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Debates
Tuesday, 22 October 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

3. Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019 (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Presidente. – L’ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle dichiarazioni del Consiglio europeo e della Commissione sulle conclusioni della riunione del Consiglio europeo del 17 e 18 ottobre 2019 (2019/2721(RSP)).

Prima di aprire la discussione, desidero informarvi che, per chiedere di intervenire secondo la procedura "catch-the-eye" e "cartellino blu", è possibile utilizzare sia la "registrazione standard" sia il nuovo sistema che consente ai deputati di registrarsi elettronicamente. Vi invito pertanto a portare sempre con voi la scheda di voto.

Qualora vogliate registrarvi per il "catch-the-eye", vi invito a farlo fin d’ora, senza aspettare la fine della discussione.

 
  
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  Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. – Mr President, allow me to present my last report from the European Council. Let us focus on three matters.

Firstly, the European Council condemned Turkey’s unilateral military action in North East Syria. No one is fooled by the so‑called ceasefire. Turkey needs to end its military action permanently, withdraw its forces and respect international humanitarian law. Any other course means unacceptable human suffering, a victory for Daesh and a serious threat to European security. The European Council also reconfirmed its full solidarity with Cyprus, faced with Turkey’s illegal drillings off its coast.

When it comes to Brexit, the European Council endorsed the deal reached by our negotiator and Prime Minister Johnson’s Government. As you know, it is based on the deal that we agreed with the previous Government. The changes concern the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, formerly known as the backstop. Prime Minister Johnson’s acceptance to have customs checks at the points of entry into Northern Ireland will allow us to avoid border checks between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will ensure the integrity of the single market. The revised deal was possible and acceptable to the EU because: firstly, it had the support of Ireland; secondly, it had the support of the Commission, ensuring that all our negotiating objectives were met; and, thirdly, because it avoids a chaotic no-deal Brexit.

On the Council side, we have just finalised the necessary steps for the EU’s approval, and the legal texts are now with you. The European Parliament has a role to play, and it is an important one. The situation is quite complex following events over the weekend in the UK and the British request for an extension of the Article 50 process. I am consulting the leaders on how to react, and will decide in the coming days. It is obvious that the result of these consultations will very much depend on what the British Parliament decides, or doesn’t decide. We should be ready for every scenario. But one thing must be clear: as I said to Prime Minister Johnson on Saturday, a no-deal Brexit will never be our decision.

(Applause)

Finally, the leaders held a difficult debate on enlargement. Following the clear recommendation by the Commission, an overwhelming majority of Member States wanted to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania. Despite this, the required unanimity was not possible last week. In my opinion, this was a mistake, as I have said to the leaders ...

(Applause)

and I was a bit more direct then. Now I can only hope that the leaders draw the right conclusions when they discuss the accession process before the Zagreb summit in May 2020.

Together with Commission President-elect von der Leyen, the leaders also discussed the future of the European Union in terms of its strategic agenda, the future EU budget and the incoming Commission’s priorities. We are determined that the EU leads the way in fighting the climate crisis. A socially just transition to a green economy is not only a necessity but also an opportunity to improve our environment, while creating jobs.

As this is my last appearance here with Jean-Claude Juncker, I would like to express my greatest appreciation of him and his work. These were a difficult five years for the Union, but we have always cooperated in good faith. Our respective roles and different perspectives sometimes meant political disagreements. But I can say without hesitation that Jean-Claude has always been devoted to Europe and served Europe well. And I am honoured to call you my friend, Jean-Claude. Thank you.

(Applause)

I also want to thank the European Parliament for five years of good cooperation. That does not mean that we have always agreed. Quite the contrary. But I have always respected you, honourable Members, knowing that we share the same goal: to protect our Union and our people. Thank you very much.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the Commission. – Mr President, it was an emotional moment for me last week when I attended my last European Council together with my good friend Donald Tusk. We are today debating the 147th European Council of my political career – the147th or 148th, I don’t know exactly.

Today is the 105th time that I have addressed you in this plenary, the beating heart of European democracy. In many of these 105 debates, I have had to discuss the UK’s departure from the European Union with you. In truth, it has pained me to spend so much of this term of office dealing with Brexit, when I have been thinking of nothing else than how this Union could do better for its citizens. A waste of time and a waste of energy!

The Commission has worked tirelessly to negotiate and renegotiate an agreement with the United Kingdom to respect the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. We now have a new agreement, which again creates the legal certainty for an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. It took a huge amount of work to arrive at this point. I listened to Prime Minister Johnson in the same way as I listened to Prime Minister May. Our negotiators, mainly Michel Barnier, have once again worked around the clock and once again they have shown creativity and determination. The agreement we have reached with the United Kingdom Government addresses this Parliament’s demands – all Parliament’s demands.

I will always regret the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the Union, but at least we can look ourselves in the eye and say that we have done all in our power to make sure that this departure is orderly. In this same spirit, we have done everything in our power to prepare the European Union for all eventualities, irrespective of what is happening on the other side of the channel. We need now to watch events in Westminster very closely, but it’s not possible – not imaginable – that this Parliament would ratify the agreement before Westminster has ratified it. First London, then Brussels and Strasbourg.

(Applause)

Wir haben uns, Herr Präsident, anlässlich des Europäischen Rates auch ausführlich mit dem finanziellen Rahmen für die nächste Siebenjahresperiode beschäftigt. Ich möchte hier noch einmal zu Protokoll geben, dass ich der Auffassung bin, dass die Zeit abläuft, die gebraucht werden wird, um zu einer Einigung im Rat und später anderswo zu kommen. Wenn wir weiter Zeit verlieren, werden wir in den ersten zwei Jahren des finanziellen Rahmens in finanzielle Engpässe kommen. Wichtig ist aber, dass die Mitgliedstaaten und andere Akteure wissen, welcher Finanzrahmen für die nächste Siebenjahresperiode gilt. Das brauchen junge Erasmus-Studenten, das brauchen Forscher, das brauchen viele andere, und wir haben eigentlich nicht das Recht, diese für das Gelingen des europäischen Projekts wichtigen Partner vor den Kopf zu stoßen, nur weil wir unfähig sind, uns zu einigen.

Aber ich möchte ganz klar sagen: Das von der Kommission vorgeschlagene Haushaltsvolumen ist ein Minimum – ein Minimum! Die Vorschläge, die jetzt auf dem Tisch liegen – auch die jüngsten Vorschläge des finnischen Ratsvorsitzes –, sind nicht akzeptabel! Man kann Europa und seine Zukunft nicht mit einem Prozent des Bruttosozialprodukts gestalten. Dies wird nicht möglich sein.

(Beifall)

Et puis, Monsieur le président, nous avons parlé de l’élargissement.

Je suis très déçu de la décision ou de la non-décision du Conseil européen. La Macédoine du Nord et l’Albanie étaient en droit d’attendre qu’on ouvre les négociations avec ces pays qui ont fait de grands efforts. C’est une lourde erreur de ne pas avoir ouvert les négociations avec ces deux pays. C’est une lourde erreur parce qu’elle frappe deux pays au cœur. C’est une lourde erreur parce que, si l’Union européenne donne l’impression de faire des promesses et de ne pas les respecter, personne ne nous respectera à travers le monde.

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Ich möchte mich zunächst bei Donald Tusk für seine fünf Jahre Arbeit für das gemeinsame Haus Europa bedanken. Er hat den schwierigen Europäischen Rat zusammengehalten, hat seinen Beitrag geleistet, dass auch auf diesem schwierigen Level Fortschritte erzielt worden sind. Du hattest darauf verwiesen, dass wir alle für die gemeinsame Idee stehen. Ich glaube, man kann festhalten, dass es hier in diesem Haus leichter ist, diese gemeinsame Idee zu verteidigen als in Deinem Gremium, im Europäischen Rat. Deswegen: Danke für Deine Arbeit, auch im Namen der gesamten EVP-Fraktion.

Der letzte Europäische Rat hat in Sachen Türkei leider Gottes nicht die Entscheidungen gefällt, die wir uns gewünscht haben. Wir haben es mit einem völkerrechtswidrigen Einmarsch in Syrien zu tun. Die Kurden waren unsere Partner im Kampf gegen den islamistischen Terror. Über 11 000 Kurden wurden getötet in diesem Kampf. Es sind 12 000 IS-Kämpfer in den dortigen Camps untergebracht, von denen wir jetzt nicht wissen, ob sie freikommen oder nicht. Und deswegen ist es schade, dass der Europäische Rat sich nicht zu weitergehenden Maßnahmen durchringen konnte.

Die Liste der Vorgänge in der Türkei ist mittlerweile lang. Wir haben die illegalen Bohrungen in Zypern, wir haben die Einschränkung der Pressefreiheit, die Drohungen mit Flüchtlingen und jetzt eben den völkerrechtswidrigen Einmarsch in Syrien. Deswegen stellen sich schon viele die Frage: Wo ist das klare Signal Europas? Wo ist dieses Signal, dass wir das entsprechend verurteilen? Wir sprechen – und auch im Rat war das so – von Betroffenheit, wir sind betroffen – aber das reicht in diesen Zeiten nicht. Möglichkeiten gäbe es genug. Wir als EVP sind der Meinung: Solange die Türkei dieses aggressive Verhalten an den Tag legt, müssen wir auch über Konsequenzen, auch über wirtschaftliche Konsequenzen reden. Es kann nicht sein, dass die Türkei dauerhaft von der Zollunion, von dem wirtschaftlichen Zugang zum europäischen Binnenmarkt profitiert und andererseits aggressives Verhalten an den Tag legt.

Das Zweite, was uns bewegt, ist natürlich der MFR – die Finanzfragen. Der finnische Vorschlag ist schlicht und einfach eine Provokation für das Europäische Parlament. Jean-Claude Juncker hat zum Ausdruck gebracht, dass das nicht ausreicht, um die Zukunftsthemen zu beantworten. Und ich möchte schon deutlich machen, dass das Europäische Parlament im MFR am Ende auch eine Rolle zu spielen hat. Der Rat sollte nicht riskieren, dass die Vorschläge für die Zukunft dann am Schluss im Europäischen Parlament scheitern. Deswegen werbe ich dafür, dass die Europäische Union sachgerecht ausgestattet wird. Neue Aufgaben bedeuten auch neue Gelder, die bereitgestellt werden müssen. Und bereits der Haushalt 2020, der in wenigen Tagen auf dem Tisch liegen wird, ist dafür ein Vorspiel. Es kann nicht sein, dass wir gerade bei Zukunft, bei Forschung, bei Jugend, bei Erasmus kürzen. Wir als EVP-Fraktion werden das nicht mittragen.

Und dann, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, haben wir den historischen Fehler des Rates von letzter Woche: Nordmazedonien und Albanien wird die Beitrittsperspektive versagt. Wir stehen vor der Frage, ob wir Stabilität in den Balkan exportieren oder ob wir Instabilität vom Balkan nach Europa importieren. Vor dieser Frage stehen wir. Insofern gab es letzte Woche ein schweres Versagen des Europäischen Rates in dieser historischen Frage. Wir haben den Ländern viel abverlangt: Nordmazedonien musste sogar den Namen des Landes ändern, um eine Beitrittsperspektive zu bekommen. Sie haben sich bemüht, sie haben sich angestrengt, und jetzt wird ihnen die Tür zugeschlagen. Es ist ein schwerer Glaubwürdigkeitsverlust, den wir erleben und den die Staats- und Regierungschefs zu verantworten haben.

(Beifall)

Ich bin sehr dafür, dass wir Strukturen prüfen. Jetzt wird diskutiert, ob wir zukünftig Erweiterungsprozesse anders managen. Das hört man vor allem aus Paris. Da bin ich sehr dafür. Aber hat man das Nordmazedonien auch vorher schon gesagt, hat man das Albanien vorher schon gesagt? Nein, man hat es nicht gesagt. Und deswegen dürfen wir nicht Themen miteinander verquicken, die nicht direkt miteinander verbunden waren.

Ich möchte noch auf einen parteipolitischen Aspekt eingehen dürfen. Die EVP-Vertreter im Europäischen Rat haben alle geschlossen die Beitrittsperspektive von Nordmazedonien und Albanien unterstützt. Es waren hauptsächlich zwei Renew-Vertreter, es waren Emmanuel Macron und Mark Rutte, die massiv gegen die zwei Länder Opposition bezogen haben. Ich werbe dafür, dass wir es gemeinsam als Parteien schaffen, diesen Ländern eine Perspektive zu geben.

A last word on Brexit for this week. We can simply say: let’s wait and let’s have a cup of coffee for what will happen in the next hours in London – a coffee, yes, a tea, you’re right. Sorry for this. It was a more European perspective.

It is positive that we have a compromise – that Michel and the negotiator in London, and finally, Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker, found a compromise: no hard border, but on the other hand, no backstop. So I think for both sides it’s a good compromise.

Now the procedure is in our hands. The House of Commons, the upper house (the Lords) will decide, and then we have finally to see the outcome – whether the amendments will be accepted or not. So we are still in the hands of London. We are waiting for London, and for us as the European Parliament, I would say we have the same right to do a proper assessment about the text which is on our table. There is no need to rush. There is no need to hurry up. We have the same rights to discuss it at the level of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (AFCO), and then finally here in the plenary, after the discussions at group level. But that’s why I see no chance that this week we will have any kind of decision.

So the European Parliament is the last (let me say) institution who has to make the final assessment, and that is not only a technical assessment – we do a political assessment on the Treaty. But the last days gave us the opportunity that we finally managed a good development on Brexit in this negative case of the Brexit, and a good chance that we keep friendship between Europe and Great Britain, to look for a good development also in the future.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señor Tusk, también quiero aprovechar este debate para trasladarle un mensaje de reconocimiento en nombre de mi Grupo. Es cierto que han sido muchos los momentos de desencuentro entre el Consejo y este Parlamento Europeo, pero también es importante reconocer el esfuerzo que en muchas ocasiones usted, a nivel personal, ha puesto para conseguir que haya objetivos comunes por los que trabajar.

