no Eiropas komisāra puses, kuram neviens nav devis mandātu noteikt, kāds viedoklis ir antieiropeisks un kāds ir eiropeisks. Ko tad izdarīja Padomes prezidents D. Tusk kungs attiecībā uz migrācijas politikas jautājumu? Viņš vienkārši pateica, ka kvotu sistēma migrācijas politikā ir neefektīva. Un vai tad viņa ir efektīva? Igaunijas valstī, tāpat kā manā valstī, Latvijā, brīvprātīgo kvotu ietvaros ir ienākuši daudzi simti nosūtītu migrantu, kuri — Latvijas gadījumā — praktiski visi ir atstājuši šo valsti ar dokumentiem vai bez dokumentiem, un viņi visbiežāk atrodas Vācijā, tāpēc es vēlreiz atkārtoju — mēs esam demokrātiska sistēma, neatļausimies piedēvēt, ka tikai kāds no darbiniekiem Komisijā var spriest par to, kas ir antieiropeiski un kas nē.


  Catherine Bearder (ALDE). – Madam President, Ms May said one of her first goals is to ensure that citizens can carry on living as before. Others promised the same – those Brexiteers who led us to believe they had thought this all through and had a plan. Well, that proved to be a lie, just like the one on the bus. The Home Office letters to EU citizens have threatened deportation. Brits in other countries have not received assurances that they can retain all the freedoms they now have. Is it any wonder that people still feel anxious and terrified about their futures? I am furious for those who are left behind in limbo, and this agreement kicks many issues into the long grass. This House is the voice of European citizens. They trust us to make the right call on this. We cannot and we will not turn our backs on them. I certainly will not.

But time is running out. We must get on with dealing with trade, the environment, science, digital, security, fishing, agriculture, and all the rest. But there were three issues to solve before the next phase – not two and a half, but three. For too many people, the future is still unclear. This Parliament must continue to demand action on our citizens’ rights.


  Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, nelle sue linee guida il Consiglio ha promesso garanzie reciproche, effettive, eseguibili, non discriminatorie e globali sui diritti dei cittadini. Nonostante i progressi compiuti, l'accordo preliminare tra negoziatori non rispecchia ancora tali caratteri: la sua globalità è tuttora compromessa dall'assenza di cruciali diritti come la tutela dei familiari futuri e la libera circolazione nell'Unione.

Le attuali caratteristiche del settled status contrastano con i principi di non discriminazione e reciprocità a danno dei cittadini europei nel Regno Unito. L'apertura mostrata dalla Commissione a possibili strumenti analoghi negli Stati membri rischia di minare lo stesso diritto europeo. Anche la reciprocità e l'effettività dei diritti sono a rischio, se il ruolo della Corte di giustizia non si fa più preciso.

Passi in avanti importanti sono stati fatti, tuttavia la seconda fase negoziale dovrà servire a colmare le tante lacune ancora esistenti sull'Irlanda del Nord e sulla tutela del full set of rights derivante dal diritto europeo. Non si tratta solo di certezza giuridica, ma di tenere fede alla promessa per cui nulla cambierà nelle vite di milioni di cittadini.


  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, Brexit is the zombie that staggers on, dragging distress and disappointment in its wake. The resolution we are debating today makes it clear that Brexit means losses on both sides, but there is a stark contrast in the way the two sides are approaching the negotiations. The EU side have a clear and consistent position, and they have sheltered the EU citizens who are their responsibility, protecting their rights to travel and work and ensuring that the UK pays for the projects they depend on that we have already committed to in this budget period. By contrast, the UK negotiators have not been able to agree a position, a state of unpreparedness reinforced by the Chancellor’s admission this week that the cabinet has not even debated what they hope to achieve and by David Davis’s shenanigans. To constituents who feel let down by the negotiations, it is important to recall that we can still step back. This is why the Green Party is demanding a final say and a democratic choice between the deal as negotiated – with all the trade-offs and disappointments – and continued membership of the European Union.


  Gerard Batten (EFDD). – Madam President, on 23 June 2016, the British people voted by a clear majority to leave the European Union. That decision was not conditional on any withdrawal agreement or any other factor. Eighteen months later, we still have not left and the leaving process is in a shambles.

Mrs May is a Remainer; she leads a party and a parliament that, sadly, is made up of a majority of Remainers. They simply do not want to leave. What Mrs May and the European Union intend is one of two outcomes: either to achieve a deal whereby we leave in name, but not in reality; or to delay the whole leaving process until the next general election, when the referendum result can be set aside. Either way, the result of the referendum is being betrayed.

Her Majesty’s Government should not be asking the European Union how it can leave; it should be telling the European Union how it is going to leave. It will never be too late for a patriotic government and parliament to take control and make Brexit happen.


  Gerolf Annemans (ENF). – Ik zou mij willen richten tot onze Britse collega's, want los van de afloop van de brexit, doet zich een belangrijk en interessant psychologisch fenomeen voor. Dat is namelijk dat hier in dit Huis, aan de kant van degenen die in de Europese Unie achterblijven, zich een soort van acceleratieneiging voordoet bij de voorstanders van de Europese Unie, bij de EU-federalisten. Die zijn allemaal in een kramp geschoten alsof ze door de duivel achterna gezeten worden. Dat is door niemand beter geïllustreerd dan door onze collega Belet van de EPP-fractie, die in een druk bekeken televisie-uitzending vorige week zei: "Ik ben blij dat ze weg zijn want ze waren sowieso een pain in the ass". Daarmee maakt hij het verklaarbaar waarom mensen als Schultz, Macron en anderen nu volop op het gaspedaal drukken. We moeten beseffen, vrienden die hier achterblijven, EU-critici: we gaan die Britten missen. I wish them all the best but will miss them.


  Steven Woolfe (NI). – Madam President, 537 days ago the majority of British people voted to leave the EU, but for 537 days we have listened to a rump of Remainers moan, whinge and cry about losing their beloved EU. For 537 days we have watched a cabal of political elitists wage an anti-democratic campaign in the UK to delay, damage and deny Brexit.

But at Christmas time we are reminded that three wise men brought gifts to Jesus for a brighter future and, in that spirit, I offer three gifts to those Remainers in this Chamber and beyond: the gifts of hearing, hope and a heart. Hearing, so that the voice of those people who believe leaving the EU will make their lives better, brighter and freer is at long last heard by you. Hope, so that someday you accept the result and start to move on. Finally, a heart, because those who you have abused by calling old, stupid and ignorant for voting to leave believe you do not have one. Happy Christmas and a joyous Brexit New Year.


  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Madam President, last week the British Prime Minister managed to avoid a ‘no deal’ scenario but the risk remains and there is still a long way. We are at the beginning of an arduous, complex, intensive process of drafting the withdrawal agreement with a number of issues of relevance remaining outstanding. We also have ahead transition negotiations and the future relationship is still to be identified. The most difficult is yet to come.

The transition period raises many legal issues which will have to be considered with the highest caution. It will have to provide for connection with the future framework, foreseeable at that time, and the talks on transition will precede the negotiations on the future relationship, so there is no reason to call transition an implementation phase. But transition is not only about bridging with the future framework; it has its own challenges. It is true that there is no time to negotiate a bespoke transition agreement, so its major part will be the prolongation of the acquis, but it only looks simple.

We have to bear in mind that the EU acquis is strongly interdependent in a legally and politically complex way and this is a challenge in itself, but there will also be parts of the transition deal going beyond prolongation of the acquis, and this will require in my view a strong credible joint oversight mechanism with a strong role for the European Commission on our side.


  Maria João Rodrigues (S&D). –Madam President, this is certainly the time for ambitious European solutions, but this is not the case for the joint declaration to be signed tomorrow by the three institutions. It lacks this kind of ambition – to start with, on the way to deliver the European Social Pillar, because we want to update social standards for all citizens, starting with young people, in all Member States.

For this, we need to have more powerful instruments to support convergence: real convergence, economic and social convergence. Take the reform package for Economic and Monetary Union: we welcome the fact that important movements will take place to introduce more democracy when it comes to the accountability of the European Stability Mechanism.

But let me be clear: if you want to have upward convergence, reforms are needed, but these are not enough; we need to have a stronger priority for investment, and this investment priority remains too weak in the integrated Fiscal Compact, too weak in the instrument to support convergence, too weak even in the so-called instrument to protect investment. The only way to have stronger priority for investment is to have an upcoming Community budget with new own resources supporting stronger future—oriented investment. We need to get these, and we count on the Estonian Presidency to deliver on this.


  Peter van Dalen (ECR). – Ik hoop nog steeds dat de brexit niet doorgaat. De brexit is schadelijk, politiek en economisch, voor beide partijen. Het politieke zwaartepunt in de Europese Unie verschuift dan richting het zuiden en we zien nu al welke wilde wensen voor nog meer Europa mijnheer Macron verkondigt. De brexit is economisch schadelijk omdat het bruto binnenlands product van het Verenigd Koninkrijk stevige klappen gaat krijgen, maar ook dat van de Europese Unie en helaas ook dat van mijn land.

Voor nu: snel door naar de tweede onderhandelingsfase. Beslist geen vechtscheiding, maar goede en redelijke afspraken. Ook na 2019 moet we verder leven en werken met elkaar. We moeten het politieke en economische gat dat door dit vertrek ontstaat, zo klein houden als mogelijk is. Dat is in het belang van het Verenigd Koninkrijk en in het belang van de Europese Unie.

Ten slotte, in 2016 stemden miljoenen Britten voor de brexit. Die uitslag is niet alleen te wijten aan de tabloids of aan UKIP. Er ligt een sentiment onder dat we ook in mijn land tegenkomen. Deze week bleek uit een rapport van het Sociaal Cultureel Planbureau dat de steun voor de Europese Unie in Nederland is gedaald van 75 naar 58%. Dit schreeuwt om bezinning, niet om de vlucht naar voren voor nog meer EU.


