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Debates
Wednesday, 29 January 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (debate)
MPphoto
 

  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Madam President, I must say that the only thing I am absolutely sure I will not miss is listening to Mr Farage. I speak here as EPP representative in the Brexit steering group but also as the former Chair of the Constitutional Affairs Committee who had all those Brexiteers and nearly 500 meetings with all those potentially affected by Brexit.

From the very beginning of the negotiations, the EU side has aimed for an orderly withdrawal based on an agreement. This is the only thing we could do to give legal certainty to the process, and we have achieved this goal. I hope most of us will endorse the consent to the Council Decision on the conclusion of this agreement to avoid a hard Brexit. From the very beginning of this process, we have been also clear that UK withdrawal is not a final destination. Now we should aim at a close comprehensive agreement on the future relationship, preferably in the form of an association agreement embracing both close economic partnership and security cooperation. We know that the UK political choice has been taking back control. So yes, we are aware that, if the UK aims at divergence from European norms and standards, it can put at risk even a bare-bone FTA. That is why a well-tailored agreement on a level playing field will be crucial, Mr Farage. But there is ahead of us, as the European Parliament, also the task to have a watchful eye on the implementation and enforcement of the withdrawal agreement. Of particular importance for us will be the oversight of the implementation of citizens’ rights and of the Irish protocol.

To conclude, let me call on the Commission to respect the commitment of its former President to involve the European Parliament in the work of the Joint Committee, and let me reach out to Robert Burns and say: For auld lang syne.

 
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