Señor presidente, señorías, este Consejo Europeo tiene —tenía— una relevancia especial por el momento en el que nos encontramos: por un lado, pendientes del Brexit y, por otro, del inicio de la legislatura, que será crucial y para la que aún no tenemos presupuesto. El Brexit está siendo un proceso difícil y doloroso para todos. Los socialdemócratas siempre hemos deseado que el Reino Unido permanezca en la Unión, y en este proceso cada paso es importante. También lo fue el paso que dio el Parlamento del Reino Unido este sábado, adoptando una enmienda que evita el precipicio de un Brexit sin acuerdo. Ahora le corresponde a la Cámara de los Comunes continuar con el procedimiento y pronunciarse sobre el acuerdo. Solo en ese momento, en cuanto sepamos cuál es la decisión de ese Parlamento, este —el Parlamento Europeo— asumirá su responsabilidad y actuará en consecuencia.

Desde aquí quiero agradecer el trabajo y los esfuerzos de Michel Barnier y la unidad que mostraron los Veintisiete, porque sabemos que la unión hace la fuerza. Esa misma determinación y coherencia, que el Consejo ha sabido mantener durante las negociaciones del Brexit, deberíamos mostrarla ahora para marcar el rumbo que necesitamos en la Unión Europea para los próximos cinco años. Si queremos ser creíbles, ya es hora de pasar de las palabras a la acción.

En las pasadas elecciones, la ciudadanía nos ha pedido una nueva Europa más ecológica, más firme en la defensa del estado de Derecho, más comprometida con los derechos sociales y la igualdad, y más transparente en su toma de decisiones. Por eso, esperamos que el Consejo Europeo muestre más liderazgo y compromiso con los desafíos que se enfrentan ahora mismo.

En primavera, la Comisión Europea apostó por una Europa climáticamente neutra en 2050. Desafortunadamente, esa propuesta todavía no tiene el apoyo unánime de los jefes de gobierno y, pese a ello, los socialdemócratas hemos logrado que el denominado «New Green Deal» sea una prioridad absoluta para la futura Comisión. Pero solo tendrá éxito si ponemos todos los recursos necesarios. No aceptaremos que sean los trabajadores, las pequeñas empresas o las familias quienes paguen la factura de la transición ecológica. Debemos acordar un plan de inversión que financie esa transición de manera justa, y eso solo podremos conseguirlo con un marco financiero ambicioso.

El Parlamento Europeo estableció sus objetivos para el presupuesto en noviembre de 2018, y desde entonces estamos esperando al Consejo. Nuestra posición se mantiene firme: solo apoyaremos un presupuesto con nuevos recursos propios que reflejen las prioridades de la Unión y, así, seremos capaces de impulsar nuevos instrumentos, sin reducir la financiación de políticas que son fundamentales para la Unión Europea: la agricultura, la cohesión, la pesca... Debemos garantizar recursos suficientes para abordar nuevos desafíos, como la migración, la acción exterior y la defensa, y también tenemos que responder a las dificultades económicas que sufren muchos ciudadanos. Hemos logrado incluir como prioridades de la próxima Comisión un seguro de desempleo europeo, medidas para combatir la pobreza infantil y la Garantía Juvenil. En definitiva, solo apoyaremos un presupuesto ambicioso para que Europa crezca. Ese es el objetivo: que Europa crezca. Por esa razón, no aceptaremos nada por debajo del 1,3 % de la renta nacional bruta. Sin la financiación adecuada, ¿qué Gobierno europeo asumirá su responsabilidad cuando la Comisión no sea capaz de cumplir con su programa?

La Unión Europea también pierde credibilidad cuando pide reformas a sus vecinos y luego les deja esperando en la puerta una vez que han cumplido. Por ello, seguiremos apoyando el inicio de las negociaciones de adhesión con Macedonia del Norte y Albania. Por supuesto que queda mucho por hacer y las negociaciones son un largo camino, pero su culminación debe completarse como un salvavidas para la Unión Europea.

Completar la adhesión de los Balcanes occidentales no solo contribuye a la estabilidad de la región, sino que garantiza también la seguridad de toda la Unión.

Y también esperamos más ambición en la esfera internacional. Apoyamos la condena del Consejo a Turquía por su intervención militar, aunque lamentamos la falta de medidas concretas. Y en este punto no quiero dejar pasar la oportunidad de trasladar un mensaje de solidaridad y apoyo a Chipre: no permitiremos que Turquía siga con sus perforaciones ilegales en la zona económica exclusiva de Chipre y pedimos que se respete su soberanía.

Colegas, queda mucho trabajo por hacer. La ambición es necesaria y el compromiso de trabajo compartido por todos es fundamental. Este Parlamento Europeo estará a la altura de las circunstancias. Espero que el Consejo también sea consciente de la gran responsabilidad que tiene en estos momentos en sus manos.

 
  
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  Dacian Cioloş, au nom du groupe Renew. – Monsieur le Président, tout d'abord, je m’adresserai à Donald: tu approches de la fin de ton mandat, j'ai eu l'occasion de travailler avec toi, du côté de la Commission, du côté du Conseil et, maintenant, du côté du Parlement. Je tiens à te dire que j'ai toujours apprécié ta droiture, ton sens de l'Europe et ta contribution à l'unité européenne, en tant que premier Président du Conseil venant d'Europe de l'Est. Donc, je te remercie pour ce que tu as fait pour l’Europe.

En ce qui concerne les conclusions du Conseil sur le Brexit, nous commençons maintenant à être habitués: on pense avoir vu le bout du tunnel et puis, finalement, systématiquement, nos amis britanniques font preuve de beaucoup d'imagination pour prolonger et retarder une décision finale. Les journaux britanniques ont toujours critiqué nos institutions européennes pour leur excès de créativité. On voit maintenant qu'ils sont capables de faire de même. Mais tant mieux si c’est pour une bonne cause.

En tout cas, du côté du Parlement, nous nous réjouissons du fait que nous avons maintenant un accord. Je tiens à remercier une fois de plus Michel Barnier et son équipe pour leur travail. Il était essentiel pour nous que la sortie du Royaume-Uni se fasse avec un accord. Nous attendons maintenant que le Parlement britannique fasse son travail jusqu’au bout et, très clairement, nous ne pouvons pas prendre une décision au Parlement européen avant d'avoir une décision finale, une ratification finale de cet accord au Parlement britannique. Nous allons assumer nos responsabilités mais, comme Manfred l'a dit, ce n'est pas le Parlement européen qui doit être pressé de faire son travail. Cela ne pourra sans doute pas se faire cette semaine.

En ce qui concerne les autres points évoqués au Conseil, je m'arrêterai sur deux points, à savoir le budget et le processus d'élargissement. Pour ce qui est du budget, notre groupe a pris part à la rédaction de la résolution du Parlement qui demande clairement que l’ambition pour l'Europe se reflète dans le budget. Le Parlement va assumer sa responsabilité non seulement pour demander un budget fort, mais aussi pour montrer que l'Europe ne se construit pas seulement avec des négociations de chiffres, mais aussi avec de l'ambition. Le budget ne peut pas se limiter au partage des contributions financières des États membres. Si nous avons une véritable ambition européenne, nous devons maintenant travailler sérieusement sur les ressources propres et montrer que l'Europe peut construire un budget véritablement européen.

Pour ce qui est de la question de l'élargissement, je vous dirai, en tant que citoyen roumain, et donc issu d'un pays qui a connu de si nombreux bénéfices de ce processus d’élargissement, que je suis intimement convaincu que la politique d’élargissement doit rester au cœur de la politique européenne. On ne peut pas imaginer une Europe forte sans rester ouverts vis-à-vis de nos voisins, et notamment de ceux qui croient encore à l'Europe, peut-être même plus fort que certains pays qui sont à l'intérieur de l'Union européenne. Donc, les portes de l'Union européenne doivent rester ouvertes et l'Europe doit rester toujours un moteur extraordinaire de réformes démocratiques. On ne peut pas demander à ces pays de réaliser des réformes sans leur donner une ambition claire et une idée claire de perspective européenne.

Je comprends aussi pleinement les préoccupations et la volonté d'approfondir le projet européen dans son périmètre actuel, de réformer les institutions européennes, et c'est pour cela que nous soutenons fortement la conférence pour l’avenir de l'Europe, mais cela ne doit pas affecter l'ambition européenne de continuer le processus d'élargissement. Donc, nos portes doivent rester clairement ouvertes.

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, this gives me a feeling of déjà vu. Even the Brits use French to describe this situation. We’ve been here before. That was in November 2018. We had a European Council celebrating an agreement with the then British Prime Minister. We know what the British Parliament failed to do with that Agreement.

So we are back in the same place with a variant of that Agreement. Now everything is in the hands of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The British Parliament must make up its mind. Either it ratifies – and I insist it ratifies, not expresses broad agreement – this Agreement and then indeed our Parliament will do its job. I cannot imagine, Mr President of the Council, that the Council will not allow this Parliament to have the time needed to complete the ratification. I know that the Heads of State and Government have a lot of respect for this Parliament. Even if we have frictions sometimes, I know that there’s mutual respect and I want to keep it that way.

(Applause)

Now, it can also be that the British Parliament refuses to ratify this Agreement, and in that case I would just say one thing: If you are unable or unwilling to do it, dear colleagues of the British Parliament, then you must have the guts to put either this Agreement or the Agreement concluded between the European Union and Theresa May to a popular vote and let the people decide.

(Applause)

And I would say that actually this is the only certain way to get to a decision because we know that, either way, we will have a British choice, and we will respect this choice. We will fight for the United Kingdom to remain, but if a majority accepts the Agreement, we will respect that and part ways in a friendly way.

Je voudrais dire quelques mots sur la question de l’élargissement.

Pour nous, il est absolument clair que les Balkans occidentaux ont vocation à intégrer l’Union européenne. Je pense qu’il n’est dans l’intérêt de personne, ni des citoyens de ces pays, ni des citoyens de l’Union européenne de laisser ces pays dans les limbes dont on sait qu’elles sont le meilleur moyen pour ces pays de sombrer hors de la zone de la démocratie et de l’état de droit. Leur vocation à rejoindre l’Union européenne est pour nous indiscutable.

La décision prise par le Conseil – et, Monsieur Tusk et Monsieur Juncker, je suis heureux de vous avoir entendus le dire –, le refus de respecter nos engagements, parce qu’il s’agissait bien de respecter nos engagements en ouvrant les négociations avec la Macédoine du Nord et l’Albanie, est un abandon de poste, est une faute. C’est une faute grave de la part du Conseil européen qui, évidemment, avait besoin de l’unanimité. Je sais que la majorité des membres du Conseil voulait aller de l’avant mais, en effet, et Manfred Weber a eu raison de le dire, ce sont en particulier deux chefs d’État ou de gouvernement qui ont pris la décision de bloquer cela.

J’insiste sur le fait qu’il s’agissait d’ouvrir des négociations, pas de conclure des négociations. Tout l’argumentaire disant qu’il faut d’abord approfondir l’Union est évidemment complètement fallacieux, puisqu’on sait que ces négociations d’adhésion vont durer longtemps et nous laissent tout le temps nécessaire pour approfondir l’Union, à condition bien sûr qu’il y ait la volonté politique pour le faire.

Rappelez-vous, quand Emmanuel Macron a été élu, on célébrait le grand Européen. Peut-être qu’au fil des années, le temps qui passe nous fait réaliser qu’il n’est peut-être pas si grand et pas si européen que cela.

 
  
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  Nicolas Bay, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, la Turquie a largement occupé les débats de la dernière réunion du Conseil. Elle occupe surtout, depuis maintenant 45 ans, une partie de Chypre, un État membre qui n’est pas défendu face à l’agression permanente dont il fait l’objet de la part de la Turquie, qui multiplie les forages illégaux dans les eaux territoriales chypriotes.

La Turquie a mené depuis quelques semaines une action militaire illégale, en violation de toutes les règles du droit international, dans le nord de la Syrie. Cette action militaire aboutit évidemment à renforcer les groupes djihadistes, que ce soit Daech ou Al-Nosra. Pourtant, l’Union européenne a versé ces dernières années 5,6 milliards d’euros au titre de la politique migratoire, alors même que la Turquie effectue mal ce contrôle des flux migratoires et que M. Erdogan multiplie les chantages en menaçant en permanence les pays européens de déverser des flots de migrants.

Nous avons versé près de 9 milliards d’euros dans le cadre des fonds de préadhésion et, aujourd’hui, au lieu d’émettre quelques protestations, au lieu de suspendre temporairement le processus d’adhésion de la Turquie à l’Union européenne, il est temps, il est urgent de mettre un terme définitif à ce processus d’adhésion. La Turquie n’est européenne ni par son histoire, ni par sa culture, ni par sa géographie et, aujourd’hui, elle fait la démonstration qu’elle défend des intérêts qui sont à l’opposé de tous nos intérêts des nations européennes.

Le débat au Conseil a également porté bien sûr sur le cadre financier pluriannuel. On a parlé des ressources propres et on a évidemment évoqué comme solutions aux ressources propres les taxes: taxe sur le carbone, taxe sur le plastique. Aujourd’hui, la fiscalité est toujours plus lourde avec toujours le même prétexte: le prétexte écologique. Mais quelle est la cohérence, d’un côté, à avoir des accords commerciaux abaissant les droits de douane, à multiplier les accords de libre-échange avec le monde entier avec des pays qui ne respectent aucune de nos normes environnementales et, dans le même temps, à ajouter une couche supplémentaire sur le millefeuille fiscal, ce qui va grever à la fois la compétitivité mondiale de nos entreprises européennes et porter un coup dur au pouvoir d’achat de nos compatriotes?

S’agissant du budget de l’Union européenne, on pourrait résumer les choses ainsi: payer toujours plus pour obtenir toujours moins. Mon pays, la France, a versé près de 100 milliards d’euros au cours des vingt dernières années, et pour quel résultat aujourd’hui? Une baisse des dotations au titre de la PAC, ce qui va achever ou, en tout cas, gravement affaiblir l’agriculture française. Un agriculteur français se suicide aujourd’hui tous les deux jours.