  Marian Harkin (ALDE). – Madam President, today’s debate is helping to provide some clarity. Mr Barnier, you were clear. You said there would be no going back and that last week’s agreement will be translated into a legal text. Mr Verhofstadt strengthened this by suggesting it should be done in the coming weeks, not months. With regard to the second strand, Mr Barnier, regarding Northern Ireland, again you were clear. You said we need a specific solution for a unique situation, and I agree. While the issue of no hardening of the Irish border and the upholding of the Good Friday Agreement are crucial, the agreement on citizens’ rights is of fundamental importance to all EU citizens, and to Irish citizens living and/or working in the UK, those who have lived there, and to all cross—border workers. But we need trust to continue these negotiations in good faith. Yes, we all recognise what political grandstanding is, but this process is way too important to be derailed by those who simply like the sound of their own voices.


  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). – Senhora Presidente, o acordo de saída do Reino Unido com a União Europeia não deve pôr em causa, de forma nenhuma, os direitos dos trabalhadores nem outros direitos sociais de que os cidadãos dos Estados-Membros da União Europeia gozam no Reino Unido, incluindo o direito de residência, o direito a um tratamento não discriminatório, o direito de acesso aos serviços públicos, de saúde e de educação, a portabilidade dos benefícios e direitos em termos de segurança social, o direito à reunificação familiar, o reconhecimento mútuo de qualificações académicas e profissionais, entre outros exemplos, algo que não está adquirido no estádio atual das negociações nem está explícito na proposta de resolução conjunta.

Qualquer eventual futuro acordo entre a União Europeia e o Reino Unido deve ter em conta os interesses e as especificidades dos diferentes Estados-Membros. Além disso, este acordo não deve, não pode, afastar o direito de cada Estado-Membro de estabelecer com o Reino Unido relações nos mais diversos domínios baseadas nos interesses e no benefício mútuo dos respetivos povos.


  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I will be supporting the resolution this afternoon in the votes, and I do so with a sense of real sadness and more than a little anger, both personally and on behalf of the people that I represent. Scotland did not want this; Scotland voted against this; this is not in Scotland’s name. But we do need – and I say it through gritted teeth – to move onto phase two of the negotiations, because for too many people in the UK Brexit remains white noise: a false equivalence aided by an industrial—scale spin machine telling us that somehow we will have our cake and eat it; that it’ll be alright on the night, because we’re special, we’re British. People need to see the detail, the line—by—line, the policy—by—policy, the nitty—gritty. People need to see what they’re going to lose for a Brexit to become real. And in phase two, the promises of the shysters and charlatans who have so disgraced themselves even in their conduct today in this debate will be shown for what they are: a cruel deception of the people they claim to serve. This is the end of the beginning of this Brexit negotiation. I look forward to phase two, where we will hold them to account.



  David Coburn (EFDD). – Madam President, Mr Smith is not being factual. 40% of Scots voted against the European Union. That’s a substantial minority of which I am a representative. He is misleading the House by suggesting that Scots do not want to be in Britain or do not want to leave the European Union. That is an absolute travesty.


  Patrick O’Flynn (EFDD). – Madam President, in my country Manchester United fans still talk about the Holy Trinity of Best, Law and Charlton. In the EU we have the rather less holy trinity of Juncker, Schulz and Verhofstadt, each supporting the creation of a federal superstate. Mr Verhofstadt believes the nations of Europe are dwarves that cannot prosper independently. In his State of the Union speech Mr Juncker unveiled a raft of new integrationist plans, and Mr Schulz left this place to go around Germany stirring up apathy about a United States of Europe.

If that’s what you want, then fair enough, but do not affect to be surprised that the British people won’t go there. Even a moment’s reflection on our history and indeed our geography should tell you that. So you should let us leave the EU with good will. Instead, many of you seek to punish us and it is that spirit of pettiness that will in the end destroy all your grand plans.


  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser (ENF). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, Messieurs du Conseil et de la Commission, deux visions de la sécurité/défense s’opposent. Celle du général De Gaulle et du chancelier Adenauer, une Europe indépendante de l’OTAN mais partenaire, comme le concevait le traité de l’Élysée du 22 janvier 1963, avant son passage au Bundestag le 16 mai, avant son addendum resituant ce traité d’indépendance dans la dépendance transatlantique; et puis, celle de l’Américain Jean Monnet, voulant faire justement de l’Europe de la défense une annexe des États-Unis. Les chanceliers Erhard et Kiesinger avaient tant à se faire pardonner sur leur passé, qu’ils la soutinrent contre Adenauer. Merkel aussi.

Depuis Adenauer, on ne peut plus parler de couple franco-allemand, car nous voyons, nous, Français patriotes dans l’Europe de la défense, une dynamique d’indépendance et les autres, dont l’Allemagne, un cas de dépendance dans la mutualisation.

En sécurité/défense nous devons construire cette vision gaulléenne de l’indépendance européenne avec les États-Unis au sein des Nations unies, dans un monde désormais multipolaire, sinon l’Europe de la défense sera un échec.


  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Notujemy dzisiaj postęp w dwóch ważnych dziedzinach: obronność: ustanowienie stałej współpracy strukturalnej PESCO, współpracy przemysłów obronnych, oraz przełom w negocjacjach z Wielką Brytanią – gratulacje dla Michela Barniera i jego zespołu.

Moich kilka zdań o sprawie, o której się dzisiaj nie mówiło, ale która znajdzie się na agendzie szczytu grudniowego: europejski filar praw socjalnych proklamowany w Goeteborgu 17 listopada. Ja mam dzisiaj wrażenie, że fizyczne poczucie bezpieczeństwa związane z zagrożeniami terrorystycznymi, szczelnością granic i migracją będzie ważniejszym polem bitwy z populizmem niż bezpieczeństwo socjalne, bo po prostu gospodarka ma się lepiej. I jeżeli ten filar socjalny będzie budowany z poszanowaniem zasady pomocniczości i proporcjonalności, nie będzie mnożył obietnic, których się nie da wypełnić na poziomie unijnym, to w porządku. Na przykład, jeżeli to będzie wzmocnienie programu Erasmus+, współpracy uczelni, uznawania kwalifikacji, wszystkiego, co służy mobilności na rynku, bo tej mobilności na wspólnym rynku jest ciągle za mało.

Ale są powody, dla których hasło „filar socjalny” budzi czujność wielu krajów, przede wszystkim na wschodzie. Wtedy, kiedy pojawia się w jego towarzystwie hasło dumpingu socjalnego i rodzą się twarde regulacje, wtedy wraca trochę takie wspomnienie polskiego hydraulika, Polish plumber, który wylansowany został jako główne zagrożenie w czasie referendum francuskiego. Teraz okazuje się, że kierowcy tirów ze wschodu czy z Hiszpanii, czy też pracownicy budowlani kradną dream jobs bogatszym krajom, co jest przecież nieprawdą. Tak, że ostrzegam, że tego typu regulacje, które mogą rodzić szarą strefę, są również amunicją dla populizmu. Polityczny impact assessment jest niezbędny przy tworzeniu filaru socjalnego.


  Josef Weidenholzer (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Wieder einmal wird sich ein Gipfel mit der causa prima Europas beschäftigen, der Flüchtlings- und Migrationspolitik, und wieder einmal – diese Prognose ist keineswegs gewagt – wird wenig dabei herauskommen.

Dabei wären die Voraussetzungen günstig wie nie. Das Europäische Parlament hat in seiner letzten Sitzung einen ausgewogenen Mandatsentwurf für die Reform des Dublin-Systems beschlossen, auf dessen Basis umgehend die dauernd verschleppte Neuausrichtung angegangen werden könnte. Es braucht eigentlich nur den Mut, endlich die Verhandlungen aufzunehmen. Vielleicht geschieht ein Weihnachtswunder.

Zumindest ein Problem ließe sich kurzfristig angehen: Wie jedes Jahr sitzen auch heuer wieder zigtausende Flüchtlinge in winteruntauglichen Quartieren fest, frieren und werden zu Opfern krimineller Schlepper. Es wäre mein Weihnachtswunsch, dass die Mitgliedstaaten endlich ihren Verpflichtungen nachkommen, die sie gegenüber dem UNHCR eingegangen sind.


  James Nicholson (ECR). – Madam President, I welcome the fact that we have now the opportunity to move on from phase one. While we should not underestimate the difficulties that lie ahead, we now have a real opportunity to agree a deep and comprehensive deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

It has always been the case that the best way to find solutions to the question of the border between the United Kingdom and the European Union is to discuss the trade and customs arrangements. None of us want to return to the borders of the past, but equally I cannot tolerate or accept anything that would create an internal UK east-west border. The United Kingdom is by far Northern Ireland’s most important single market, and that must not be jeopardised – and that, Mr Barnier, I believe is the challenge we have to achieve.

The UK and the EU now have an opportunity to agree on a deal that works for all parties that can only be achieved if we work together and with cool heads. Let us move on from the grandstanding and the megaphone diplomacy in some parts of this debate. It is time for that, it is for sure not for the future.


  Franck Proust (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, la semaine dernière, c’est un compromis salutaire qui a été présenté par l’Union européenne et le Royaume-Uni. Cette première étape dans les négociations n’est pas une fin en soi, c’est une clarification, mais beaucoup reste à faire.

Je salue le travail effectué par la Commission sous la responsabilité de Michel Barnier. Malgré une impréparation initiale manifeste et un manque de clarté régulier des dirigeants britanniques, notre négociateur a su maintenir un cap, imposer un calendrier et défendre nos lignes rouges, et je voudrais dire à ce stade ou lui redire toute notre gratitude et notre reconnaissance.

Des garanties sont aujourd’hui sur la table: préserver les droits des citoyens européens au Royaume-Uni et ceux des Britanniques dans l’Union européenne, règlement complet des engagements financiers du Royaume-Uni et aucune frontière dure entre l’Irlande et l’Irlande du Nord. Il n’y a jamais de bon divorce, certes, mais voyons l’aspect positif: le choix souverain du peuple britannique a servi d’électrochoc pour renforcer l’unité au sein de l’Union européenne, et c’est en étant unis que nous devrons faire de la deuxième phase des négociations une étape au service des intérêts européens.

En matière de commerce, par exemple, nous devons être vigilants. Dans des secteurs stratégiques, à l’heure où les Britanniques devront nécessairement reconstruire leur attractivité commerciale auprès du monde entier, le Royaume-Uni ne devra pas servir de cheval de Troie aux investissements étrangers.