Il faut évidemment changer de cap, il faut des coopérations moins coûteuses, des protections – elles sont indispensables – plutôt que d’aller toujours plus loin, à la fois dans l’intégration à marche forcée et dans le libre échange mondialisé.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, we called for the EU to show goodwill and flexibility in its approach to Brexit. We’ve now seen this in the most recent negotiations and at the European Council. What a change in atmosphere. My thanks to Michel Barnier. My thanks to Donald Tusk. My thanks to Jean-Claude Juncker. I hope there will be some proper reflection in due course on why the British people chose to leave the European Union and I hope that before December 2020 there will be technical alternatives acceptable, technical alternatives to customs checks.

The Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Member States in the Council have now agreed a deal and want to get on with it. They want the urgent consent of this House, and we should deliver this with all speed. After all, the departure date of 31 October was set, not by the British government, but by the European Council back in April. There is no appetite for extension. Some colleagues say they want to see how the British Parliament is responding, but I would say our task is separate. We should not be distracted. I am sure no one here, not even Mr Verhofstadt, wishes to take on a role as the Bercow of Brussels. In any case, the Withdrawal Agreement is being put to the House of Commons today. When it passes, I trust this will provide the signal that some here are looking for. Some shenanigans may follow, but it’s not our task to join in. This is our moment to rise above the squabbling, all the alternative political agendas and show that the European Parliament can be decisive when it matters. The EU must not make another sequencing mistake. Let’s get Brexit done without delay.

 
  
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  Martin Schirdewan, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Die Ergebnisse des Rates der letzten Woche lassen nicht nur viele Fragen offen, sondern haben offensichtlich auch nichts zu der Lösung von einigen Problemen beitragen können und haben sogar ganz im Gegenteil in einigen Fragen den Status quo ante sogar verschlechtert. Mit der Diskussion um den Beitritt Nordmazedoniens und Albaniens zur Europäischen Union wurde im Rat eine Staats- und Regierungskrise in Nordmazedonien ausgelöst. Bei der Debatte um den mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen werden Zahlen hin- und hergeschoben, und wie die ambitionierten Klimaziele erreicht werden sollen, wissen einige der Staats- und Regierungschefs offenkundig selber nicht.

Aber ich bin froh, dass der Rat die politische Einschätzung meiner Fraktion übernommen hat und mittlerweile diese Position teilt, dass die militärische Intervention der Türkei in Nordsyrien und der Krieg gegen die Kurdinnen und Kurden nicht vom internationalen Recht gedeckt und damit völkerrechtswidrig sind. Aber wenn Rat und Kommission schon dieselbe Analyse haben, dann frage ich mich: Warum bleiben sie da stehen, warum übernehmen sie nicht auch unsere politischen Forderungen? Es sind ja auch einige tatsächlich schon genannt worden von einem politischen Spektrum, bei dem ich gar nicht damit gerechnet hätte. Wir setzen uns ein für einen sofortigen Stopp der Waffenexporte in die Türkei und, wichtiger noch: Betreiben Sie die Anerkennung der kurdischen Selbstverwaltung! Dieser ökonomische und politische Druck auf die Türkei wird nicht nur die demokratische Opposition schützen, sondern auch die Kurdinnen und Kurden.

Und nun zum Brexit: Meine Fraktion hat in den vergangenen Jahren konstruktiv ihren Beitrag geleistet, um zu einer Lösung in dieser Krise zu finden. Wir werden das auch weiterhin tun. Unsere Priorität lag dabei immer auf der Sicherung des Friedensprozesses in Nordirland und dem Schutz der sozialen Rechte der Millionen von Betroffenen, und ja, jetzt gibt es einen neuen Deal, der im Moment offenkundig seine Schwierigkeiten hat, das Unterhaus zu passieren. Wir warten auf den final verhandelten und ratifizierten Text aus London, und damit – falls er denn überhaupt kommt – werden wir uns in aller Gründlichkeit auseinandersetzen mit der gegebenen und notwendigen Zeit, die wir dafür brauchen. Das kann ich Ihnen im Namen meiner Fraktion zusichern.

Und falls kein Text aus London kommen sollte, und das könnte ja passieren in den nächsten Tagen, möchte ich für die dann wahrscheinlich anstehende Entscheidung der Staats- und Regierungschefs bezüglich einer Verlängerung ihnen folgenden Rat geben: Stimmen Sie der Verlängerung zu, ermöglichen Sie so, dass das britische Volk noch mal eine Entscheidung fällen wird. Manches Problem löst sich auf diese Art und Weise von ganz allein. Und zum Abschluss ein persönliches Wort, Herr Tusk: Trotz aller inhaltlichen Unterschiede möchte ich Ihnen für die geleistete Arbeit danken und wünsche Ihnen für alles das, was da auf Sie wartet, alles Gute!

 
  
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  Márton Gyöngyösi (NI). – Mr President, I would just like to confine my brief intervention to the subject of Brexit, something which we have been trying to come to terms with for the last three years since we knew the result of the referendum.

Let’s be clear: the result must be respected, regardless of the small margin. The UK must leave and bear all the consequences of its decision. I think Mr Juncker was correct when he said that no extension should be granted. Regardless of whether there is an agreement or no agreement, the UK should leave, and I also think that it is in the best interest of Europe to let the UK go. The decision that the British people made three years ago was not an enormous surprise. British Euroscepticism has a very long tradition. Since Henry VIII, I think, this has been at the heart of British geopolitical thinking and, since this is a 500—year tradition, I respect it.

But Europe and the European Union must also be very clear about the challenges it is facing and must be very clear about its priorities. Europe must face migration, wage inequalities, economic disparities and climate change, and it must come up with a solution. If Europe wants to be successful, it has to get rid of all the obstacles and the post—Brexit fatigue, be very clear about terms and conditions when it comes to new candidate Member States, and it must also be very clear with internal or external saboteurs who are trying to slow the process. So, as far as the UK is concerned, the decision to divorce was taken. It is time to move on for all.

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: MAIREAD McGUINNESS
Vice-President

 
  
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  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – President Tusk, President Juncker, dear Jean-Claude, thank you indeed for your commitment to Europe, and especially for your comments regarding enlargement today. I will speak on Brexit and during the coming days the task of our House will be to evaluate the Withdrawal Agreement and work on our consent to it. We will have to cope with unpredictable outcomes of the complex process of voting in the British parliament, but it is clear that we will only give consent once the process of ratification in the UK has been finalised. This all has indeed a sense of déjà vu as we do not know today what majorities will emerge during various votes in the House of Commons, and what final result they might produce, and in particular it is difficult to judge today what can come out of the vote on the timetable motion.

It is regrettable indeed that once again we have to cope with a huge dose of uncertainty at this stage of this long journey. My hope is that, unlike the two extensions, the second of which is now coming to an end, the transition period which an orderly withdrawal will offer will be efficiently used to give us, as future close partners, the best possible agreement on unprecedented close future relationship.

Let me finish by underlining that negative coverage of EU citizens’ rights in media, confusing announcements on freedom of movement, use of a secondary level legislation, also what we learned during our hearings with citizens, all that signals the risk that those rights might not be respected in the future. We should remember therefore that EU citizens’ rights in the UK are set out in their Withdrawal Agreement which would be subject to the formal ratification.

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D). – Madam President, the European Council reached a new Withdrawal Agreement with the UK Government and that is in itself a good thing. It proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the EU is not here to make life difficult for the UK. In fact, we were able to negotiate Agreements with three different prime ministers in the UK: Mr Cameron, Mrs May and now Mr Boris Johnson. And of course, an agreement will allow us to promote an orderly Brexit and avoid the risk of a catastrophic no—deal.

But we also know that, until today, the UK Parliament has not taken any decision whatsoever on this proposed deal. Now, the position of this Parliament and the position of our group is completely clear: we will not proceed with any consent vote until the UK Parliament has approved the Agreement. Now let me be completely clear: first, any consent vote means not only the final consent by the plenary but also any consent vote in our Committee on Constitutional Affairs. And when we say, approval by the UK Parliament, we mean the UK Parliament with two Chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. And when we say the Agreement has to be approved, we mean the final ratification in the UK Parliament after all amendments have been considered, including the one that is asking for a final say of the people in a second referendum.

The European Parliament will be ready as soon as the UK Parliament is ready. And, if an extension becomes needed, the position of this Parliament was already stated and it’s clear: we will support such an extension and we do support the most important political statement made here today by President Tusk, that our decision will never be no—deal. If so, the Council will have for sure the support of our political group but also indeed the support of this Parliament.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt (Renew). – Madam President, first of all, I want to say to Mr Van Orden that I am honoured that you compared me with Mr Bercow. It’s in any way better than to be compared with Mr Rees-Mogg, because Mr Bercow’s ties are more colourful. I like them more than those of Mr Rees-Mogg.

I want to thank the Conference of Presidents that they have confirmed that the consent procedure in this House will only start after the full ratification by the side of the United Kingdom and that’s important, that was in our resolutions. I think we need to use the time between now and the consent vote to solve the last problems that still exist today which are the rights of the EU citizens that are living in the UK. There are still a number of problems to be solved. There is the vulnerable citizens – 200 000 of them who are in need of assistance. There is those who will miss the deadline, and there one of the members of the UK government has said, oh, we’re going to do deportation. Well, I can tell you this problem needs to be solved in all clarity before, that there is no deportation of these people. There is the difference between a settled status and pre-settled status. What is, in my opinion, not always clear why people are in pre-settled stages are not in settled status with full rights. And there is the Independent Monitoring Authority. It’s not clear in the withdrawal bill how independent the Independent Monitoring Authority will be and we have to be sure that it is a real Independent Monitoring Authority. So, before the House will give consent, I want to see this problem solved. We don’t want that the EU citizens become victims in another Windrush scandal in Britain. That cannot happen.

Finally, I want to use this intervention also to say some positive things about Jean-Claude Juncker, but already he is not there and especially to Donald Tusk, I want thank him for the cooperation. We never had words with each other during these five years in the debates and I wanted to wish him all the luck in his upcoming challenges, somewhere in a big country in the East of Europe. Good luck Donald.

 
  
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  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I will also limit my remarks to Brexit, unsurprisingly. President Tusk, from Scotland, I would very warmly thank you and praise you for your conduct in office and for your efforts to keep the door open to us. It has been appreciated in Scotland and it has been appreciated across the UK as well. You’ve been a true friend to the United Kingdom. Thank you.

The last time we met to discuss this, I alleged bad faith on the part of those close to the UK Government – not their front spokespeople or apologists, but their tormentors, people of bad faith who around this UK Government are looking to trash whatever deal you have agreed in good faith. I didn’t expect to be proven right as quickly as I have been. Even overnight we saw very worrying moves that a delegated legislation committee stuffed with Government MPs has approved ending the rights of residents of EU nationals in the UK – self-employed and business owners. EU nationals were told in advance of the referendum that nothing would change. It’s changing now before the text has even been ratified.

So, what to do? You must deal with the interlocutors you’re dealt. I respect that. But I tell you frankly, it may not have escaped your notice but the UK is in chaos right now. Mr Johnson’s Government hangs by a thread and its word cannot be trusted even if there was good faith and an intent to implement it. Also the UK is not Westminster. I would refer you to a letter from the Joint First Ministers of Scotland and of Wales. The Scottish and Welsh Parliaments must also consent to this. We have not consented to this. Let’s be real, colleagues. There is no possible way that Westminster can conclude proper ratification of this deal this week. We should not lend the credibility of this Parliament or the Council to collude in that shabby deception. The only answer is more time. Time is the great healer. An extension has been requested, albeit through gritted teeth by a Prime Minister who is desperate to pretend he hasn’t, but an extension has been requested. Grant it. Grant it now. Grant it for a year, longer. Mr Johnson and his fellow travellers may have wasted the time. We will not. We are trying to find solutions. We need more time to do that.

 
  
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  Jörg Meuthen (ID). – Herr Präsident, Herr Präsident Tusk, Herr Kommissionspräsident Juncker! Wir erleben eine Farce in nicht enden wollenden Akten: Die Briten haben sich mit Mehrheit für einen Austritt entschieden – ein Referendum, eine Mehrheit, eine klare Entscheidung –, aber bis heute gibt es kein Ergebnis, keinen Austritt. Wer von Ihnen traut sich denn noch, den Menschen zu erklären, wie die Ratifizierung des Austrittsvertrages hintergangen und blockiert wird? Sie waren ja sehr erfolgreich darin, den Austrittsvertrag so unattraktiv wie möglich und den Austritt dadurch so unwahrscheinlich wie möglich zu machen. Wider Erwarten hat Boris Johnson aber nun wohl doch eine Mehrheit für die Ratifizierung. Nun vertagen Sie hier im Europäischen Parlament die Ratifikation, und der Gehilfe der EU im Unterhaus, John Bercow, tut das Seine, indem er eine Abstimmung des Unterhauses über den Austrittsvertrag nach Kräften immer weiter verzögert. Alle sitzen im Bremserhaus, jeder auf seinem Platz. Das ist ein bizarres Schauspiel.

Ich schaue mir das traurige Spektakel mit einem lachenden und einem weinenden Auge an. Weinend, weil wir historische Zeugen sind, wie hier demokratische Prozesse pervertiert werden, und lachend, weil ich weiß, dass die geschätzten Jungs und Mädels von der Brexit Party hier sind und als Stimme der Freiheit dieses Haus noch länger bereichern und Ihnen damit auf Ihre kollektivistischen Nerven gehen werden. Das immerhin ist erfreulich.

 
  
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  Derk Jan Eppink (ECR). – Voorzitter, de Europese Raad werd het niet eens over de toetredingsonderhandelingen met Noord-Macedonië en Albanië, en ik zou zeggen: gelukkig maar. Vooral dankzij Frankrijk. Er is namelijk geen enkele noodzaak voor verdere uitbreiding van de Europese Unie. Bovendien is het idee van “de Britten eruit en de Balkan erin” geen goede transactie. En zeker niet Albanië, dat drijft op corruptie en wat dat betreft op hetzelfde niveau als Colombia staat. Noord-Macedonië op hetzelfde niveau als Panama!