Alors, de notre côté, maintenons nos efforts. Le rapport que je porte au Parlement pour une meilleure surveillance des investissements étrangers viendra ici compléter le travail effectué pour réformer notre méthodologie antidumping et pour moderniser nos instruments de défense commerciale. Dans cette négociation inédite, parce que le chemin est encore long, ne baissons pas la garde et continuons à défendre les intérêts des Européens avec pragmatisme et détermination.


  Elena Valenciano (S&D). – Señora presidenta, quiero referirme al inaceptable documento sobre migración que ha presentado el presidente Donald Tusk para su debate en el Consejo. En mi país hay un dicho que dice: «Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente». Pero con este documento el señor Tusk parece demostrar que hay corazones que no sienten aunque vean en directo el sufrimiento humano. Tampoco escucha, porque no ha escuchado a este Parlamento, ni está escuchando los esfuerzos que está haciendo la Comisión.

El Consejo parece insistir en un camino sobre migración y refugio probadamente equivocado que consiste en alejar, en hacer fronteras más grandes, en impedir cada vez de manera más acuciante las vías legales para la migración. Un camino probadamente erróneo. Esto es lo que el presidente Tusk presenta en su documento. Y así están ustedes liquidando el prestigio de la Unión Europea y sus valores. Y luego se extrañan de que los populismos antieuropeos estén ganando la batalla.


  Esteban González Pons (PPE). – Señora presidenta. Felicidades, señor Barnier, por su trabajo y felicidades por estar llevando a cabo la negociación más transparente de la historia. Por fin nos hemos puesto de acuerdo en divorciarnos. Ahora tenemos que hablar sobre cómo será la relación abierta que queremos mantener en el futuro. Hemos acordado que los derechos de los ciudadanos están protegidos por la ley y que nuestra ley se incorporará directamente al Derecho británico y, para garantizarlo, que durante ocho años el Tribunal Europeo podrá pronunciarse creando jurisprudencia.

Hemos acordado que la factura del acuerdo será razonable y cumplirá tres reglas: que nadie tendrá que pagar más de lo que está pagando; que se cumplirán los compromisos adquiridos; y que el Reino Unido no pagará más que si fuera un miembro de la Unión Europea.

Sobre Irlanda del Norte nos comprometemos, aunque no haya frontera dura, a respetar los Acuerdos de Viernes Santo, la integridad territorial del Reino Unido y la integridad del mercado único. Es muy difícil y aquí vamos a tener que emplearnos a fondo porque todos vamos a apoyar la posición del Gobierno irlandés hasta el final, hasta que esta declaración sea posible.

Durante el periodo transitorio el Reino Unido seguirá siendo parte de la unión aduanera y del mercado único, respetando las cuatro libertades, pero ya no podrá participar en la elección ni en las decisiones de la Unión Europea. ¿Qué queda entonces por hacer? Lo más difícil: cerrar los detalles técnicos de este acuerdo político; determinar la duración y el alcance del periodo transitorio y empezar a negociar un acuerdo comercial. Este acuerdo no es el final de nada, es simplemente el principio de todo. Este es un acuerdo político, con muchos cabos sueltos desde el punto de vista técnico que el señor Barnier ahora tendrá que negociar y tendrá que atar. Hemos hecho lo más fácil. Señor Barnier, ahora para usted viene lo más difícil porque, como siempre, el éxito será que alcancemos un brexit que no parezca un brexit.


  Mercedes Bresso (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, anch'io voglio congratularmi con il nostro negoziatore Michel Barnier per l'ottimo risultato. Vorrei però tornare ad altre questioni che sono state trattate. In particolare, al Consiglio dovrebbe venire approvato definitivamente il primo pacchetto sulla dimensione sociale dell'Unione europea, l'istruzione e la cultura, a seguito dell'incontro di Göteborg, e vorrei apprezzare questo anche se siamo ancora lontani da quello che noi vorremmo.

In secondo luogo, apprezziamo anche il fatto che sia stato fatto un grosso pacchetto di proposte sulla zona euro: va bene che il Parlamento sia il Parlamento della zona euro, anche questo ci fa piacere sentirlo dire, ma ricordiamo che continua a esistere una questione democratica su tutte queste vicende, più la questione della difesa, la cooperazione sulla difesa, la questione democratica, è il ruolo del Parlamento nella maggior parte di tali questioni che non è alla pari con quello del Consiglio.


  Seán Kelly (PPE). – A Uachtaráin, ba mhaith liom ar dtús buíochas rialtas na hÉireann a chur in iúl do gach uile dhuine san Aontas a chabhraigh linn. Go háirithe, an dá Uachtarán, Tusk agus Juncker, an tUasal Barnier, Guy Verhofstadt, Manfred Weber agus gach uile dhuine. Mar a dúirt Donald Tusk, ní neart go cur le chéile agus thaispeánamar é sin.

The Irish Government, and indeed all of the Irish people, are very happy at the practical and sensible agreement announced last Friday, with the protection of the Good Friday Agreement, in all its parts, the preservation of the Common Travel Area and, above all, no hard border and full regulatory alignment to make that happen, which can be worked out in Phase 2.

Also, something which has not been mentioned enough is the willingness of the European Union to continue Peace (Programme for Peace and Reconciliation) and Interreg funding into the future, post-Brexit. And mentioning Peace, we do not want a hard border because there has been too much blood spilled in Ireland over the border, with a bloody civil war and 20 years of terror. Nobody wants to go back to that, and thanks to Mr Barnier, the Irish Government and, indeed, Theresa May, that will not happen.

Finally, I would like to say also to Theresa May that we appreciate her efforts in difficult circumstances to progress matters. Hopefully, she will get the backing of all her colleagues because this is not a time for disunity. We in Ireland are totally united, the European Union is totally united, and those in the United Kingdom have to stand behind Theresa May. It is not helpful when people make statements that commitments are only statements of intent. A commitment is a commitment, a guarantee is a guarantee, and nothing else. Finally, I would tell her that there is an old Irish phrase also which says ‘is binn béal ina thost’: ‘sweet is the mouth that is silent’. She may, in her wisdom, teach some of her colleagues that old adage.


  Jens Geier (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich beglückwünsche Sie, Herr Barnier, zu dem Ergebnis der Verhandlungen, das Sie uns vorgelegt haben. Als stellvertretender Vorsitzender des Haushaltsausschusses galt meine Sorge besonders den Folgen des Brexit für den europäischen Haushalt, für den das Vereinigte Königreich weitreichende Verpflichtungen eingegangen ist. Das Ergebnis garantiert, dass wir den mittelfristigen Finanzrahmen so zu Ende führen können, wie er geplant war. Es garantiert, dass das Vereinigte Königreich sich weiter an den Pensionsleistungen von EU-Beamtinnen und —Beamten beteiligt, die auch dem Vereinigten Königreich gedient haben, solange es Mitglied der Europäischen Union war, und nicht wenige von ihnen sind ja auch Bürgerinnen und Bürger des Vereinigten Königreichs. Das bedeutet aber auch, dass Albernheiten über Grundstücke und Weinflaschen, die wir von der Insel gehört haben, beendet worden sind.

Ich bin überzeugt, dass Großbritannien schwächer ist ohne die EU und dass die EU schwächer ist ohne Großbritannien. Vor diesem Hintergrund freue ich mich, dass der Artikel 73 des gemeinsamen Berichts erwähnt, dass Großbritannien die weitere Teilnahme an EU-Politiken prüft. Das ist vernünftig, und das sollten wir machen, vorbehaltlich weiterer Beiträge in den EU-Haushalt.


  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, em primeiro lugar eu queria, relativamente ao Conselho, exprimir a minha mais veemente repulsa pela forma como o Presidente Tusk apresentou a questão dos refugiados. Acho que é inaceitável para uma comunidade de direito que defende os direitos humanos, que é, sem dúvida, uma referência para os direitos fundamentais, que se trate a questão dos refugiados desta maneira e, portanto, isso é deplorável e deve ser afastado. Estamos ao lado da Comissão e do Presidente Juncker nesta matéria.

Queria depois cumprimentar Michel Barnier pelos resultados obtidos, pelo empenho, pela determinação, pela forma como tem defendido os direitos dos cidadãos europeus, incluindo de todos os cidadãos britânicos que estão no continente e que estão também nas ilhas britânicas. E finalmente, tinha uma mensagem para o ministro do Brexit, Sr. David Davis: once upon a time, even gentlemen’s agreements were binding. Esta é a mensagem que queria deixar. Até um acordo de cavalheiros é vinculativo, que fará uma negociação entre instituições como o Governo da Grã—Bretanha e a Comissão Europeia e o Conselho Europeu!


  Seb Dance (S&D). – Madam President, I’m grateful to Mr Verhofstadt for his clarification that the phase one agreement will be put into a legal text, this is very important news, particularly for citizens who need the assurances going forward.

But let’s be clear about the situation that we find ourselves in. The reason that the fantasists opposite have been able to claim, as they often do, that this is a betrayal, is because the government’s own rhetoric is wildly different from the reality that we face. You cannot have a hard border in Ireland and preserve the peace process. You cannot have a hard border in the Irish Sea and preserve the four nations and the integrity of the United Kingdom. This is integral to Brexit, and in the ‘full alignment’ that was agreed under phase one it will of course mean the following: the decisions on Britain’s trade and economic policy will be made in this House and in the European institutions, where we currently have a voice but where we will have none because of Brexit. And it’s up to the proponents opposite to explain to their constituents how that is taking back control. It is not taking back control, it is ceding it.


  György Schöpflin (PPE). – Madam President, when the history of Brexit comes to be written, one aspect of it is bound to play a prominent role: the quality of the communication between London and Brussels, especially in the media. ‘Communication’ may be the wrong word; ‘miscommunication’ might be better. The Council mandate of 29 April is crystal clear on what the EU expected from the United Kingdom. Yet, the British media have treated the negotiations as if they had never read the Council’s mandate. Who knows, maybe there is no ‘as if’ about it – certainly, much of the British media comment has reflected a very different mindset about Brexit: one in which the EU’s position has played next to no role. It’s bizarre. The UK is constantly trumpeting diversity and multiculturalism. Evidently, the EU, Brussels, the European Parliament and the 27 are not a part of this diversity.