Dat is dus niet goed. Kijk naar Roemenië in 2007. Iedereen dacht dat Roemenië klaar was voor toetreding. Corruptie was een groot probleem. Roemenië trad toe. Het geld vloeide naar Roemenië en de corruptie werd erger. De ene politieke crisis na de andere!

Turkije is helemáál een brug te ver. Sinds 2004 heeft de Europese Commissie in Turkije een monster gevoed. Zijn naam, mijnheer Juncker: Erdogan. Nederland toonde zwakke knieën en was vóór de toetreding van Macedonië. Frankrijk blokkeerde het allemaal en ik ben het niet vaak met de heer Macron eens, maar in dit geval zeg ik: la France, merci!

 
  
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  Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, so we hope we have avoided a No—Deal. But it is still Brexit for the North of Ireland. It’s a messy and an ugly compromise, and if the British mess further and ultimately give a Unionist consent veto, there will never, ever again, be a Stormont Assembly.

This deal as agreed mitigates the worst damage of Brexit. It avoids a harder border in Ireland. It avoids customs posts and we have a common EU VAT regime, a special status of sorts, now that’s important.

But Cows and sheep get EU standards, whereas people get potentially lower British standards – on workers’ rights, consumer rights, environmental protection – no level playing field. Now that’s damaging.

We’re allowed to hang around the EU house, but it’s still only a half-way house. People want the real thing. Irish unity is the agreed way forward for the people back into the EU.

This House should recognise that. This House should act to facilitate that, and this House should plan and prepare for Irish Unity and not be asleep at the wheel.  

 
  
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  Lucy Elizabeth Harris (NI). – Madam President, MPs in my parliament are stopping a deal which is mandated by the people. A ‘no deal’ which is mandated by the people and a general election. Parliament does not have a democratic mandate for a second referendum or cancelling Brexit, and yet they are amending their way to it. Control has been stolen from my people. But we do not give up. Despite it all, the majority of Brits still wouldn’t want to change the Brexit result.

So I would like to celebrate millions of voters who stood up for what they believed in in 2016 and still have the courage not to give up. They show the best of British through their perseverance in the face of adversity. You may have tried to wear us down, dampened our spirits through the emotional rollercoaster of our negotiations, but my belief in them is unwavering and resolute. They will be heard.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D), Întrebare adresată conform procedurii „cartonașului albastru”. – Stimată colegă, în discursul dumneavoastră ați folosit o informație, poate ne-o și explicați. Ați spus că majoritatea cetățenilor din Marea Britanie nu doresc schimbarea rezultatului referendumului. De unde dețineți aceste date? Noi am fost informați aici că există o petiție, semnată de milioane de britanici, că există proteste. De unde dețineți informația? Aveți obligația, ca eurodeputat, să fiți riguroasă când dați informații.

 
  
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  Lucy Elizabeth Harris (NI), blue-card answer. – I would like to mention the 54% ComRes poll that was released last week. I’d also like to mention the 17.4 million people, who shall not be forgotten in their vote in 2016, that still remain a majority.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Caroline Voaden (Renew), blue-card question. – I’d just like to remind you that your slogan in 2016 was ‘Take back control’ – and that’s what our parliament’s doing. Isn’t that what you wanted?

 
  
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  Lucy Elizabeth Harris (NI), blue-card answer. – In my country the people are sovereign. I’m not sure too much about this Parliament, but in my country people make the laws. I want the people to decide. And our slogan didn’t exist in 2016. The Brexit Party is very new.

 
  
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  Enikő Győri (PPE). – Elnök Úr! Sajnos egyes tagállami vezetőkből hiányzott a bátorság, a bölcsesség és a hosszú távon gondolkodni tudás képessége a múlt heti EU csúcson. Emiatt nem született meg a döntés arról, hogy az Unió végre megkezdje a csatlakozási tárgyalásokat Észak-Macedóniával és Albániával. Ahogy a visegrádi négyek kormányfői fogalmaztak még a csúcs előtt: „a döntés érinti a hitelességünket a régióban, valamint súlyos és hosszú távon ható következményei lesznek a saját stabilitásunkra és biztonságunkra. Ideje, hogy geopolitikai értelemben cselekedjünk.”

Hát ez bizony elmaradt... Elmaradt a saját jól felfogott érdekünkben való cselekvés, hogy e két országot a mi térfelünkön tartsuk, hogy elismerjük az elvégzett munkájukat, s álljuk a szavunkat. Már meg sem mondjuk, mit kell még teljesíteniük, csak megint arrébb toljuk, ki tudja hány centivel, a célvonalat. Becsaptuk őket, hiteltelenné váltunk. Ne legyenek illúzióink: lesznek mások, erős, hosszú távon gondolkodó versenytársaink, akik majd az Unió által üresen hagyott térbe be kívánnak nyomulni. Amúgy is ott vannak már, csak az nem látja, aki nem akarja.

Végezetül még egy dolog: több mint furcsa, hogyan mérik az Unióban az úgymond európaiságot. Amikor egy távoli kontinens távoli országában történik valami, s az Unió megnyilvánul, nem európai az, aki nem támogatja a közös álláspontot. Most pedig, amikor két európai ország polgárainak okoztunk komoly csalódást, mégsem hallottam olyan kommentárokat, hogy a blokkolók ne volnának igazi európaiak. Jó volna, ha ezen mindenki elgondolkodna.

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Fru talman! Under förra veckan godkände Europeiska rådet såväl det reviderade utträdesavtalet som den politiska förklaringen. Från EU:s sida har man nu verkligen gjort allt för att få till stånd ett avtal och undvika en krasch, ett avtalslöst brexit. Jag vill passa på att tacka EU:s chefsförhandlare Michel Barnier för ett mycket bra arbete, där man har lyckats behålla enigheten och varit lyhörd för parlamentets önskemål.

Bollen ligger nu på den brittiska sidan. Att Storbritannien lämnar EU gör mig bekymrad. Även med stor respekt för den brittiska folkviljan så förstår jag i dagsläget de britter som nu kämpar för en ny folkomröstning. Det är nämligen så att ett tungt ansvar nu vilar på Storbritannien, på Boris Johnson. Men jag förväntar mig också att det brittiska parlamentet finner en väg framåt.

 
  
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  Luisa Porritt (Renew). – Madam President, I want to thank our European friends for their continued patience on Brexit, but let’s not be fooled: this deal is a ticking time bomb. If it passes both the UK and European Parliaments, in little over a year from now, we may be looking at a situation akin to no deal. There is a risk of divergence on everything from workers’ rights to environmental standards, to taxation, due to the decision to scrap the level playing field from the Withdrawal Agreement and place that in the political declaration. The EU would walk away from free-trade negotiations if there is too much divergence, and it is unrealistic to think that such negotiations could conclude in only a year. This is a task set up to fail by a British Prime Minister who won’t need to clear up the mess because he’ll probably be removed from power in a general election soon. His self-imposed deadline should not dictate the futures and freedoms of young people, our fellow Europeans in the UK, and Brits living elsewhere in the EU.

President Tusk has acknowledged receipt of the letter requesting an extension. We need that extension to be granted. We must have a people’s vote.

 
  
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  Alexandra Louise Rosenfield Phillips (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, on Saturday I marched with a million others in London calling for a people’s vote. I marched because leaving the EU through the British Government’s rotten deal poses a threat to our country. It weakens workers’ rights, it slashes and burns environmental rules, and it will hold back people whose communities have already suffered generations of governments abandoning them.

This deal will harm every part of the UK, but it won’t hit us all evenly. Women will suffer first. People of colour will endure the worst consequences, and those with the least now will have even less. That’s why we need a people’s vote so that people can have a final choice between this specific deal and Remain.

Democracy did not die on 23 June 2016 and there is no majority in our country for a dangerous deal. So, while all eyes in the UK are currently on Westminster, I want to say something loud and clear here in Strasbourg: I will not give up on workers, on our environment, or on those likely to be worst affected by this dangerous deal. I will not give up on Britain remaining in the EU.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Ben Habib (NI), blue-card question. – Ms Phillips describes the reduction in standards which would ensue in the event of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. Does she have no belief, no self-confidence and no understanding of the great British values that we have instilled across the globe for the betterment of mankind, and indeed the freedom of the continent in which we now sit?

 
  
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  Alexandra Louise Rosenfield Phillips (Verts/ALE), blue-card answer. – Madam President, I do not understand why those people there are so afraid of democracy and putting back to the people something specific that they can vote on, which will not affect just their futures but the whole of a continent.

(The speaker declined a blue-card question from Lance Forman)

 
  
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  Marco Campomenosi (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, qualcuno ha detto che è un dibattito che abbiamo già visto, è vero, perché se abbiamo perso due anni perché la Brexit possa finalmente essere attuata, è colpa sì, in parte anche di quanto avvenuto in Gran Bretagna, ma soprattutto colpa di chi, a Bruxelles, pensava fosse uno scherzo, che i britannici non volessero veramente uscire da questa pazza Unione europea. La verità è l'opposto.

La verità è l'opposto e quindi finalmente abbiamo un accordo, vedremo se sarà soddisfacente o no. Vedremo quanto e che cosa porterà. Ma questa è un'Unione europea che, rispetto a quanto accade nel resto del mondo, diciamo, se lo fa cadere addosso, non è protagonista. Però poi usa le crisi internazionali solo per il proprio interesse. Per esempio, ha usato la questione scozzese per destabilizzare il Regno Unito e ignora totalmente la questione catalana.

Ecco questi sono alcuni esempi di casi come la Brexit, cui credo ne seguiranno ulteriori nei prossimi anni.

 
  
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  Peter Lundgren (ECR). – Fru talman! Situationen i Turkiet är helt oacceptabel. Landet blir allt mer auktoritärt och odemokratiskt. EU bör avbryta alla former av ekonomiskt bistånd till detta land, och alla former av samtal angående ett eventuellt framtida medlemskap måste omedelbart upphöra. Signalen måste vara tydlig: Ni har i Turkiet diskvalificerat er själva från framtida samarbete.

När det kommer till budgeten måste den efter att Storbritannien lämnat minskas så klart. Allvarligt talat, vad får er att tro i detta hus att till exempel mitt land, Sverige, skulle vara intresserat av att betala ytterligare 15 miljarder svenska kronor till EU? Vi har alltid varit en av de största nettobetalarna. Nu räcker det, inte en cent till ska ni ha. I stället bör vi inleda diskussionen om hur vi ska få tillbaka det som EU från början handlade om, som ni har glömt i det här huset: ett fredsbevarande och handelsfrämjande samarbete i stället för ett imperiebyggande.

 
  
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  Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, the border in Ireland is already too hard. It has frustrated the economic, social and political development in our country and resulted in a conflict for which too many paid too high a price. The Good Friday Agreement and our shared membership of the EU have together been the instruments that have allowed us to undo some of the damages of partition over the past two decades. That is why Brexit has been such a dangerous development. It has risked our peace process and our all Ireland economy.

Even the deal that was negotiated last week will create new problems for and relating to the border in Ireland. We support it because it is better than the alternative, but the deal cannot be further diluted. There can be no veto, no opportunity for any one party to hold every business, every farm, every worker, every community across the island of Ireland to ransom. To suggest that such a veto would represent consent is absurd and is a ludicrous misreading of the Good Friday Agreement.

Of course, the best way to protect our country from the dangers of Brexit is through a united Ireland. The EU can play a role in supporting the peaceful democratic pathway to that objective, and I hope that this House is ready and willing to be part of the big constitutional conversation that’s coming our way.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Νικολάου-Αλαβάνος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, είναι επικίνδυνες για τους λαούς οι αποφάσεις του Συμβουλίου που αποτυπώνουν μεγάλες αντιθέσεις εντός της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, στο έδαφος των σκληρών ανταγωνισμών της με τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες και τη Ρωσία, για το ποιοι όμιλοι θα ωφεληθούν στη Συρία αλλά και στα Βαλκάνια. Η αναγνώριση της Τουρκίας ως ουσιαστικού συνεταίρου, μιας σύμμαχης χώρας του ΝΑΤΟ με δήθεν κυρώσεις σε μελλοντικούς εξοπλισμούς, ενώ αυτή εισβάλλει στη Συρία, τα λέει όλα. Ανάλογες κυρώσεις-χάδια προβλέπονται για τις τουρκικές παραβιάσεις στο Αιγαίο και για τις γεωτρήσεις στην κυπριακή ΑΟΖ. Το μπλοκάρισμα των ενταξιακών διαδικασιών και διαπραγματεύσεων με τη Βόρεια Μακεδονία και την Αλβανία φανερώνει, μεταξύ άλλων, την επιδίωξη της αστικής τάξης της Γαλλίας να κερδίσει χρόνο για να αναβαθμίσει τον δικό της ρόλο στα Βαλκάνια, πάντα στο πλαίσιο της επιζήμιας για τους λαούς της περιοχής συμφωνίας των Πρεσπών. Ο εφησυχασμός και εξωραϊσμός των ιμπεριαλιστικών συμμαχιών και συμφωνιών από την κυβέρνηση της Νέας Δημοκρατίας αλλά και από τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ είναι αβάσιμοι, είναι επικίνδυνοι για τον λαό μας, ο οποίος πρέπει να επαγρυπνά στην πάλη του ενάντια στα ιμπεριαλιστικά σχέδια.

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons (PPE). – Señora presidenta, Jean-Claude, he vuelto la vista atrás y en estos cinco años hemos pasado al menos quince crisis muy graves: la crisis migratoria de los refugiados; la crisis del euro; la crisis griega o Grexit; la invasión rusa de Ucrania; las fake news; la crisis del diésel; la crisis climática y la Cumbre de París; los ataques terroristas; el auge del populismo; la crisis del imperio de la ley en algunos países de la Unión Europea; la crisis de la legitimidad de las instituciones con el fracaso del Spitzenkandidat; la crisis demográfica; la guerra comercial entre los Estados Unidos y China; el Brexit —el Brexit es la peor de las decisiones nacionalpopulistas, porque nadie está más perdido que aquel que no sabe a dónde va—; el intento de golpe de Estado nacionalista en España —el populismo intenta romper Europa también, empezando por mi país—.

Han sido Jean-Claude cinco años muy difíciles, pero pese a todo los Veintisiete estamos más unidos y somos más fuertes. Europa sigue siendo el mejor invento político de la historia de la humanidad.

Gracias, Jean-Claude, y gracias a tu Comisión. Estoy viendo a Miguel. Estoy viendo a Johannes. Estoy viendo a Michel. Creo que a partir de ahora, por difíciles que sean los tiempos, tendremos un ejemplo de lo que es trabajar con rigor, con seriedad y con amor al proyecto europeo. Jean-Claude, tú consigues que un latino como yo se sienta políticamente un luxemburgués. Eso es Europa.

 
  
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  Richard Corbett (S&D). – Madam President, indeed, good point. The British Government is trying to force through the deal in the House of Commons in three days’ time, to hold three readings and the committee stage. A new 110-page long bill that has not been published before, a 600-page Agreement that has recently been changed, no impact assessments have been published on this. There is no certainty that this ruse will work, or that this deal will be approved at least in its current form. There will be amendments tabled, however short the period. Some amendments to try and have a softer Brexit because, make no mistake, this is a hard Brexit that takes Britain away from Europe, outside the customs union, outside the single market, it will be damaging for Britain’s economy, damaging for the European economy. It’s a bad deal for Britain and a bad deal for Europe.

But there will also be amendments to say that any Brexit outcome, any deal, must go back to the public for a final decision and that is only right because Brexit is turning out to be so completely different from what was promised by those leave campaigners three and half years ago. It is leave voters who are entitled to say, that’s not what I was told, this is not what I voted for. I want to have a say again and that is the mood of British public opinion as demonstrated on Saturday in London. That is what opinion polls – most opinion polls – tell us, the British public want and deserve a right to reconsider this disastrous decision for our country.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Martin Edward Daubney (NI), blue-card question. – I would like to ask Mr Corbett: what would he say to 5 million Labour voters in 60% of Labour seats who voted to leave the European Union? How could you explain to them that you have not betrayed their vote by your party demanding they are forced to vote again in a second referendum? You should be ashamed of your party.

 
  
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  Richard Corbett (S&D), blue-card answer. – Most Labour voters, even in leave seats, voted remain at the time of the referendum. That is now even more the case, because Labour leave voters have now seen that Brexit is a right-wing, neoliberal project, driven by the right wing of the Tory party, that will harm workplace rights, that will harm their economy, that will cost jobs, that will do no good whatsoever to Britain. And that’s why the Labour Party has rightly taken the position that any Brexit outcome now should go back to the public to decide.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Madam President, just to say at the outset, I again accept the fact that the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. But in that context, I think it’s important that those that were supporting the UK leaving will acknowledge that by leaving without a deal, it will have profound implications on the island of Ireland and it will have profound implications for the peace process. The fact of the matter is that this particular issue was not debated during the referendum itself and it has now become a key issue in the context of the Withdrawal Agreement and the discussions between the European Union and the UK. But let us be very clear, it is not the European Union that is stalling the UK leaving the European Union, it is the UK parliament itself, and they are involved in a process, and whatever comes from that process it has to be close to the Withdrawal Agreement that has been agreed, to ensure there’s no diminution of the impact on the island of Ireland that this particular Agreement is there to protect.

So I would say that we need to ensure that we have proper democratic scrutiny in the House of Commons and for that to come to a conclusion, and here in the European Parliament.

And finally, may I say there can be no diminution of European citizens’ rights in Northern Ireland, people from the European Union that have made Northern Ireland their home. It will be a shameful process if we have deportation of European citizens from the island of Ireland.

 
  
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  Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, there is currently a tale being told in the UK and, to be honest, some of the statements of people also here in this room haven’t really helped it. And this tale is that the EU is tired of us, they want to get rid of us and they want to mind their own business. And we have to make absolutely clear: this Parliament is still also the parliament of the British citizens. The EU is not tired of the UK. The EU is not tired of British people, and also the EU is not tired of having sensible and constructive negotiations.

This project is built on multilateralism, so we love negotiating and finding common solutions. But what we are tired of is prime ministers that are giving promises that they cannot live up to. What we are tired of are prime ministers that are using divisive language at a time, especially, like this. What we are tired of are prime ministers who don’t understand that if they do not get this deal through the House of Commons, they will have to put it back to the people, so that the British people can decide on this finally.

 
  
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  Jaak Madison (ID). – Madam President, first of all congratulations to the Brexit Party because probably for the next month you’re not here anymore, and that’s a good thing because there are not many things where I can agree with Mr Juncker, but as he said five days ago, there is no argument for further delay, so Brexit has to be done.

For the dear colleagues from the left side who are saying about democracy that somebody’s afraid of a new referendum, I would like to say that I’m pretty sure that in the UK there are millions of voters who are not satisfied that you are here in the European Parliament. What should we do? Should we make new elections for the European Parliament because they are not satisfied with the results of the elections? Of course not. After five years. Same thing with a new referendum. Maybe in 10 years, or in 20 years you can organise a new referendum to join the EU, but I’m pretty sure that it will not happen, because the Conservatives, or the Brexit Party, or the right Conservatives will win anyway the next elections, because they have done the Brexit. Thank you and good luck.

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Madam President, what really grates here is not the dishonesty of our MPs, but the credit that they’re giving to our intelligence. They could have just rejected Brexit, they could have just refused to implement Article 50, but instead they have again and again lied and concealed their true motives.

They thought that, if they could string things out beyond last week, people would blame Boris rather than the people doing the stringing out. They think that if they keep calling for an election but voting against it, we somehow won’t notice. They think that if they amend a bill to death with the intention of stopping it, again we’re going to fall for it. They seem to have believed their own propaganda about all Leave voters being stupid. And every time they have miscalculated. The reality is that the Conservative Party has been ahead for the last 40 opinion polls, generally in double digits.

The only options we have are either to take this deal now and become good neighbours, rather than grudging tenants, or there will be an outright victory for the Conservatives at the next election and tougher terms. Those are the only two options now left.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE), blue-card question. – I am grateful to Mr Hannan for giving way and I warmly endorse his criticism of dishonest politicians. In exactly that vein, would he like to apologise for his oft-repeated quote that ‘nobody is talking about leaving the single market’, which he said repeatedly during the Leave campaign, and indeed his subsequent conversion to the view that EU citizens’ rights are not going to be the same? Would he like to apologise for his previous positions and set the record straight?

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR), blue-card answer. – It’s simply not the case that I repeatedly said that during the election campaign. You’ll hear a quote from a 2015 interview, before the campaign began, in which I made very clear – and I’ve stuck to that position all the way through – that I thought the best outcome for us would be a Swiss-type outcome. That’s a position that I took before, during and since the campaign. I have not changed my position.

I wonder whether you, Mr Smith, who have made your entire career about demanding a referendum on independence for one part of the UK, might consider the hypocrisy of refusing to accept the verdict when the UK as a whole votes for independence.

 
  
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  Nigel Farage (NI). – Madam President, well after three agonising years of negotiations, Michel Barnier gets Boris Johnson to sign us up to a brand new treaty, which guarantees three more years of agonising negotiations – and frankly reduces the United Kingdom to the status of a colony of the European Union.

And why is Boris doing it?

He’s doing it because he doesn’t want an extension. He’s doing it because he knows that an extension damages the Conservative Party in the polls, so he wants to bounce us into this new treaty before we wake up.

It’s the same story every time. It’s about the Tory Party, not about the country. And what we need is to build a ‘Leave alliance’, of people across the political spectrum, to fight and win the next general election. The only way we can leave this place is with a clean-break Brexit.

I would like to think, like Mr Juncker, that this is my last speech here in 20 years, but somehow, I’ve got the feeling … I’m sorry! I’m sorry!

(Interruption by the President following noise in the Chamber)

I’d love it to be. You’d love it to be! But I have a feeling we’ll be back in November.

 
  
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  Antonio Tajani (PPE). – Signora Presidente, caro Donald, caro Jean-Claude, io condivido la vostra indignazione per un risultato che non c'è stato in Consiglio, un risultato di attenzione nei confronti dei Balcani.

La Turchia, la Cina, la Russia, l'Arabia Saudita investono energie e risorse nei Balcani e noi facciamo dei passi indietro non agevolando la stabilità di quella regione, che è fondamentale per la stabilità dell'intera Europa. Non diamo messaggi positivi ma diamo messaggi negativi.

È stato un errore clamoroso, che condanna l'Europa ad una progressiva irrilevanza politica in quell'area, ma gli stessi errori li abbiamo commessi non facendo scelte coraggiose in Medio Oriente. Non abbiamo saputo dire chiaramente alla Turchia che non andava invasa quella parte di Siria, perché non si cercano i terroristi in Siria, i terroristi curdi si trovano in Turchia e vanno arrestati. Ma colpire tutto il popolo curdo è un errore clamoroso. Cancelliamo anche una parte di minoranze cristiane in quella parte della Siria e continuiamo a commettere errori, perché l'Europa per egoismi dei singoli paesi non riesce ad essere protagonista nel mondo.

Non abbiamo avuto il coraggio di dire alla Turchia o di rivolgersi all'Organizzazione mondiale del commercio, per esempio, per denunciare gli aiuti di Stato all'industria dell'acciaio turco da parte dei militari, che di fatto fanno concorrenza sleale all'industria dell'acciaio europeo.

L'Europa, se vuole contare, deve abbandonare le nostalgie nazionali, ma avere una strategia per contare sul palcoscenico internazionale. E la conferenza sul futuro dell'Europa deve puntare soltanto ad una riforma: il ritorno alla politica. Se l'Europa non ritorna alla politica è destinata all'irrilevanza nei prossimi decenni.

 
  
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  Margarida Marques (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, quero começar por deixar aqui uma palavra ao Senhor Juncker por ter respeitado durante todo o seu mandato o princípio, o respeito da diversidade. E talvez um dia nós possamos entender a importância desse princípio.

As conclusões do Conselho Europeu sobre o quadro financeiro plurianual não refletem as divergências dos 27 Estados-Membros sobre a proposta da Presidência finlandesa. Sabemos que a larguíssima maioria dos Estados-Membros está em desacordo com a Presidência. Não tem em conta a posição do Parlamento recentemente validada por esta Câmara, não tem em conta as recomendações da Comissão Europeia, não considera os compromissos políticos da Sra. von der Leyen. Tememos, por isso, que a proposta da Negotiating Box esteja ao arrepio do que as instituições, os políticos e os líderes devem fazer nos próximos sete anos.

Mas o Parlamento não deixará de exercer as suas competências e vai negociar um orçamento robusto. Queremos um orçamento em 1 de janeiro de 2021, mas não estamos prontos para comprometer o orçamento pelo calendário. Lembro que o Parlamento Europeu está pronto para negociar desde novembro do ano passado.

 
  
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  Fabienne Keller (Renew). – Messieurs les Présidents, Messieurs les Commissaires, cher Président Donald Tusk, vous êtes parvenu à un accord avec le Président de la Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, que je salue, un accord respectant les règles européennes, respectant aussi le choix souverain du peuple britannique – et je veux dénoncer ici l’attitude de M. Nigel Farage. Vingt ans de combat contre l’Europe, vingt ans pendant lesquels il a été nourri par l’Europe...

L’important aujourd’hui, c’est la relation future, et je voudrais saluer le travail de Michel Barnier, son action pour la cohésion des 27 États membres avec Johannes Hahn et Miguel Cañete, que je salue, derrière lui pour maintenir une vision et porter un projet ensemble pour l’avenir de l’Europe.

Un nouveau report, il en faudra peut-être un, mais je forme le vœu qu’il ne soit accepté que s’il y a un élément nouveau, s’il y a une raison. En tous les cas, je voudrais saluer votre action pour garantir le portage d’un projet européen d’avenir.

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, although Johnson is trying to bounce the Westminster Parliament into rubber-stamping the Brexit deal, our Parliament should do its job properly. We need to accord this treaty, which is so crucial to the interests of the EU and the UK, sufficient scrutiny. Since Brexit was clearly intended as an attack on European standards and on the integrity of the single market, we must not allow Brexit fatigue to weaken our resolve. We must defend those standards.

We welcomed Mr Barnier’s idea of the level playing field, preventing the UK from undercutting the single market and its standards on environment, workers’ rights and tax. But in this deal, Johnson has moved those restrictions from the Withdrawal Agreement to the Political Declaration, which will not be legally binding. This is a clear signal that they are preparing the UK to become Singapore—on—Thames and is a threat to the integrity of the single market.

Our European Parliament has already agreed that we will not agree the deal before the Westminster Parliament does, and we must stick to that, in spite of any pressure that might come from the Council to make hasty and risky decisions. Our job is to ensure that we protect the European project and the interests of present and future EU citizens.

 
  
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  Alessandro Panza (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, le conclusioni della Commissione sui cambiamenti climatici lasciano molto a desiderare.

Come sempre sono stati utilizzati degli approcci ideologici che non risolvono nessun tipo di problema. Lo stiamo vedendo in queste ore nelle province di Verbania nel nord del Piemonte, nella provincia di Alessandria nel centro del Piemonte, dove ci sono morti, dove ci sono allagamenti, frane, smottamenti e strade chiuse. Non è mettendo tasse che si risolve il problema dei cambiamenti climatici, ma è permettendo, ad esempio, agli amministratori locali di poter intervenire senza essere messi in prigione o senza essere accusati di deturpare il territorio.

Un'ultima questione: evitiamo che il fondo di solidarietà, come è stato proposto dalla Commissione e dal Consiglio, venga utilizzato per quello per cui non è previsto, ovvero per eventuali ipotetici fantasmagorici danni provocati da una Brexit. Lasciamo il fondo di solidarietà per le catastrofi naturali, che purtroppo continuano ad avvenire e continueranno ad avvenire sempre più spesso.

 
  
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  Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, gospodine Juncker, gospodine Tusk, lili ste ovdje suze za Britanijom, čudite se kako to da su sad problemi oko pregovora s Makedonijom, s Albanijom.