  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Gospođo predsjednice, Brexit će dominirati ovotjednim sastankom, tj. je li postignut dovoljan napredak za prelazak u drugu fazu. Zajednička izjava konačno je dogovorena prošli tjedan, ulozi su se povećali, ali povećala se i cijena razlaza. Nadam se bržem napretku u drugoj fazi u kojoj ćemo morati definirati buduće odnose Europske unije i Ujedinjenog Kraljevstva.

Kao hrvatski zastupnik posebno pozdravljam odredbu kojom će hrvatski građani biti jednako tretirani kao ostali građani Unije jer za njih još uvijek vrijedi privremeno ograničenje pristupa tržištu rada. Podržavam i povijesno važno jačanje zajedničke obrambene suradnje, za koje se odlučilo čak 25 članica.

Dobro je što je predsjednik Tusk pozvao na sastanak na vrhu država europodručja sve članice, s obzirom na važnost dnevnog reda. Ali to nisu jedine teme od značaja za budućnost Europske unije. Drago mi je da su socijalna pitanja, kultura i obrazovanje također našli svoje mjesto na agendi.


  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Paní předsedající, Evropská rada by měla podpořit vyjednávání o brexitu tak, jak zde bylo předloženo, zejména co se týká jistot občanů, kterým po vystoupení Velké Británie hrozí nejistota. Zatímco Spojené království není jednotné, Evropská unie má pozici jednotnou. V tom je naše síla i výhoda při jednání. Uvítala bych, kdyby Evropská rada vzala na vědomí stanovisko svého předsedy Tuska k řešení migrační krize. Řekl jen to, co si myslí. Chtěla jsem vyzvat pan Timmermanse, který zde řekl, že členské státy musí hledat rovnováhu mezi solidaritou a bezpečností. Pane Timmermansi, řekl jste, že zajištění hranice a boj proti pašerákům musí být naší prioritou. Je to i můj názor. Členské státy musí být a také jsou solidární, ale mají také svou odpovědnost. Toto řešení musí být společné a zároveň musí respektovat situaci a postoj jednotlivých členských států. Podle mne pan Tusk řekl to samé, my nemůžeme ignorovat subsidiaritu.


  Pervenche Berès (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le négociateur, Monsieur Barnier, merci d’avoir introduit – pourrait-on dire? – «le loup dans la bergerie». En tout cas, le mot «marché intérieur» au paragraphe 49 de ce long rapport conjoint qui – je crois – est un fil conducteur sur lequel nous allons pouvoir construire beaucoup pour l’avenir des relations entre l’Union européenne et le Royaume-Uni.

Mais il y a d’autres sujets à l’ordre du jour du Conseil européen et je m’étonne de ne pas voir la Commission à son siège. J’aurais voulu l’inviter à insister sur l’importance, évidemment, des réformes de l’Union économique et monétaire, même en l’absence d’un gouvernement allemand en dehors d’un gouvernement faisant fonction. En effet, il y a dans les propositions des éléments sur lesquels nous avons besoin d’avancer, et notamment l’idée d’un filet de sécurité pour le fonds de résolution, car c’est un point qui sinon risque de bloquer beaucoup d’avancées dont nous avons besoin, quel que soit le calendrier électoral des uns et des autres.


  Esther de Lange (PPE). – Madam President, at many British tables, I think, Christmas lunch 2017 will still be surrounded by uncertainty. First and foremost, for European citizens and their families, and indeed, as many colleagues have said, more guarantees are needed here.

But also economically, as the BBC reported that this same Christmas lunch will this year be 20% more expensive due to Brexit-induced inflation and price volatility. Yes, let us talk about trade, as that is also in the interests of our producers, our farmers, and our fishermen. But let us be clear: access to the single market is not free. You can’t have your cake and eat it.

Finally, now that I am in the Christmas spirit anyway, let me warn this House against false prophets, like the Brexit prophet Nigel Farage, who, through nonsense, lies, and videotape, got his Brexit and then ran away. He talks about unelected bureaucrats but he betrayed his voters and, indeed, now he is absent. He had his videotape, he will post his speech on all the social media. But let us promise our voters and our citizens one thing: the work in this House will have to be done by serious and maybe less flamboyant politicians, and that is us. So when we reconvene after Christmas, let us get to work in the interests of the European citizens and also the Brits.


  Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, da un po' di tempo accadono cose curiose in questi dibattiti: il Consiglio si presenta quasi sempre reticente, la Commissione invece fa spesso discorsi altisonanti – ancora oggi, penso a Dublino – riceve l'applauso, ma sempre più sembrano discorsi di chi grida alla luna.

Il Consiglio di domani e dopo, oltre a Brexit, dovrebbe affrontare questioni importanti: la proclamazione del pilastro sociale, si è messa molta enfasi su Göteborg, ma il rischio è che rimanga sulla carta, se non sarà accompagnata da politiche coerenti a livello europeo e soprattutto da regole e risorse che non vedo ancora.

Secondo: immigrazione e Dublino. Mentre l'orizzonte libico rischia di oscurarsi ancora di più, il Presidente del Consiglio dichiara fallita la politica migratoria europea. Non capisco con quale credibilità il Consiglio spiegherà ai cittadini europei e penserà di presentare un bilancio del suo lavoro che mi sembra, allo stato attuale, molto ma molto fallimentare.


  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). – Madam President, thank you very much, and thanks to Mr Barnier for having achieved sufficient progress in the negotiations. Now we need to go on further with the aim of a friendly Brexit negotiated with the Government of the United Kingdom, not undermined by the political forces here who are not even represented in the British Parliament. They are not only trying to undermine the negotiations; they are undermining the United Kingdom’s potential in the future.

Second, when the EU gets smaller, we need to get taller; we need to develop new trade relations in order to support not only economic development, but also strengthen a liberal world order. We need to ensure that we can have the strength in developing the European Union, not just by discussing form, but by securing that we have the right policies that can make our Union strong.



  Petra Kammerevert (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich will an dieser Stelle auf die Bildungspolitik eingehen, die viel mehr Beachtung verdient als ihr bisher zuteilwurde. Zum Göteborg-Gipfel hat die Kommission dankenswerterweise die Schaffung eines Europäischen Bildungsraums bis 2025 vorgeschlagen. Nun müssen diesen wohlgesetzten Worten entsprechende Taten folgen. Bei allem Respekt vor den Zuständigkeiten der Mitgliedstaaten: Was spricht dagegen, dass die Mitgliedstaaten endlich gemeinsame, ehrgeizige und verbindliche Bildungsziele verabreden und das notwendige Geld in die Hand nehmen: zum Spracherwerb, zum lebenslangen Lernen, zu modernen Schlüsselkompetenzen einschließlich digitaler Fähigkeiten? Die Ziele müssen dann engmaschig evaluiert werden. Bildung ist Zukunft, und Investitionen in Bildung sind Investitionen in die Zukunft von Menschen. Es ist höchste Zeit, dass wir das in unserem gemeinsamen politischen Handeln auch anerkennen.

Das Europäische Parlament und die Kommission werden sich gemeinsam auf den Weg machen, bis 2025 einen Europäischen Bildungsraum zu schaffen, und ich fordere die Mitgliedstaaten dringlich auf, ihren Teil zum Gelingen dieses Projekt beizutragen.


  Viviane Reding, (PPE). – Madam President, after 18 months of political denial, the UK has finally accepted the three divorce conditions and now everybody knows what Brexit really means. Brexiteers promised GBP 350 million a week to their citizens; instead, they have to pay billions of euro. They promised economic benefits; instead, the pound and British growth are at their lowest point. They promised sovereignty; instead, the government is at the mercy of the DUP at home, and of trade partners abroad. They promised global Britain; instead, they got a lonely Britain. They promised to take back control; instead, they are spinning out of control.

I am saddened that the British people have fallen victim to political crooks and that the result is a divided and weakened UK. Fortunately, the European family is united after the Brexit wake-up call and, fortunately, the citizens’ problems found a positive solution in the first part of these negotiations. Thank you, Michel Barnier.


  Silvia Costa (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, nel ringraziare Timmermans e Barnier, una riflessione: la Brexit è stata anche una drammatica occasione per milioni di giovani e di studenti europei e britannici, per riscoprire il valore e i vantaggi della comune cittadinanza europea e del progetto europeo. È perciò importante che l'accordo UE-UK preveda tra i diritti dei cittadini una specifica tutela dei giovani, degli studenti e di quelli impegnati in programmi europei.

Anche la sfida dell'immigrazione ci impone un rilancio della solidarietà europea, e il superamento di Dublino, con la voce stonata di Tusk, ma anche l'apertura di vie legali e nuove relazioni euromediterranee in cui i giovani africani dovranno avere un ruolo di protagonisti.

Così come chiediamo al Consiglio di adottare formalmente le concrete proposte del social summit di Göteborg, in particolare, finalmente anche, educazione e cultura per ampliare la possibilità dei giovani europei di studiare in un altro paese, creare network di università con corsi in almeno due lingue, riconoscimento di diplomi, adozione di una mia proposta, che è diventata proposta del Parlamento, della European Student Card, e un Erasmus per giovani artisti dopo il 2020, nonché l'accesso delle imprese culturali e creative all'EFSI.


  Tanja Fajon (S&D). – Danes, na pragu novega leta in novih načrtov, je čas za pozitivno energijo in optimizem. Zato govorim s polno mero vere v našo Evropsko unijo in z željo, da bi se zaupanje vanjo utrdilo tudi pri naših državljanih.


Ti si danes želijo predvsem več Evrope na področju varnosti – bodisi fizične bodisi ekonomske in socialne. Zagotavljanje varnosti je vse tesneje povezano s politikami na področjih, ki so trenutno v pristojnosti držav članic (socialo, zdravstvo, mislim). Po drugi strani pa z upravljanjem z migracijami. Oboje je posledica spreminjajoče se demografske podobe in iskanje skupnih evropskih rešitev bo v prihodnjih letih ključnega pomena.


Varne se lahko počutimo samo v okolju, ki spoštuje demokratična pravila, ima posluh za posameznike in ki je solidarno. In to je naš največji izziv – ohraniti pri življenju temeljne vrednote in skladno z njimi živeti. In če boste, dragi voditelji, upoštevali to vodilo, ga bomo upoštevali tudi mi, da bo prihodnje leto dobro.



Interventions à la demande


  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). – Madam President, I shall try and set a good example. I want to say thank you to Michel Barnier, not from me, but from the people I represent, from those people who live in Donegal, in Louth, in Cavan, in Monaghan, in Leitrim, the counties that border Northern Ireland, but also to the people of Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Derry, who link up with my constituents socially, from a business point of view, who see no invisible border, and want no visible border. Through his patience and determination, Mr Barnier has secured for them a future of which they were very fearful.

Sometimes in this House those who grandstand, arrive and make great speeches, walk out and ignore the realities of what we are talking about here today. What happens will impact on people on the ground, and I hope that going into Christmas we have given them more reassurances, not just around the Ireland issue, but on citizens’ rights and financial commitments. It took your courage and determination, Michel. Have a good Christmas. You did hard work.


  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, el Consejo de diciembre viene con una agenda muy cargada: la negociación del brexit, la cooperación estructurada en materia de defensa, que ha sido calificada de «Bella Durmiente», lo que obligaría a calificar de «Cenicienta» a la agenda social, largamente postergada en el manejo de la crisis y de la que se habló en Gotemburgo, pero que todavía está pendiente de realizaciones prácticas en materia de empleo digno, protección social y relanzamiento de oportunidades para los jóvenes, incluido el programa Erasmus, promovido por el recordado comisario español Manuel Marín, recientemente fallecido.

Pero en lo que resulta inaceptable el balance del Consejo y tiene que ser cambiado de raíz es en materia migratoria, porque el Consejo continúa contaminado con una mirada negativa que vincula cualquier cooperación exterior, incluso la ayuda humanitaria, al retorno de los inmigrantes, a los que se ve siempre como una amenaza. Hace falta crear vías legales, promover visados humanitarios y corredores humanitarios, particularmente en el norte de África.

Y es la única oportunidad de restablecer la libre circulación de personas en el acervo de Schengen, lo más precioso y preciado para los ciudadanos europeos.


  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο δεν μπορεί πλέον να κλείνει τα μάτια στο μεταναστευτικό και να μετατρέπει την Ελλάδα και την Ιταλία σε αποθήκες ψυχών. Πρέπει να αντιληφθεί ο κ. Tusk ότι δεν πρόκειται να περάσουν οι μεθοδεύσεις του για κατάργηση των υποχρεωτικών ποσοστώσεων κατανομής προσφύγων στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Επιπλέον, το Δουβλίνο III πρέπει να καταργηθεί και να αντικατασταθεί με ρυθμίσεις που θα ενισχύουν την αλληλεγγύη και δεν θα μετατρέπουν τα κράτη πρώτης εισόδου σε αποδιοπομπαίους τράγους. Η δομή και λειτουργία της Οικονομικής και Νομισματικής Ένωσης πρέπει να αλλάξει, μιας και έχει γεμίσει την ευρωζώνη με στρατιές φτωχών και ανέργων. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Κεντρική Τράπεζα πρέπει να μετατραπεί σε ύστατο δανειστή. Το Ευρωπαϊκό Σύστημα Τραπεζών να αποκεντρωθεί και να επιτραπεί η ανάκτηση της εθνικής νομισματικής κυριαρχίας, με το δικαίωμα στις εθνικές κεντρικές τράπεζες να κόβουν χρήμα μέχρι του ποσοστού συμμετοχής τους στο μετοχικό κεφάλαιο της ΕΚΤ. Επιπλέον, απαιτείται η κατάργηση του δρακόντειου συμφώνου σταθερότητας και η ενίσχυση της κοινωνικής Ευρώπης.


  Pavel Telička (ALDE). – Madam President, I am missing Mr Farage. I wanted to express my appreciation for the most pro-EU speech he has ever made in this House. I very much appreciate it – in fact, he praised the European Union!

Two remarks. First, as concerns Mr Barnier and the negotiations, congratulations. But there is really one issue that I would ask you to take into account, from the EP resolution, and that is the status of citizens because still, from a procedural point of view, there is insecurity for EU citizens. I think it should be pure registration with the burden of proof residing with the United Kingdom.

The second remark I would make is on the euro. I really would appreciate it if the summit could take an important step towards better governance in the euro area. You might ask why a Czech is placing such emphasis on this. Well, I would like to show the Czech citizens and Czech politicians for once that they cannot use the excuse of bad governance in the euro area, so we could have a serious debate on the introduction of the euro in the Czech Republic.


  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης (GUE/NGL). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, το έγγραφο Tusk για το προσφυγικό είναι απαράδεκτο, προκλητικό και αντιευρωπαϊκό. Διχαστικές δεν είναι οι υποχρεωτικές ποσοστώσεις, αλλά το ίδιο το έγγραφο. Κύριε Maasikas, θα ήθελα να μεταφέρετε στον απόντα σήμερα Πρόεδρο του Συμβουλίου ότι όταν διάβασα αυτό το κείμενο νόμισα ότι το υπογράφει ο κ. Κατσίνσκι ή ο κ. Όρμπαν, όχι ο πρόεδρος του Συμβουλίου. Η Επιτροπή με τη στήριξη του Κοινοβουλίου έχει προσφύγει στο Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο εναντίον των ευρωπαϊκών κυβερνήσεων που αρνούνται να υλοποιήσουν τις υποχρεώσεις τους και είναι ντροπή για την Ευρώπη ο Πρόεδρος του Συμβουλίου να μαχαιρώνει στην πλάτη την Επιτροπή.

Το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο και η Επιτροπή, κύριε Maasikas, περιμένουν και από το Συμβούλιο και από τη Σύνοδο Κορυφής να κάνει αυτό που πρέπει, διότι δεν μπορεί η Ελλάδα και η Ιταλία να σηκώνουν μόνες τους με ελλιπή ευρωπαϊκή αλληλεγγύη το βάρος του προσφυγικού.


  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η ολοκλήρωση της πρώτης φάσεως των διαπραγματεύσεων για το Brexit επιβεβαίωσε μια μεγάλη αλήθεια: ότι όταν στον βάλτο τσακώνονται τα βουβάλια την πληρώνουν τα βατράχια. Τα βατράχια στην προκειμένη περίπτωση είναι οι υπήκοοι των χωρών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ενώσεως που έχουν σπουδάσει, ζουν με τις οικογένειές τους και εργάζονται στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο. Με τα μέχρι τώρα δεδομένα οι άνθρωποι αυτοί έχουν κάθε λόγο να ανησυχούν για το αν και κατά πόσον θα κατοχυρωθούν τα δικαιώματά τους αυτά ή όχι. Βεβαίως, ακούσαμε σήμερα τον κ. Barnier να λέει ότι τα δικαιώματα αυτά θα κατοχυρωθούν διά βίου, ουδείς όμως μπορεί να τους διαβεβαιώσει ότι αυτό θα συμβεί.

Μας ανησυχεί το γεγονός ότι έχει μειωθεί ο ρόλος του Ευρωπαϊκού Δικαστηρίου και γι’ αυτόν ακριβώς τον λόγο δεν μπορούμε να γνωρίζουμε αν μια μελλοντική κυβέρνηση θα καταργήσει ή θα περιορίσει τα δικαιώματα αυτά. Οφείλει λοιπόν η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να υποστηρίξει κατά τρόπο που δεν επιδέχεται αμφισβήτηση τα δικαιώματα των ανθρώπων αυτών. Θα είναι τραγικό να φτάσουν σε σημείο να ζητούν άδεια ακόμη και να μείνουν στα σπίτια τους.


  Milan Zver (PPE). – Tri stvari, brexit, rad bi se zahvalil gospodu Bernierju za odlično vodenje celotnega pogajalskega procesa, predvsem pa za to, da je postavil ljudi in njihove pravice in svoboščine pred interesi struktur koristi posameznih držav in podobno.

Drugič, migracije, voditelji se bodo dotaknili tudi tega perečega vprašanja. Opozoril bi zlasti na pismo predsednika Evropskega sveta Donalda Tuska, kjer govori, da obvezne kvote niso najboljša rešitev, zato ker delijo evropsko javnost, in se zavzema za bolj spodbudne oblike reševanja tega problema.

In tretjič, PESCO, nobena evropska skupna politika doslej še ni imela tako velike podpore kot ustvarjanje obrambne in varnostne unije, zato sem zelo vesel, da se bodo voditelji dotaknili tudi tega vprašanja.


  Jean-Paul Denanot (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, oui, je peux effectivement prendre acte des déclarations optimistes de M. Timmermans sur l’avenir de l’Union européenne, mais malheureusement les belles et bonnes déclarations et intentions se heurtent à la question budgétaire. Comment mettre en place toutes ces nouvelles politiques sans financement supplémentaire? Nous ne pouvons accepter que ce soient les politiques structurelles de l’Union européenne qui en fassent les frais.

Sur le Brexit, je voudrais à la fois féliciter et remercier M. Barnier et tous les négociateurs de ne pas avoir cédé sur les lignes rouges que le Parlement européen avait fixées. Je comprends bien que le chemin soit encore long pour traduire juridiquement ce premier résultat.

Il y a un point sur lequel je m’interroge particulièrement: celui de la frontière irlandaise. Je ne vois pas encore bien comment les choses peuvent se passer et quelle solution sera retenue au final. Ce que je souhaite en tout cas, c’est qu’elle ne menace ni la paix ni l’avenir, car je pense que, tôt ou tard, n’en déplaise à M. Farage, le Royaume-Uni refrappera à la porte de l’Union européenne.


  Marek Jurek (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! To była dzisiaj naprawdę pasjonująca debata, która zapowiada bardzo ciekawą Radę Europejską od jutra, dlatego że wszyscy mogliśmy się przekonać jak szybko spadają gwiazdy w Unii Europejskiej. Te wszystkie ataki na przewodniczącego Rady Europejskiej tylko dlatego, że powiedział parę rzeczy oczywistych, że system przymusowej dyslokacji nie działa, pokazują jak łatwo jest zostać wrogiem Unii Europejskiej. Jak łatwo jest powiedzieć o kimś – tylko dlatego, że powie coś oczywistego – że zaprzecza całej integracji. Swoją drogą dziwię się przyjaciołom politycznym pana Tuska, że nie występują w jego obronie.