Ja ću vam reći što je problem u Hrvatskoj, zašto su se Hrvati toliko razočarali u Europi. Zato što su očekivali, a to im je, na kraju krajeva i obećavano, od strane vašeg prijatelja Plenkovića i političkog establišmenta, da jednog časa kad uđemo u Europu, da će se riješiti pravosuđe, da će se riješiti borba protiv korupcije. To se nije dogodilo. Zato je došlo do toga razočaranja.

Hrvatska je, mogu slobodno reći, najkorumpiranija u Europi, svako malo izlaze takva izvješća. I takvoj, najkorumpiranijoj državi u Europi vi ste odlučili vjerovati. U Hrvatskoj već za 10 000 eura pa prema više, možete kupiti rezultat policijske istrage, sudsku presudu, odluku tužitelja. U Hrvatskoj institucije funkcioniraju na način da pitaju lopova je li on lopov, u prvom koraku. U drugom koraku on kaže da nije lopov i u trećem koraku zaključe da nema elemenata kaznenih djela. I tako se to vrtjelo desetljećima.

Hrvatski narod je očekivao da ćete vi to promijeniti, da ćete visoke europske standarde uvesti u Hrvatsku, ali dogodilo se suprotno. To se vidjelo kod izbora Komisije, da ste prihvatili mišljenje hrvatskog pravosuđa, recimo o imovini Dubravke Šuice ili bilo koga. Hrvatska je s korupcijom ušla u Europu, umjesto da je Europa s visokim standardima ušla u Hrvatsku.

(Zastupnik je pristao odgovoriti na pitanje postavljeno podizanjem plave kartice (članak 171. stavak 8. Poslovnika))

 
  
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  Tomislav Sokol (PPE), pitanje koje je podizanjem plave kartice postavio. – Gospodine Sinčić, ovo nije prvi put da lažete, obmanjujete i potkazujete vlastitu državu u ovom visokom domu, zato Vas pitam:

Zbog čega to radite? Zbog čega ste učinili sve da kolegica Šuica ne bude izabrana i kad ste Vi taj problem stvarali jedini dok je ovdje Odbor za pravne poslove rekao da je sve u redu? Znači, Vi ste zbog unutarnjopolitičkih problema u Hrvatskoj napravili problem vlastitoj državi. Podkazujete, obmanjujete. Molim Vas, nemojte to raditi i objasnite mi zbog čega to radite, zašto hrvatskoj državi nanosite štetu?

 
  
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  Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI), odgovor na pitanje postavljeno podizanjem plave kartice. – Gospodine Sokol, ja se nadam da Vi dobro znate da članak 339. Hrvatskog kaznenog zakona govori o podmićivanju zastupnika.

Molim Vas, uđite u proces o kojem sam dosta raspravljao ovih dana u hrvatskoj javnosti, ispitivanje imovine gospođe Šuice, i vidjet ćete da je Europa vjerovala hrvatskim institucijama. Najkorumpiranoj zemlji u Europi, njihovim institucijama se vjeruje bez ikakve provjere. Po hrvatskom aršinu, ne po finskom aršinu.

Evo, tu je, recimo, gospodin Kolakušić, on je sudac bio 20 godina. Mislite da je on slučajno ovdje bio izabran? Nije. Izabran je na val nezadovoljstva hrvatskim pravosuđem kojeg je Vaš establišment stvorio.

 
  
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  Tomas Tobé (PPE). – Fru talman! Vad gäller brexit så är det nu avgörande att Europa fortsätter att hålla huvudet kallt. Vi ska inte låta Boris Johnsons inrikespolitiska agenda, ett högljutt brexitparti eller för den delen en fransk Macron som inte har tillräckligt tålamod, styra den här processen. Vi måste stå beredda i Europa att ge ytterligare tid till förlängning eller för den delen, om det brittiska parlamentet beslutar om en ny folkomröstning, vara redo för detta.

För mig är sammanhållningen i Europa det som ska styra denna process. Det absolut farligaste för både Storbritannien och Europa vore ett avtalslöst utträde. För mig vore det bästa i fall britterna blev kvar i Europeiska unionen. Men om det landar i ett utträde så ska vi se till att hålla goda relationer. Det är så vi håller ihop Europa.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ancora una volta le deludenti conclusioni del Consiglio dimostrano la necessità di dotare una volta per tutte l'Unione europea degli strumenti per governare le trasformazioni nel mondo che ci circonda.

Trovo molto grave che i leader non siano stati in grado di fare passi avanti sul quadro finanziario pluriennale; sono in disaccordo praticamente su tutto: contributi nazionali, tagli alla coesione, risorse proprie. Ritardare sulla tabella di marcia significa mettere a rischio il finanziamento di programmi europei essenziali per i territori e per i cittadini.

Sulla situazione in Siria, invece, l'Unione europea fa da spettatrice all'attacco militare di Erdogan, lasciando troppo solo il popolo curdo, nostro alleato nella sconfitta di Daesh. L'Unione europea richieda subito di schierare una forza di interposizione, una no-fly zone e sanzioni economiche e commerciali per colpire gli interessi specifici del governo turco.

È tempo che su questi temi e su gli altri al centro della discussione del Consiglio, il Parlamento dimostri di avere la forza di interrompere la lunga inerzia in cui si trova ancora oggi l'Unione.

 
  
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  President. – Colleagues, I just want to make an announcement on blue cards. We will close that now because we have 22 colleagues also on catch-the-eye, so I am closing both lists. So it’s going to be difficult to facilitate everybody.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová (Renew). – Madam President, while Brexit is the talk of the day, I would like to voice my regret about the Council conclusions on enlargement. North Macedonia and Albania have done everything we have asked of them. They have made important changes at real political costs. Yet what kind of message are we sending to them today? For those who oppose negotiations, they must make clear what further actions are needed, and moreover, they must help North Macedonia and Albania to complete these actions through financial and political measures. We cannot leave these countries without a clear path forward. North Macedonia and Albania are European states, and therefore it is our duty to them and ourselves to start the enlargement process.

 
  
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  Jordan Bardella (ID). – Madame la Présidente, à chaque nouvelle crise internationale, force est de constater que l'Europe se distingue par son impuissance. Alors que tous les États européens ont condamné d'une même voix l'invasion militaire de la Syrie par la Turquie, l'on pouvait s'attendre à des actes forts à l'encontre du sultan Erdogan. Nous n'avons été capables que de simples réprimandes.

Mettre fin à l'octroi de licences d'exportation d'armements vers la Turquie, est-ce tout ce dont nous sommes capables? Utilisons l'article 29 du traité sur le fonctionnement de l'Union européenne afin d'instaurer un embargo sur toute vente militaire à la Turquie, imposons des barrières douanières aux exportations turques vers le marché européen et mettons Erdogan au pied du mur des négociations. Hier, la Russie n'a pas bénéficié de la même clémence, puisqu’elle s’est vu imposer des sanctions économiques de votre part et de la part de l'Union européenne.

Au 19e siècle, on disait de l'Empire ottoman qu'il était l'homme malade de l'Europe, mais aujourd'hui c'est nous, Européens, qui sommes malades. Nous sommes malades d’un masochisme qui nous fait verser des milliards d'euros à un État qui nous menace d'un chaos migratoire et que vous considérez toujours comme un candidat officiel à l'élargissement. Entre humiliation et honneur, il est temps de choisir, ou l'histoire se chargera de le faire à notre place.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). – Madam President, so another European Council, another deal and an even bigger capitulation by Boris Johnson.

The Prime Minister, who on 2 October said that the UK should leave the European Union, whole and entire, has signed up to a deal where Northern Ireland would apply the European Union Customs Code and Northern Ireland businesses would pay EU tariffs on goods used in the manufacturing process. And just yesterday, after checking what on earth he had negotiated, the Brexit Secretary confirmed that goods coming from Northern Ireland to GB will be subject to customs paperwork – an estimated cost of up to GBP 65 per declaration.

Given that 70% of all of Northern Ireland’s trade is within the United Kingdom, this is a huge barrier to the Northern Ireland economy – a separation of Northern Ireland in customs and regulation from its own internal market.

If all this was done for an independent trade policy, one prominent Northern Ireland economist has already declared that Northern Ireland would become a spectator in any UK trade deals. A shameful position.

As Boris Johnston used to say: ‘No British Prime Minister could ever sign up to it’.

 
  
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  Luděk Niedermayer (PPE). – Madam President, please let me not speak about Brexit, I want to speak about the European Council. At the beginning, let me thank Mr Tusk and Mr Juncker for the dedication and effort that they have shown in the previous Council, but even years before. But we can see that sometimes dedication and effort is not enough. So I have one quite pressing issue, the question if the Council is the place of cooperation, mutual respect and responsibility, where good common solutions are found for the future or if it’s the place for political games, disagreement, and sometimes even inconsistent decisions. It seems to me that in the last Council the second prevailed over the first.

I hope it is the exception, otherwise we are heading towards problems.

 
  
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  Andreas Schieder (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Der Brexit wird immer mehr zur never—ending story. Es ist bereits der dritte britische Premierminister, der sich mit diesem Thema beschäftigt, und es ist immer schlimmer geworden. Das Brexit-Versagen – um das auch klar zu sagen – ist Resultat der gespaltenen Tories, es ist das Resultat des politischen Egoismus des britischen Premierministers Johnson, und es ist ein egoistisches Spiel auf dem Rücken der Menschen und der Bürgerinnen und Bürger vor allem im Vereinigten Königreich. Wenn es den Brexit braucht, dann braucht es auch einen vernünftigen Deal, aber eines muss uns auch klar sein: Egal in welcher Form, Brexit heißt immer weniger soziale Rechte, weniger Konsumentenschutz, weniger Geld für das Gesundheitssystem in Großbritannien und ist daher eine schlechte Idee.

Wir können die Regierung des Vereinigten Königreichs nicht abhalten, einen Fehler zu machen. Wir dürfen aber selber nicht auch einen Fehler machen, und daher ist es klar, dass dieses Europäische Parlament meiner Meinung nach erst über den Deal entscheiden kann, wenn das britische Parlament mit all seinen Kammern diese Entscheidung getroffen hat. Erst dann sind wir an der Reihe.

 
  
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  Илхан Кючюк (Renew). – Уважаема г-жо Председател, уважаеми колеги, изминалият Европейски съвет беше от изключителна важност: полагането на усилия за ефективното преодоляване на тежката хуманитарна криза в североизточна Сирия и продължаващите дискусии за постигане на компромис по многогодишната финансова рамка.

Втора важна тема – Великобритания и Брекзит. Все още Великобритания е на прага на напускане на Европейския съюз и въпреки упорството на премиера Джонсън да стори това на 28 октомври, вече за всички е ясно, че той няма цел, план и посока. Ние трябва да подкрепим отлагането на Брекзит, защото гласът на всички тези хора, които видяхме по улиците на Лондон в събота, най-накрая трябва да бъде чут.

Същевременно обаче, няма как да не отбележим с огорчение историческата грешка, която Европа е на път да направи по отношение на Северна Македония и Албания. Всяко отлагане за започване на преговорен процес вреди на доверието в Европейския съюз на Балканите. Процесът на разширяване е най-добрата възможност да се осигури стабилност в региона и не трябва да става жертва на политически настроения.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Χριστοφόρου (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, θα ήθελα να χαιρετίσω τις πραγματικά πολύ σημαντικές αποφάσεις του Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου για λήψη μέτρων ενάντια στην επιθετική επεκτατική δραστηριότητα της Τουρκίας στην Κυπριακή αποκλειστική οικονομική ζώνη, η οποία παραβιάζει τα κυριαρχικά δικαιώματα μιας χώρας μέλους της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Ταυτόχρονα, οφείλω να ευχαριστήσω τον πρόεδρο Ντόναλντ Donald Tusk που, διά της παρουσίας του στο Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο αυτά τα πέντε χρόνια, μαζί με τον πρόεδρο της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής, κύριο Jean-Claude Juncker και την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή, αναβάθμισαν με το έργο τους και με την αποστολή τους το κύρος και την αξιοπιστία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης.

Η Τουρκία εισέβαλε στη Συρία, με τον ίδιο τρόπο, ανενόχλητη, όπως εισέβαλε πριν 45 χρόνια στην Κύπρο μας και άφησε πίσω της όλεθρο και καταστροφή. Από τούτο εδώ το βήμα, προειδοποίησα πάρα πολλές φορές ότι πρέπει να αναχαιτίσουμε, εδώ και τώρα, την επεκτατική και επιθετική πολιτική της Τουρκίας, πριν να είναι αργά. Πιστεύω ότι οφείλουμε, πριν να είναι αργά, να υιοθετήσουμε την πρόταση του αγαπητού φίλου ηγέτη του Ευρωπαϊκού Λαϊκού Κόμματος, Manfred Weber, ο οποίος είπε ξεκάθαρα ότι δεν μπορεί η Τουρκία να συνεχίζει να απολαμβάνει την τελωνειακή ένωση, την εσωτερική αγορά και να στηρίζεται από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, όταν εισβάλλει σε χώρες όπως η Συρία και όταν παραβιάζει αρχές και δικαιώματα.

Οφείλουμε όλοι, αυτή τη στιγμή, να τοποθετηθούμε και να υιοθετήσουμε την πρόταση του Manfred Weber για να υπάρξουν οικονομικές συνέπειες εις βάρος της Τουρκίας. Mόνο έτσι η Τουρκία θα καταλάβει και θα κατανοήσει ότι η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση είναι Ένωση αρχών και αξιών, την οποία οφείλει να την αναγνωρίζει και να τη σέβεται. Πρέπει ταυτόχρονα να τελειώνουν τα αστεία, διότι μόνο έτσι η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση θα αποδειχτεί επιτέλους ότι είναι ηγέτιδα δύναμη και θα γίνει σεβαστή από εχθρούς και φίλους.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, prošlotjedni sastanak Vijeća doista nije bio „business as usual”. Nekoliko važnih tema nezasluženo je palo u sjenu Brexita, a to najbolje potvrđuje nedovoljno sadržajan zaključak o situaciji u Siriji i tek kratka referenca na višegodišnji proračunski okvir.

Žao mi je što postignuto jedinstvo i suglasnost oko nadograđenog dogovora o Brexitu nisu nastavljeni i dogovorom o otvaranju pretpristupnih pregovora sa Sjevernom Makedonijom i Albanijom.