Teraz przejdźmy do rzeczy. Pomijając już system przymusowej dyslokacji migrantów, który rzeczywiście nie działa, prawo azylowe musi pozostać domeną państw, bo na przykład nikt nie ma prawa stwierdzić za zainteresowane państwo, że działacz Bractwa Muzułmańskiego z Egiptu jest uchodźcą politycznym, któremu należy udzielić azylu.


  Luke Ming Flanagan (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, there are undoubted positives that have come out of the phase 1 negotiations when it comes to Ireland. Commitments to no border, regulatory alignment and citizens’ rights are all positive. Your statement, Mr Barnier, that there will be no going back is definitely a positive. But there is one thing that will drive this back, and that is triumphalism on either side. In particular, for people like Manfred Weber, I fear that his dislike of the UK is what drives him rather than his love for Ireland. I think it is love for Ireland that should drive it instead, because this is very important to us. When we talk about ties with Great Britain I don’t think people understand here how important it is. It isn’t about dependence, it is about co-dependence.

I am a Flanagan. My wife is a Kelly. There were 20 members of my mother’s and my wife’s mother’s two families, and 19 out of the 20 went to work in London. Three of my six siblings were born in London. We need each other. We depend on each other. We work together. Manfred remember that with your triumphalism. It doesn’t help.


  Brian Hayes (PPE). – Madam President, I rise to thank the 26 Member States of the European Union, Michel Barnier and his team and all of the institutions for their support for Ireland over the course of this negotiation. This has been a successful negotiation where we have stayed clear and we have come together, and we are stronger together. On the behalf of my constituents in Ireland we thank you for that solidarity and that support.

The clear message from this debate, as demonstrated by Mr Barnier, is that there is no going back on the commitments that have been entered into by the EU and the United Kingdom; no going back on the clear commitments for Ireland; no going back on the clear two other priority issues for EU citizens’ rights and the question of finance. We have a duty now to reposition this debate, to go forward together. We need a new relationship with the United Kingdom based on mutual respect, based on cooperation. Just as Europe has stayed loyal to Ireland, so too will Ireland stay loyal on the question of the integrity of the single market.


  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il primo accordo raggiunto sulla Brexit conferma che l'uscita dall'Unione non è poi un così grande affare.

La crisi economica del 2008, da cui tutta l'Europa stenta ancora a riprendersi, è stata la scintilla per addossare all'Unione europea le responsabilità di tutto, anche di colpe non proprie. Della crisi economica, ma anche di qualche inadeguatezza dell'Unione europea, ha approfittato chi, non avendo mai avuto un ruolo di responsabilità, ha potuto far credere ad un elettorato insoddisfatto che riacquistando la propria sovranità la Gran Bretagna avrebbe potuto scegliere da sé il proprio destino, anche in un mondo globalizzato.

Ma i fatti vanno in un'altra direzione: con la sua scelta, la Gran Bretagna ha compiuto un salto nell'ignoto, lontano da ogni progetto politico di lungo tempo. Tuttavia, l'Unione è un progetto che unisce, non che divide. Dobbiamo lasciare aperto uno spiraglio per quando i britannici vorranno tornare indietro. Ci accorgeremo che questo periodo sarà passato quando i populisti cominceranno a litigare tra di loro, come già il collega Farage ha iniziato a fare con la premier britannica May.


  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Doamnă președintă, vreau să spun acum, la bilanț, că cred că avem rezultate și nu trebuie să le ignorăm. Trebuie să ne uităm mai mult spre problemele care ne unesc decât spre cele care ne dezbină, dar, în același timp, cred că trebuie să ne gândim și la lucrurile care nu ne-au reușit, iar Brexit-ul, plecarea Marii Britanii, este un lucru care nu ne-a reușit. Felicit negociatorii, și din partea Parlamentului, și din partea Comisiei. Cred că au punctat extraordinar de bine și astăzi că trebuie să gândim acest Brexit gândindu-ne la cetățean, să nu existe o sarcină suplimentară și să nu existe discriminarea cetățenilor europeni. Și eu am concetățeni acolo și cred că, instituțional, Marea Britanie trebuie să preia această sarcină.

În același timp, cred că trebuie să ne gândim cum facem anul viitor și Consiliul trebuie să se gândească cum facem să creștem coeziunea socială - până la urmă obiectivul nostru important -, cum putem să ajutăm mai mult agricultorii europeni, micile întreprinderi, cum putem să sprijinim cetățenii. Asta este politica europeană.


  Κώστας Μαυρίδης (S&D). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, κύριε Barnier, έχω ένα πολύ συγκεκριμένο ερώτημα: Στην Κύπρο υπάρχουν μεγάλες στρατιωτικές ζώνες που ανήκουν και ελέγχονται από τη Μεγάλη Βρετανία και στις οποίες διαβιούν χιλιάδες ευρωπαίοι πολίτες, είτε κύπριοι ευρωπαίοι πολίτες είτε και από άλλα κράτη μέλη. Θα ήθελα να γνωρίζω ποιο είναι το μέλλον αυτών των ευρωπαίων πολιτών, ποιο είναι το καθεστώς υπό το οποίο θα συνεχίσουν να διαβιούν και ποια θα είναι τα δικαιώματα και οι υποχρεώσεις τους. Επειδή όμως σε λίγο θα έχουμε και το βραβείο Ζαχάρωφ, αυτό μου δίνει μια ευκαιρία να αναφερθώ σε ένα μνημείο ανθρώπινης αξιοπρέπειας –και δεν θέλω διόλου να μειώσω εκείνους που θα βραβεύσουμε σήμερα. Από τις τουρκικές φυλακές ένας άνθρωπος φυλακισμένος στέλνει ένα μήνυμα που πρέπει να ακούσουμε όλοι είναι ο Ντεμιρτάς, ο οποίος σε δήλωσή του καταλήγει με το εξής: Στο καθεστώς Ερντογάν δεν απαντάς στις ερωτήσεις, γιατί δεν υπάρχει δικαιοσύνη στην Τουρκία.


(Fin des interventions à la demande)


  Michel Barnier, négociateur en chef pour le Brexit. – Madame la Présidente, je vais donc essayer d’être précis et rapide à la fois, d’abord pour dire à tous ceux d’entre vous qui se sont exprimés sur d’autres questions que le Brexit, qu’il s’agisse de l’économie, de l’immigration, de l’éducation, de la question sociale ou économique, que je transmettrai évidemment vos remarques au président Juncker et au premier vice-président Timmermans, qui regrette de ne pas pouvoir être là.

Télégraphiquement, Manfred Weber a parlé, tout à l’heure, de la transition. Je veux confirmer que la seule base juridique pour une éventuelle transition est l’article 50. Il n’y a pas de transition s’il n’y a pas d’accord sur l’article 50, un accord de retrait. Je voudrais remercier aussi Esteban Gonzáles Pons d’avoir utilisé le mot «transparence». C’est une clé dans la confiance entre nous, avec le Conseil aussi, et nous continuerons, en liaison avec Guy Verhofstadt et les membres du groupe de pilotage du Parlement sur le Brexit, à pratiquer ces dialogues de confiance permanents.

Sur l’Irlande, Seán Kelly, Mairead McGuinness et d’autres parlementaires ont rappelé la sensibilité de cette question. Je continuerai à être le négociateur du gouvernement irlandais comme celui des vingt-six autres gouvernements et – si vous le voulez bien – à vos côtés. L’unité des vingt-sept dans les mois passés et pour les mois à venir est tout à fait fondamentale.

J’ai écouté avec beaucoup d’attention Mme in’t Veld, Mme Keller, M. Kelly, qui a, tout à l’heure, évoqué les droits des citoyens, comme Roberto Gualtieri et Guy Verhofstadt l’ont fait aussi avec beaucoup de force. Deux points sur cette question: d’abord la libre circulation, à l’avenir, fera partie, Madame in’t Veld, de la future étape dans la phase deux, mais je n’oublie pas cette question.

Le point très important sur les procédures, qui est un point sensible: nous avons mis dans le rapport conjoint des conditions très précises, cosignées par les deux parties, et je m’attacherai – vous pouvez en être sûrs – à ce que ces conditions soient transcrites dans le traité lui-même du retrait, pour que ces procédures soient simples et les moins bureaucratiques possibles. Nous ne sommes pas au bout sur cette question et la question ne sera fermée que dans l’accord de retrait. Donc, de ce point de vue-là, la vigilance du Parlement européen est juste et justifiée.

Monsieur Mavrides, juste un mot sur Chypre: nous aurons besoin de trouver des solutions spécifiques pour préserver la situation actuelle des citoyens concernés par la vie autour des deux bases militaires de Chypre. Je le dis juste en passant.

Gianni Pittella, Guy Verhostadt et, naturellement, Elmar Brok ont évoqué la force de ce rapport conjoint. C’est un travail sérieux que nous avons fait ensemble, méthodique, précis. Il sera la base de ce que nous allons transférer et transcrire dans le droit, à travers un projet de traité. Je dis à Guy Verhostadt que mon intention est de mettre sur votre table, avant la fin janvier, ce projet de traité appuyé – pour l’essentiel – sur le contenu de ce rapport conjoint. Comme l’a dit Elmar Brok, c’est une question de confiance. Le mot «confiance» est beaucoup plus qu’un mot, à ce stade, entre les Britanniques et nous, parce qu’on ne peut pas bâtir une future relation en matière de défense, de sécurité, de coopération judiciaire, pour l’université, pour le commerce évidemment, sans avoir la confiance.

Just one word about the context of these negotiations: they are difficult, and they are tough, very tough, because the issues are extremely complicated and because the consequences of the Brexit are very serious. I personally want to say, in response to a Member of the House of Commons, that Prime Minister Theresa May is courageous and respectable. I certainly respect her.

Je voudrais dire maintenant, comme Syed Kamall, Gabriele Zimmer et Manfred Weber ont évoqué la future relation, qu’il y a, avec cet accord sur le rapport conjoint, un pas important qui est fait dans la direction d’un retrait ordonné – et c’est la condition, ce retrait ordonné –, à travers un traité qui vous sera soumis, et vous aurez le dernier mot – pour bâtir une relation future.