Obje teme utječu na kredibilitet Unije, na našu sposobnost da djelujemo kao globalni akter u sve turbulentnijim vanjskopolitičkim prilikama. Dok se suočavamo sa sve kompleksnijom geopolitičkom situacijom, moramo jačati utjecaj Europske unije u našem neposrednom susjedstvu.

Neupitna je naša podrška da izbjegnemo izlazak Ujedinjenog Kraljevstva bez dogovora i zaštitimo prava naših građana. Međutim, to najviše ovisi o partnerima u Londonu. Nasuprot tome, politika proširenja odnosno podrška vladama dokazano predanim zahtjevnim reformama ovisi isključivo o nama.

Nadam se da će ova nepotrebna greška Vijeća biti ispravljena prvom mogućom prilikom.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Madam President, first, I’d like to say that we cannot imagine European politics in the last decades without President Juncker. And I would like to praise you, not for your political activity, but because you are a true European and a true humanist. And I would dedicate to you a quote of Montesquieu that can summarise your thought: ‘If I knew something useful to my fatherland which were prejudicial to Europe, or something which were useful to Europe and prejudicial to mankind, I would consider it a crime’. This is a good summary of your thought and of your action.

E agora queria apenas dar duas notas sobre o Conselho Europeu. A primeira, para dizer que acompanho integralmente as posições tomadas quanto à negociação com o Reino Unido e quanto ao Brexit e que acho que nós temos que continuar a demonstrar-nos muito abertos para todo o povo britânico, mas mantendo claramente a defesa da visão europeia. Defender a Europa é também defender o Reino Unido.

E, finalmente, uma palavra de alguém que vem do farwest da Europa para a decisão tomada acerca dos Balcãs. É uma vergonha que nós não estejamos em condições de abrir o processo de negociação com a Macedónia do Norte e com a Albânia. Elas precisam de nós, como nós, os países do farwest da Europa, precisámos da Europa no passado.

 
  
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  Javier Moreno Sánchez (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, cher Jean-Claude, cher Michel, je n’ai qu’une minute, mais je ne peux pas laisser passer cette occasion de vous remercier pour votre travail et votre vocation européenne. La construction européenne vous doit beaucoup.

El Brexit nos mantiene sumidos en la confusión total. Tras la cumbre europea y el voto en la Cámara de los Comunes, el caos sigue reinando y los políticos británicos deben aclararse. En todo caso, es preferible aplazar la salida, antes que un Brexit duro.

Pero este debate no puede distraernos de otras prioridades. Necesitamos un marco financiero plurianual ambicioso que vaya mucho más allá del uno por ciento de la renta nacional bruta, tal como han apuntado algunos jefes de Estado y de Gobierno en la cumbre —entre otros, el mío—. Tenemos que hacer frente a los desafíos ligados a las migraciones, el cambio climático y la Agenda Digital. También necesitamos recursos para luchar contra el desempleo juvenil, el paro de larga duración y la implementación de la estrategia de género.

Y, sobre todo, debemos reforzar las políticas europeas tradicionales como la PAC y la cohesión social y territorial. No podemos permitir que nuestros campos y nuestras zonas rurales se sigan vaciando y que la brecha entre las regiones siga creciendo.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Madam President, 31 October is a little over a week away and, of course, that brings to mind Halloween – pumpkins, ghosts and all things spooky – and some people might get carried away and want to ‘die in a ditch’ in the spirit of Halloween. But that wouldn’t apply to most of us, so for that reason, in terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, I think it’s important that we take our time and get it right.

We have waited three years. If we have to wait another three weeks or three months, it’s better to take our time and get it right than to rush and get it wrong. Having said that, the updated Withdrawal Agreement is something better than a disorderly exit and, definitely, Prime Minister Johnson, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Michel Barnier deserve credit for the speed at which they worked to get this in order. However, as I said, we must take our time and get it right.

Finally, I would also like to be associated with Mr González Pons’ and Mr Rangel’s and other people’s comments in relation to President Juncker. You’ve had a fantastic five years, Mr Juncker. You’ve shown great leadership and enjoyed great success, and Europe will always be grateful to you.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Κύρτσος (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, με ανησυχεί ότι υπάρχει μια κακοφωνία μεταξύ Merkel και Macron, μεταξύ Γαλλίας και Γερμανίας. Σε πολλά ζητήματα βρίσκονται αντίθετοι, από τη χρηματοδότηση της ευρωζώνης, από τη διεύρυνση στα δυτικά Βαλκάνια και από την αντιμετώπιση της τουρκικής απειλής ως τη σχέση με τη Ρωσία. Επομένως, θα ήθελα να ξεπεραστεί αυτή η κακοφωνία, διότι πιστεύω ότι με μια καλύτερη γαλλογερμανική συνεργασία θα αποκτήσουμε πολύ περισσότερες δυνατότητες.

Επίσης, θα ήθελα να ευχαριστήσω τον πρόεδρο Juncker για ό,τι έκανε για την πατρίδα μου, την Ελλάδα, όλοι τον ευχαριστούμε στην Ελλάδα, ανεξάρτητα πολιτικής τοποθέτησης, διότι ο Juncker αγαπάει τους Έλληνες, μας αγαπάει όλους, με τις γνωστές αδυναμίες και τις ελλείψεις μας. Άλλωστε αυτή είναι η πραγματική έννοια της αγάπης, να είναι ανιδιοτελής. Τον ευχαριστούμε πολύ για όσα έκανε.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, the European Council are playing games with all of us. They were quite happy to go along with Boris Johnson's timeline for Brexit but not to follow the long held EU line encouraging North Macedonia and Albania to join our European project.

The Council were willing to accept the promises of a liar Prime Minister in the UK but not willing to keep their word when it comes to good neighbours in the Balkans. We have made a promise to North Macedonia and Albania and not honouring that promise could be a historic mistake.

Regarding the UK, what kind of international treaty should be rushed through without proper process or scrutiny? The Council has tried to bounce this issue back onto the European Parliament without allowing sufficient time for consideration and reflection before rejection or ratification. Brexit will not magically go away.

If the deal passes, this is just the end of the beginning, rather than the beginning of the end. Now begins the hard part.

 
  
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  Andrus Ansip (Renew). – Madam President, dear Jean-Claude, dear colleagues, first of all, I would like to thank Jean-Claude for this really good leadership. But now about Brexit.

After the Brexit referendum we got strong statements from London. Brexit means Brexit. Out means out. ‘No deal’ is better than a bad deal.

During the last five years as Commission Vice-President responsible for the digital single market, I used to deal with very practical issues. We were able to abolish roaming surcharges in the European Union, but what will happen with those roaming surcharges after Brexit? It will depend on negotiations between EU 27 and the United Kingdom. We were able to agree on the General Data Protection Regulation to protect the privacy of our people and we were able to agree in free data flows to support our industries, and we all know UK is really good as cloud service provider, but what will happen with data flows after Brexit? It will depend on the deal.

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Ellie Chowns (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I thank all colleagues for their patience with the nightmare of Brexit so far. I, too, deeply regret this. I, too, believe it’s been a waste of time and energy, and I agree with so many of you that things should not be artificially rushed now.

On Saturday, I marched with hundreds of thousands of people through my capital city, London, to call for a people’s vote on any final deal. You will have seen the pictures, a sea of pro-European sentiment on the streets of London. That is the will of the people. It has changed since 2016; 74 out of 75 polls in the last year show a majority for Remain, so please, friends, be in no doubt about the strength of pro-European feeling in the UK. And yet here we are, our new Prime Minister who has lost every single vote in the House of Commons so far – an historically unprecedented record of failure – is asking the EU to help dig him out of his own ditch. He wants the Council and this House to increase the pressure in Westminster but the deal raises very serious questions. We know the aim of the Brexiteers is to undermine social and environmental standards, so hard won, not to increase them. We know Johnson cannot be trusted. That’s why this deal needs thorough scrutiny here and in Westminster.

 
  
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  James Wells (NI). – Madam President, the United Kingdom has been a good customer and friend of the European Union and its Member States. In the 20 years to 2018, the EU enjoyed a total trade surplus of nearly 750 billion with the UK. The UK has also contributed a net figure of 120 billion to the EU project over the same period, and the UK is one of only six Member States that meet NATO defence spending commitments that provide security to everybody in this place.

Given this, I would like to know why Messrs Juncker, Tusk and Barnier feel that it’s okay to meet UK opposition leaders and the likes of Tony Blair in a blatant attempt to interfere in British politics. It seems Martin Selmayr hinted at the EU intent when he was overheard saying that Northern Ireland would be the price that Britain would pay for Brexit.

Is it not the truth that the British people have been treated in contempt by the EU in these negotiations?

 
  
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  Franc Bogovič (PPE). – Spoštovana predsednica, iskrena hvala gospod Tusk za vaš glas razuma, ki ste ga predstavljali zadnjih pet let. Hvala gospodu Junckerju za proevropsko držo, gospodu Barnierju pa za odločno delo na področju brexita.

Sam želim spregovoriti o temi, ki nas je, prihajam iz Slovenije, po svoje zelo prizadela. To je to, da je Svet zavrnil pristopna pogajanja za Severno Makedonijo in pa za Albanijo. Prihajamo iz območja, kjer vemo, da mir ni samo tako sam po sebi umeven, prihajamo iz območja in te države imajo še veliko za postoriti na področju vladavine prava, na reformah znotraj držav in takšni signali, takšna neresnost, kot jo je pokazal Svet, je prav zastrašujoča in zato tisti, ki hodimo v ta del Evrope z namenom, da ga približamo Evropski uniji, se nahajamo v velikih težavah.

Iskrena hvala gospodu Hahnu za veliko delo, ki ga je naredil na Balkanu, bojim pa se, da se bo po takšnih odločitvah na Balkanu ravnovesje prevesilo v drugo smer in bodo o Balkanu odločali drugi, ne Evropska unija.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, presidente Tusk, presidente Juncker, me sumo al reconocimiento, aunque solo sea porque bajo su mandato la Unión Europea ha estado en la peor crisis de su historia, de la que el Brexit es el episodio y el quebranto más emblemático.

Señor Barnier, la única buena noticia ha sido el mantenimiento de la unidad negociadora de la Unión Europea y la reciprocidad, que no se subraya nunca lo bastante. Es decir, la garantía de que la Unión Europea tratará a los británicos en la Unión Europea del modo en que el Reino Unido trate a los ciudadanos europeos en su territorio.

Pero el reloj de arena ha pasado a ser una bomba de relojería. La sucesión de posposiciones de la decisión final nos abisma al Brexit sin acuerdo y sus efectos económicos y sociales y, sobre todo, políticos.

Hay una batalla política contra el nacionalismo reaccionario que se apoya en bulos, desinformación e intoxicación, que pretende que las identidades locales y regionales son incompatibles con las estatales y que las nacionales son incompatibles con las europeas.

Europa tiene que dar esa batalla, pero para eso hacen falta recursos, y con un presupuesto del 1 % del PIB no lo conseguirá.

Hay algo peor que la contradicción entre lo que se dice y lo que se hace y es no estar dispuesto a poner la energía y los recursos necesarios para que no haya contradicción entre lo que se promete y lo que se cumple.

 
  
  

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID MARIA SASSOLI
Presidente

 
  
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  Michel Barnier, négociateur en chef du Brexit. – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, avec votre permission, Monsieur le Président et avec celle du Président Juncker, je voudrais dire un mot pour répondre à tous ceux et toutes celles – nombreux – qui se sont exprimés sur ce dossier difficile du Brexit, et remercier en particulier pour leur confiance le président Weber mais aussi Mme García Pérez, Dacian Ciolos, Philippe Lamberts et Martin Schirdewan pour leur soutien et leur confiance tout au long des derniers mois et des dernières années.

Nous avons, comme l’ont dit le président Tusk et le président Juncker, pour votre Parlement beaucoup de respect. Ce Parlement doit être respecté dans le moment grave et important où nous sommes du processus du Brexit. Nous l’avons toujours respecté et c’est votre Parlement qui aura le dernier mot. Il est donc normal que le Parlement britannique prenne maintenant ses responsabilités et s’engage le premier sur la base de l’accord que nous avons négocié avec le gouvernement britannique et non pas contre lui ou sans lui pour obtenir ce que nous souhaitons tous, s’il s’agit bien du Brexit, un retrait ordonné. Je redis et je répète que si le Royaume-Uni veut un retrait ordonné qui vaut beaucoup mieux qu’un retrait désordonné, alors cet accord-là, c’est le seul possible. Il nous paraît légitime que votre Parlement, au moment où il donnera son accord, sache sans ambiguïté ce que veut, ce que souhaite, ce que décide le Royaume-Uni pour son propre avenir.

Nous sommes à une phase, je le répète, grave et importante de ce long processus. Puisque j’en ai l’occasion, je voudrais dire au président Donald Tusk mais aussi à son équipe, au président Jean-Claude Juncker, à tous les commissaires et au président Verhofstadt, aux membres du Brexit, mes remerciements pour leur confiance.

La mission qui m’a été confiée au tout début par Jean-Claude Juncker, c’était de travailler à un traité organisant le retrait ordonné, et pas autre chose. C’est ce que nous avons accompli. Mais cette mission difficile, complexe – je n’ai pas d’ailleurs été surpris par sa complexité – reste une mission pour une négociation qui est négative. Le Brexit, c’est lose-lose. Personne, même pas M. Farage, n’a été capable de me démontrer ou de m’apporter la moindre preuve de la valeur ajoutée du Brexit. Nous avons donc mené cette négociation négative en la prenant très au sérieux pour respecter le vote britannique même si nous l’avons regretté.

Tout au long de ces trois années, nous avons travaillé avec objectivité en cherchant avec ténacité, avec patience des solutions opérationnelles, juridiquement valables pour apporter des solutions à chacun des problèmes posés par le Brexit partout et pour beaucoup de monde.

Nous avons travaillé en respectant nos partenaires britanniques parce que, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, nous avons pour le Royaume-Uni définitivement du respect et même de l’admiration.