De ce point de vue-là, je voudrais juste insister sur un point sur lequel nous reviendrons. C’est la première fois dans l’histoire des négociations commerciales européennes – et nous aurons à bâtir un accord de libre-échange avec le Royaume-Uni –, que nous allons devoir, dans une relation commerciale négociée, travailler à maîtriser la divergence plutôt qu’à encourager la convergence. Nous allons devoir maîtriser la divergence réglementaire, éviter qu’elle ne devienne un outil de dumping contre nous, plutôt que d’encourager la convergence, comme nous le faisons habituellement. C’est un point très important qui touche au mode de vie, qu’évoquait tout à l’heure Manfred Weber, et également aux conditions de concurrence équitables.

Voilà c’est un fil conducteur, Madame Berès, en effet, que ce rapport conjoint, dans la direction d’un accord, comme l’a dit également très bien Danuta Maria Hübner.

Maria João Rodrigues, tout à l’heure, comme Daniel Caspary et d’autres, ont évoqué les réformes dont l’Europe a besoin. Le président Timmermans en a parlé. Je pense, je redis que l’avenir de l’Europe, qui est fait de ces réformes, de ce volontarisme, est bien plus important que le Brexit. C’est aussi pourquoi, je pense qu’il fallait stabiliser cette négociation, pour que l’énergie, votre énergie et l’énergie des Européens soient consacrées à cet agenda de réformes.

Je vous remercie beaucoup, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, de l’appréciation que vous avez portée sur notre travail. Je partagerai cette appréciation sans aucune autosatisfaction et encore moins avec triomphalisme. Ce n’est vraiment pas l’état d’esprit qui est le mien. Je partagerai cette appréciation avec toute mon équipe, les services de la Commission, avec l’équipe du Parlement, l’équipe du Conseil, qui le méritent.

Si je peux me permettre de conclure en anglais:

Let us keep calm and continue.


  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, I would like to thank Members for all their comments made during this discussion this morning. I will convey them to the President of the European Council.

One observation from me, though. During the last 18 months we have successfully avoided Brexit negotiations – so skilfully conducted by Michel Barnier – overshadowing the EU’s other daily work for our citizens’, for our businesses’ sake. That is good. And when I hear this discussion this morning in this House, I notice a slight a similarity with a wider topic, that of migration, to be discussed by our leaders later this week. It is clear to everybody that solutions to the migration crisis can only be comprehensive. There can only be European solutions, and this is the spirit of leaders’ discussions this week as is clear from the letter of President Tusk, if you read it in full. So let us not let this one line in President Tusk’s letter overshadow the wide content of leaders’ discussions or prejudge its results. Let it not overshadow all the Union’s achievements in the field of defence, social, education, culture, digital, etc., that will be on the European Council agenda later this week.


  La Présidente. – J’ai reçu, conformément à l’article 123, paragraphe 2, du règlement, deux propositions de résolution.

Le débat est clos.

Le vote aura lieu dans quelques minutes.

Déclarations écrites (article 162)


  Clara Eugenia Aguilera García (S&D), por escrito. – La carta sobre migración que ha enviado el presidente Donald Tusk a los Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno para su debate en el próximo Consejo Europeo resulta inaceptable. El señor Tusk parece demostrar que hay corazones que no sienten aunque vean en directo el sufrimiento humano. Tampoco escucha, porque no ha escuchado a este Parlamento, ni está escuchando los esfuerzos que está haciendo la Comisión. El Consejo Europeo parece insistir en un camino sobre migración y refugio probadamente equivocado que consiste en alejar, en hacer fronteras más grandes, en impedir cada vez de manera más acuciante las vías legales para la migración. Un camino probadamente erróneo. Esto es lo que el presidente Tusk presenta en su carta. La propuesta resulta antieuropea porque quebranta uno de los principales pilares del proyecto europeo: la solidaridad. De esta manera, el presidente del Consejo Europeo está liquidando el prestigio de la Unión Europea y sus valores. No debe sorprendernos que los populismos antieuropeos estén ganando la batalla.


  Monika Beňová (S&D), písomne. – Pokrok v prvej fáze sa po mnohých kolách rokovaní podarilo dosiahnuť až uplynulý týždeň. Britská strana konečne prejavila ochotu do budúcnosti garantovať práva občanov EÚ žijúcich na jej území, ako aj ich rodinných príslušníkov. Rovnaké záruky budú platiť aj pre Britov v krajinách EÚ. Takýto nediskriminačný prístup bol jednou z podmienok posunu rokovaní do druhej fázy. Ďalšie sa týkali najmä hraníc s Írskom a finančných záväzkov Veľkej Británie, ktoré si napriek svojmu odchodu bude musieť naozaj dôsledne splniť. Definitívny prechod do druhej fázy rozhovorov by mali na konci tohto týždňa odsúhlasiť vedúci predstavitelia členských štátov na rokovaní Európskej rady v Bruseli. Podstatné je, aby sa britskí politici aj v ďalšom období prestali hrať na hrdinov a vyvarovali sa arogantných návrhov, ktorými chceli európskych občanov na svojom území postihovať a vytvárať z nich ľudí druhej kategórie.


  Soledad Cabezón Ruiz (S&D), por escrito. – La carta sobre migración que ha enviado el presidente Donald Tusk a los Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno para su debate en el próximo Consejo Europeo resulta inaceptable. El señor Tusk parece demostrar que hay corazones que no sienten aunque vean en directo el sufrimiento humano. Tampoco escucha, porque no ha escuchado a este Parlamento, ni está escuchando los esfuerzos que está haciendo la Comisión. El Consejo Europeo parece insistir en un camino sobre migración y refugio probadamente equivocado que consiste en alejar, en hacer fronteras más grandes, en impedir cada vez de manera más acuciante las vías legales para la migración. Un camino probadamente erróneo. Esto es lo que el presidente Tusk presenta en su carta. La propuesta resulta antieuropea porque quebranta uno de los principales pilares del proyecto europeo: la solidaridad. De esta manera, el presidente del Consejo Europeo está liquidando el prestigio de la Unión Europea y sus valores. No debe sorprendernos que los populismos antieuropeos estén ganando la batalla.


  Birgit Collin-Langen (PPE), schriftlich. – Ich unterstütze den Entschließungsantrag. Es wurde in den letzten Wochen ein Fortschritt in den für uns wichtigen Fragen der Situation der Unionsbürger, der irisch-irischen Grenze und der Frage der finanziellen Verpflichtungen erreicht. Jetzt gilt es, sich an diese Absprachen zu halten und die Vertrauensbasis für die sich jetzt anschließenden Verhandlungen über die zukünftigen Beziehungen der EU und des Vereinigten Königreichs nicht zu demolieren.


  Iratxe García Pérez (S&D), por escrito. – La carta sobre migración que ha enviado el presidente Donald Tusk a los Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno para su debate en el próximo Consejo Europeo resulta inaceptable. El señor Tusk parece demostrar que hay corazones que no sienten aunque vean en directo el sufrimiento humano. Tampoco escucha, porque no ha escuchado a este Parlamento, ni está escuchando los esfuerzos que está haciendo la Comisión. El Consejo Europeo parece insistir en un camino sobre migración y refugio probadamente equivocado que consiste en alejar, en hacer fronteras más grandes, en impedir cada vez de manera más acuciante las vías legales para la migración. Un camino probadamente erróneo. Esto es lo que el presidente Tusk presenta en su carta. La propuesta resulta antieuropea porque quebranta uno de los principales pilares del proyecto europeo: la solidaridad. De esta manera, el presidente del Consejo Europeo está liquidando el prestigio de la Unión Europea y sus valores. No debe sorprendernos que los populismos antieuropeos estén ganando la batalla.


  Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D), por escrito. – La carta sobre migración que ha enviado el presidente Donald Tusk a los Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno para su debate en el próximo Consejo Europeo resulta inaceptable. El señor Tusk parece demostrar que hay corazones que no sienten aunque vean en directo el sufrimiento humano. Tampoco escucha, porque no ha escuchado a este Parlamento, ni está escuchando los esfuerzos que está haciendo la Comisión. El Consejo Europeo parece insistir en un camino sobre migración y refugio probadamente equivocado que consiste en alejar, en hacer fronteras más grandes, en impedir cada vez de manera más acuciante las vías legales para la migración. Un camino probadamente erróneo. Esto es lo que el presidente Tusk presenta en su carta. La propuesta resulta antieuropea porque quebranta uno de los principales pilares del proyecto europeo: la solidaridad. De esta manera, el presidente del Consejo Europeo está liquidando el prestigio de la Unión Europea y sus valores. No debe sorprendernos que los populismos antieuropeos estén ganando la batalla.


  Agnes Jongerius (S&D), schriftelijk. –De afgelopen maanden heb ik veel berichten ontvangen van zowel Britse burgers die op het vasteland wonen als Europeanen die gehuisvest zijn in het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Vaak gaat het om gezinnen met meerdere nationaliteiten. Het is niet voor niets dat vier van de vijf punten uit de resolutie die nu voorligt, gaan over de rechten van burgers. Ondanks dat May heeft gezegd dat de rechten van beide groepen hetzelfde blijven nadat het Verenigd Koninkrijk de EU heeft verlaten, begrijp ik hun zorgen. Immers, er zijn nog geen harde garanties. Maar daarmee houden mijn zorgen niet op. Hoe staat het immers bijvoorbeeld met de sociale rechten van onze burgers? Dit onderwerp lijkt ondergesneeuwd te worden, maar met de onlangs afgekondigde sociale pijler is het des te belangrijker. Deze pijler is mede namens het VK ondertekend. Het kan niet zo zijn dat de uitkomst van de onderhandelingen betekent dat de sociale bescherming, zowel in het Verenigd Koninkrijk als de Europese Unie, wordt uitgehold. Sterker nog: concurrentie inzake sociale bescherming is gewoon onacceptabel.


  Csaba Molnár (S&D), írásban. – Jean Claude Juncker nemrégiben bejelentette, hogy az Európai Unió komoly forrásokkal segítené az eurót bevezetni kívánó tagállamokat. Persze, ehhez akarni is kell a közös valutát. A mostani uniós kezdeményezés történelmi lehetőség Magyarországnak. Európa pénzt adna arra, hogy modernizáljuk a magyar gazdaságot és az otthoni életszínvonalat a nyugatihoz közelítsük. További uniós forrásokhoz férhetnénk hozzá és a magyar gazdaságot az eurózóna teljes tűzereje védené. Mindezt ingyen, nem a mi verejtékünkkel.