Nous avons travaillé aussi sans nous laisser influencer par les turbulences et les discussions politiques internes au Royaume-Uni. J’ai toujours dit que nous travaillions sans émotion, sans passion sur cette question, à partir des faits, des bases légales et des problèmes créés par le Brexit pour y trouver des solutions.

Nous avons, enfin, travaillé en mettant en perspective cette négociation. Le Brexit, ce n’est pas la fin de l’histoire. Ce n’est pas une destination. Nous avons donc mis en perspective cette négociation, d’abord en tenant compte de la paix en Irlande. Tous les jours, tous les jours, nous avons eu cette exigence de tout faire pour préserver la paix fragile sur l’île d’Irlande. Puis, nous avons mis en perspective aussi ce que nous faisions par rapport à ce qui est notre fondation, notre fondement, à savoir le marché intérieur, qui est bien plus qu’une zone de libre-échange, qui est un espace de vie en commun économique et social et qui doit être consolidé et conforté.

Nous avons mis en perspective cette négociation en tenant compte aussi de ce qui a toujours été la priorité du Parlement européen et notre priorité, la sécurité des droits des citoyens. Quatre millions et demi de personnes parmi lesquelles un million et demi de citoyens britanniques qui vivent chez nous et trois millions et demi au moins de citoyens européens qui vivent et travaillent au Royaume-Uni.

Monsieur Verhofstadt, Madame Hübner, Madame Fritzson et beaucoup d’autres, j’ai entendu votre préoccupation. Je rappelle que si cet accord est voté par le Parlement britannique et par vous, les quatre millions et demi de personnes dont je parle verront leurs droits sécurisés de manière durable pour eux-mêmes et pour leurs familles. C’est la meilleure garantie pour les citoyens. Le Royaume-Uni s’est engagé à mettre en œuvre cet accord de manière pratique et nous devons vérifier que ce sera bien le cas. Voilà pourquoi les préoccupations que vous exprimez sont importantes, et il faut maintenir la pression avec les États membres pour que les engagements pris par le Royaume-Uni soient respectés.

Puis, nous avons toujours mis cette négociation en perspective – puisque le Brexit, ce n’est pas la fin de l’histoire – de ce que nous devons reconstruire avec le Royaume-Uni. Là, nous détricotons 44 années d’intégration et de coopération. Les Britanniques vont quitter plus de 600 accords internationaux. On ne va pas s’arrêter là. Le Royaume-Uni reste là où il est, notre ami, notre allié, notre partenaire et donc nous devons reconstruire.

M. Farage n’est plus là, malheureusement, mais j’ai été étonné par ce qu’il a dit tout à l’heure, en expliquant que cet accord ouvrait la voie à trois nouvelles années de négociations. Mais, bien entendu qu’il va falloir négocier! Au-delà du Brexit et de la séparation ou du divorce, il va falloir renégocier pendant un an, deux ans, trois ans, peut-être plus, dans certains domaines, pour reconstruire tout ce qui aura été détricoté par la volonté de ceux qui ont soutenu le Brexit. Il va falloir reconstruire un accord de commerce équilibré avec ce qu’on appelle des règles du jeu pour éviter les risques qui existent de dumping fiscal, social, environnemental ou contre les droits des consommateurs. Il va falloir reconstruire une relation en matière de coopération universitaire, d’Erasmus, la recherche, la coopération policière et judiciaire, la sécurité, la défense, la politique étrangère, tous ces domaines où nous avons besoin de travailler durablement avec le Royaume-Uni dans un nouveau contexte et dans un nouveau cadre politique.

Voilà donc ce qui nous attend et ce à quoi la Commission européenne, comme l’ont voulu le président Juncker et la présidente désignée et élue, Mme von der Leyen, se prépare en organisant ses propres services.

Voilà, je voudrais conclure en reprenant un mot, tout à l’heure, de M. van Orden, qui a dit: «il y a les leçons du Brexit». Évidemment, là nous parlons des conséquences du Brexit. Elles sont innombrables, elles ont été souvent sous-estimées, notamment au Royaume-Uni, et nous y faisons face. Mais il y a les leçons du Brexit. Pourquoi 52 % des Britanniques ont voté contre l’Europe? J’ai toujours, en tant qu’homme politique, recommandé que l’on prenne un peu de temps pour réfléchir à cette question parce qu’elle nous concerne dans les 27 pays de l’Union européenne. Dans ces leçons, il y a une leçon que M. Farage et ses amis ont quelquefois oubliée. C’est qu’il faut dire la vérité aux citoyens avant qu’ils votent. C’est notre responsabilité de dire la vérité aux citoyens.

(Applaudissements)

Mais, derrière le vote du Brexit, il y a aussi une colère sociale qui s’est exprimée, le sentiment parfois que l’Europe ne protégeait pas assez le rejet de cette désindustrialisation, le besoin de protection et de réformes. C’est tout cela l’agenda positif, qui est bien plus important que le Brexit. Ce que je veux dire, parce que je peux en témoigner, c’est que c’est exactement le souhait et l’engagement de Mme von der Leyen et de sa nouvelle équipe, que de s’attacher maintenant prioritairement à ce nouvel agenda positif.

Mais je veux dire aussi – pour avoir eu le privilège et l’honneur d’être à ses côtés pendant ces trois années et de rester naturellement durablement son ami – que c’est l’engagement du président Juncker et de son équipe de commissaires. Aujourd’hui, au moment de se dire au revoir, je dois dire que, pour moi cela a été et cela reste un grand privilège d’avoir été à ses côtés, et je veux lui dire mes remerciements pour sa confiance. Je sais qu’il a commencé avec son équipe à s’attacher à ce qui est plus important que tout, au-delà du Brexit, c’est-à-dire à l’engagement d’un agenda positif pour l’Europe et pour les citoyens européens.

(Applaudissements)

 
  
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  Donald Tusk, President of the European Council. – Mr President, thank you for all your warm words about me. It was worth waiting five years for such a moment! I would also like to thank the House for its responsible position on Brexit and the extension. Through this, you have shown common sense and a sense of dignity. After what I have heard today in this Chamber, I have no doubt that we should treat the British request for an extension in all seriousness.

Thank you. Goodbye.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Grazie Presidente, anch'io mi unisco ai miei colleghi nel ringraziamento per la Sua disponibilità sempre nei confronti del Parlamento per dibattiti che ci hanno accompagnato in tutti questi anni, naturalmente La ringrazio per il Suo impegno.

La discussione è chiusa. Adesso ci fermiamo per una brevissima pausa e poi riprendiamo.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 171)

 
  
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  Milan Brglez (S&D), pisno. – V zvezi s sklepi Evropskega sveta izražam obžalovanje, da so se voditelji in posledično javnost znova ukvarjali predvsem z vprašanjem izstopa Združenega kraljestva iz EU.

Čeprav je to tema, ki se ji moramo posvečati z vidika zavarovanja pravic ljudi, pa so zaradi nesorazmernega fokusa (sklepov) na izstopnem dogovoru povsem zanemarjena pogajanja glede finančne perspektive za obdobje 2021–2027. Sklepi pozivajo predsedstvo k predložitvi konkretnejšega okvira za pogajanja šele za decembrsko zasedanje Sveta, kar skupaj z odlogom britanskega izstopa pomeni, da obstaja velika verjetnost, da nov finančni okvir ne bo sprejet pred iztekom obstoječega. To je zelo slab znak za prihodnost EU, saj je obljube in načrte, ki jih je dala novoizvoljena predsednica Komisije, nemogoče uresničiti brez ustreznih finančnih virov.

V državah članicah je onemogočeno načrtovanje projektov iz kohezijskega sklada, ki za številne dele EU predstavlja nepogrešljiva oz. edina razvojna sredstva. Bolj ko se odmika sprejetje dogovora o uredbi o večletnem finančnem okviru, večja je verjetnost, da se bodo v časovni stiski za sprejetje kompromisa žrtvovala sredstva, namenjena koheziji, ter druga razvojna sredstva, ki niso nujno potrebna za tekoče delovanje (institucij) EU.

Za prihodnost EU je slabo tudi to, da širitev EU ne bo več na agendi voditeljev pred majem 2020.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – O segundo acordo aprovado pelo Conselho Europeu para a saída do Reino Unido da UE corresponde, no essencial, ao acordo alcançado em 2018, tendo sido modificados aspectos relacionados com os controlos alfandegários, questões fiscais e de circulação e controlo de mercadorias, relativos à Irlanda do Norte. Num quadro ainda incerto quanto ao desfecho do processo, reafirmamos quatro premissas centrais da nossa análise e posicionamento: – Mais de três anos decorridos desde o referendo que ditou a decisão soberana do povo britânico de saída da UE, esta está ainda por concretizar. A questão fundamental que se coloca é o respeito pela vontade do povo britânico; – A saída do Reino Unido da UE não deve ser utilizada para, em nome de supostos “ajustamentos” ou “impactos” futuros, colocar em questão direitos laborais e sociais, seja no Reino Unido, seja nos Estados-Membros da UE; – Os direitos dos trabalhadores migrantes, que não estão assegurados pela mera aplicação do acervo da UE (como o demonstrou o acordo alcançado com David Cameron em 2016), devem ser firmemente defendidos e assegurados, incluindo através de negociações num plano de relacionamento bilateral entre Estados; – Devem ser tomadas medidas para desenvolver um quadro de relações bilaterais com o Reino Unido mutuamente vantajosas, respeitadoras da soberania dos Estados e dos direitos dos povos.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D), în scris. – Iată că ne aflăm la un raport de final al Consiliului și al Comisiei. Trebuie să spun că, deși am fost critică de multe ori la adresa celor doi lideri, domnii Tusk și Juncker, uitându-mă în perspectivă, trebuie să le mulțumesc. Le mulțumesc și pentru franchețea din discursul de astăzi: domnul Tusk vorbește despre greșeala din Consiliu: două state care prin liderii lor − Franța și Olanda − au blocat decizia de extindere. Două țări, Franța și Olanda, care pozează în proeuropene, dar fac rău viitorului Europei prin blocajul la Consiliu.

Domnul Juncker ne-a spus că UE face promisiuni pe care nu le respectă. Exact ce am tot spus cinci ani în Parlament. Dar ce ne așteaptă? Mi-e teamă să ajungem la concluzia tristă că schimbarea șefilor nu este totdeauna o bucurie. Nu avem încă o Comisie Europeană, nu avem încă forma finală de buget și CFM și ne confruntăm cu orgoliile domnului Macron și Rutte. Doamna Președintă Ursula von der Leyen aleasă prelungește formarea echipei fără nici o explicație! Care poate fi viitorul UE? Este o întrebare firească după deciziile Consiliului de a bloca aderarea Macedoniei de Nord și a Albaniei și după întârzierea nejustificată a definitivării echipei noii Comisii Europene.

 
  
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  Pedro Marques (S&D), por escrito. – Senhora Presidente, estamos a bater à porta do inferno. Está demasiado em jogo na Europa e no Reino Unido. Agora está claro que as pessoas no Reino Unido foram enganadas por esse slogan simplista de "tomar o nosso destino de volta nas nossas mãos". Os autores do slogan não tinham nada para propor, e a única coisa que deixaram foi uma pilha de problemas.

Da nossa parte, a Europa uniu-se relativamente ao Brexit, mesmo que tarde de mais. Vamos manter-nos unidos nos tempos difíceis que estão por vir. Tomemos este exemplo e unamo-nos onde nos faltou unidade: no futuro da Europa e do euro, na ambição do novo orçamento e nas novas prioridades, nas migrações, no alargamento. Respondamos ao clamor dos cidadãos europeus nas últimas eleições: vamos unir-nos por mais Europa.

 
  
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  Marco Zanni (ID), per iscritto. – Durante l’ultimo Consiglio europeo si è discusso sul tema della Turchia, della Brexit, dell’allargamento dell’Ue e del suo futuro. Condannare Erdogan e bloccare la vendita di armi non basta, servono azioni più forti e concrete: è ora di bloccare il fiume di miliardi che versiamo da anni alla Turchia. Per quanto riguarda l’accordo raggiunto sulla Brexit, non bisogna dimenticare come - nel corso delle lunghe e complesse negoziazioni - l’UE abbia dimostrato la sua solita avversione verso la democrazia. Sull’allargamento ad altri Paesi dei Balcani Occidentali, ritengo che aver posticipato la decisione sull’entrata di Albania e Macedonia del Nord sia una notizia positiva in quanto le differenze culturali ed economiche dei due paesi renderebbero l’integrazione difficile. Sul futuro dell’UE infine, preoccupano le proposte di alzare per l’ennesima volta le tasse in nome della lotta contro la crisi climatica. Inoltre il possibile taglio dei fondi per la PAC avrà come effetto quello di danneggiare i nostri agricoltori, già colpiti dalla crisi. Ricordiamo che l’Italia è uno dei principali contributori netti del Bilancio Ue, i nostri cittadini non devono farsi carico di ulteriori tasse e sacrifici.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D), por escrito. – É nos momentos de turbulência, com muitas frentes de debate e de decisão difícil, que as lideranças se afirmam e se podem dar saltos qualitativos significativos no projeto europeu. As instituições europeias têm feito um bom trabalho em relação ao processo do Brexit. Saúdo em particular o excelente trabalho realizado por Michel Barnier.

Verificámos hoje mais uma vez uma convergência maioritária forte nesta câmara quanto à estratégia negocial da União Europeia com o Reino Unido. Esta convergência cria expectativas positivas nos cidadãos europeus. Esperam que o espírito que a anima se dissemine e contamine outras opções chave para a União. Esperam menos tática e indecisão e mais coragem e ambição na gestão dos outros dossiers que também foram abordados no Conselho Europeu.

Este é o momento em que se decide da relevância ou irrelevância futura da União Europeia à escala global. Por isso, continuando serenos e fortes na gestão do Brexit, temos que ser ambiciosos e céleres na definição do próximo Quadro Plurianual de Financiamento e ter a coragem de continuar a dialogar de forma construtiva com quem se quer juntar ao projeto europeu.

 
  
  

(La seduta è sospesa alle 11.28)

 
Last updated: 5 November 2019Legal notice