Ehhez csak egy dologra van szükség: az euró melletti elköteleződésre. A 2004-ben csatlakozott 10 tagállamból már hét bevezette az eurót, a többiek pedig tervezik, nemrégiben a bolgárok és a csehek kértek megfigyelői státuszt. A jelenlegi magyar kormány azonban nem tervezi a közös valuta bevezetését. Ez komoly hiba. Az euró bevezetése pedig csak előnyökkel járna.

Az euróval csökkenne az államadósság, megszűnne az árfolyamkockázat, amely segítené a devizahiteleseket. Az euró bevezetésével a magyar megtakarításokat az EU védené, nem pedig a gyenge magyar betétalap, amely egy kisebb vidéki takarékszövetkezet csődjét is nehezen bírja. Ha lenne euró, a magyarok éveken belül uniós munkanélküli segélyt kaphatnának. Az euró bevezetése a magyar emberek érdeke. Most még pénzt is kapunk érte. Nem érdemes elszalasztani.


  Péter Niedermüller (S&D), írásban. – Súlyos aggodalommal figyelem azokat a folyamatokat, amelyek az utóbbi időben az Európai Tanácsban elindultak. Miközben a Bizottság és a Parlament jelentős erőfeszítéseket tesz annak érdekében, hogy a jelenlegi kihívásoknak megfelelő közös európai menekültügyi rendszert hozzon létre, úgy tűnik, hogy az Európai Tanácsot továbbra is a napi politikai szempontok és az olcsó taktikázás jellemzi.

Ennek a felelőtlen időhúzásnak hosszabb távon Európa polgárai lesznek a vesztesei, és a szélsőjobboldali pártok a nyertesei. Különösen aggasztónak tartom Tusk elnök úr legutóbbi nyilatkozatát, amelyben megkérdőjelezi a közös európai menekültügyi politika lényeges elemeit. Súlyos hiba, ha az Európai Tanács, vagy annak az elnöke enged néhány, szélsőjobboldali kalandorok által vezetett kormány zsarolásának, és hátat fordít az Európai Unió alapértékeinek.

A politikai haszon megszerzése érdekében gátlástalanul uszító politikusoknak tett engedmények nem egységet teremtenek, hanem éppen ellenkezőleg, aláássák az Európai Unió egységének erkölcsi és jogi alapjait. A további halogatás, a szolidaritás elvének megtagadása, elvtelen kompromisszumok keresése, a legitim döntések utólagos megkérdőjelezése csak zűrzavarhoz és az európai intézményekbe vetett bizalom gyengüléséhez vezet. Európa polgárai azt várják, hogy az uniós intézmények megoldást találjanak a problémákra és határozottan utasítsák vissza az európai alapértékeket aláásó demagógiát.


  Evelyn Regner (S&D), schriftlich. – Aus der ersten Verhandlungsrunde haben wir ein paar wichtige Eckpunkte mitnehmen können. Ich erwarte mir aber noch mehr Präzision der wichtigsten Eckpunkte: die Rechte der EU-Bürgerinnen und —Bürger im UK und umgekehrt, die Übernahme der Kosten des Brexit und die nordirische Grenze. Weiters muss alles unternommen werden, um zu verhindern, dass das UK sich nach dem Brexit mit Steuergoodies als Finanzschauplatz profiliert und zu einer neuen Steueroase wird. Fakt ist, dass das UK weiterhin ein starker wirtschaftlicher Partner der Europäischen Union sein wird. Wie genau diese Partnerschaft aussehen wird, muss noch in den nächsten Verhandlungsrunden geklärt werden. Die EU-Mitgliedstaaten und auch wir im EU-Parlament müssen weiterhin unseren Standpunkt geschlossen und nachdrücklich vertreten. Eines ist klar: Die Menschen stehen im Mittelpunkt, für die wir einen klaren Rechtsrahmen und faire Bedingungen schaffen müssen. Es gibt noch viel zu tun!


  Ivan Štefanec (PPE), písomne. – Mimoriadne vítam, že aj predseda Európskej rady Donald Tusk verejne vyhlásil, že povinné kvóty na migrantov sa ukázali ako neefektívne a v praxi nevykonateľné. Musíme spoločne hľadať iné riešenia, ktoré budú založené na dodržiavaní existujúcich pravidiel. Rovnako je dôležitá aj prísna ochrana hraníc, na ktorej sa musia podieľať všetky členské štáty. S posilňovaním európskej bezpečnosti úzko súvisí aj stratégia PESCO, do ktorej Slovensko vstúpilo. Keďže PESCO predpokladá čiastočnú unifikáciu vybavenia ozbrojených síl členských štátov, nie je mi jasné, prečo Slovenská republika ide predlžovať životnosť ruských supersonických bojových lietadiel Mig-29, namiesto nákupu nových strojov. Túto dichotómiu by mal Robert Fico spolu s ministrom obrany naši partnerom vysvetliť. Pri príprave rokovaniach o brexite sa budú vlády členských štátov konečne môcť oprieť o konkrétne návrh z britskej strany. Očakávam, že stanovisko Európskej rady bude rovnaké ako stanovisko Európskeho parlamentu, teda, že prioritou je zachovanie práv našich občanov, ktorí vo Veľkej Británii žijú.


  Tibor Szanyi (S&D), írásban. – Mostani plenáris vitánk napirendje is tükrözi: az EU állam- és kormányfői eheti ülésüket újfent túlnyomórészt a Brexit- tárgyalásokkal kapcsolatos uniós érdekek és tárgyalási pozíciók egyeztetésének kell, hogy szenteljék. Minden ilyen alkalommal fontosnak tartom emlékeztetni arra, hogy az európai építkezést feleslegesen akadályozó, minden szereplő számára káros helyzetet egy brit jobboldali kormány felelőtlen politikai taktikázása és az Európa-ellenes, populista, nacionalista demagógia idézte elő.

Ezt szerintem a tárgyalási folyamat során végig fontos tanulságként kell szem előtt tartanunk, miközben a brit fél a saját maga által előidézett probléma kezelésén, az EU tárgyalói pedig az európai polgároknak okozott károk korlátozásán fáradoznak. Ebben a helyzetben önmagában üdvözlöm, hogy a tárgyalások mostani szakaszában végre megszületett a továbblépéshez szükséges elvi egyetértés három lényeges keretfeltétel tekintetében.

Az Európai Parlamentnek kiemelt feladata lesz annak szavatolásában, hogy e megállapodásokat teljes egészében, jóhiszeműen ültessék át a majdani végleges megállapodásba, s hogy állampolgáraink polgári és szociális jogai – akár a tagállamokban, akár a brit szigeteken élnek és dolgoznak – csorbítatlanul érvényesüljenek az elfogadott átmeneti időszakban és a Brexit után is. Magyar képviselőként külön figyelek rá, hogy sajnálatosan számos érintett honfitársamat - akik zöme fiatal szakemberként éppen az autoriter Orbán-rezsim gazdasági korlátai és politikai kényszerei elől keres menedéket Nagy-Britanniában – valamint családjukat ne érhesse további joghátrány.


  Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski (PPE), na piśmie. – Tym razem kolejna runda negocjacji pomiędzy Komisją Europejską a Wielką Brytanią zakończyła się sukcesem, umiarkowanym i późnym, ale to dobrze, że w tym roku. Komisja oświadczyła, że „wystarczający postęp” został osiągnięty i w dzisiejszej rezolucji Parlament Europejski rekomenduje Radzie przejście do drugiego etapu rozmów na temat przyszłej umowy o partnerstwie.

Rezolucja PE zwraca uwagę na liczne aspekty, które powinny zostać uwzględnione w drugiej turze negocjacji, dotyczące głównie praw obywatelskich i przyszłej umowy handlowej, ale także przyszłej współpracy w zakresie polityki zagranicznej i bezpieczeństwa.

Z punktu widzenia grupy monitorującej negocjacje w obszarze kultury, której przewodniczę, ważny pozostaje również udział Wielkiej Brytanii we flagowym programie UE Erasmus+. Wielka Brytania przyjmuje rocznie 200 000 studentów z państw członkowskich UE, co stanowi 28% wszystkich studentów biorących udział w wymianach i jest najchętniej wybieranym kierunkiem. Ponadto studenci, którzy rozpoczną naukę przed dniem wyjścia Wielkiej Brytanii muszą mieć pewność, że będą mogli ukończyć kurs na tych samych warunkach, na jakich go rozpoczęli, oraz że nadal będą mieli dostęp do wsparcia finansowego na takich samych warunkach.

Kolejna, szczególnie ważna, ponieważ dotyczy tysięcy młodych osób, pozostaje kwestia uznawalności wykształcenia. Studenci muszą mieć pewność, że uzyskane kwalifikacje zostaną uznane zarówno w UE, jak i w Zjednoczonym Królestwie.


  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D), por escrito. – A melhor evolução para as negociações entre a União Europeia (UE) e o Reino Unido (RU) seria aquela que pudesse conduzir à permanência do RU na UE. Existe, no entanto, um mandato democrático do eleitorado britânico para a negociação da saída, que deve ser respeitado enquanto for essa a vontade expressa desse eleitorado ou de quem o representa. Neste quadro, a resolução conjunta do Parlamento Europeu sobre o processo negocial para a saída do RU da UE, afirma uma linha sensata de negociação, defende os interesses da UE e os direitos dos seus cidadãos no processo de saída e avança, desde já, as linhas gerais de um referencial para a cooperação futura que poderá minimizar os danos da saída e preservar um bom relacionamento entre os povos. A resolução em debate constitui, por isso, um bom texto de compromisso, que reitera as linhas vermelhas definidas para a negociação definidas pelo Parlamento Europeu, identifica pontos a salvaguardar no processo negocial no campo dos direitos, da questão da Irlanda e da compensação financeira e delimita o futuro quadro potencial de associação entre a UE e o RU enquanto país externo à União.


(La séance est suspendue quelques instants)



Pravno obvestilo - Varstvo osebnih podatkov