Go back to the Europarl portal

Choisissez la langue de votre document :

  • bg - български
  • es - español
  • cs - čeština
  • da - dansk
  • de - Deutsch
  • et - eesti keel
  • el - ελληνικά
  • en - English (Selected)
  • fr - français
  • ga - Gaeilge
  • hr - hrvatski
  • it - italiano
  • lv - latviešu valoda
  • lt - lietuvių kalba
  • hu - magyar
  • mt - Malti
  • nl - Nederlands
  • pl - polski
  • pt - português
  • ro - română
  • sk - slovenčina
  • sl - slovenščina
  • fi - suomi
  • sv - svenska
 Full text 
Thursday, 30 January 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Commission Work Programme 2020 (debate)

  John David Edward Tennant (NI). – Madam President, after the historic vote yesterday, colleague Terry Reintke asked this Parliament to sing Auld Lang Syne. The people of Europe are our friends: they always have been and they always will be. We have no quarrel with the people of this incredible continent, but merely the political structures and the institutions to which we say good-bye tomorrow. We don’t forget old acquaintances, but we sing Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve for a different reason. We remember the old year but we also look forward to the new. We don’t lose our old friends but we forge new relationships and make new resolutions for the future. In the coming months there will be intense negotiations, and they will dominate the Commission’s work programme to a great extent.

This will be, unfortunately, the last time I speak in this place, and I bid you all a fond farewell. However much we may have disagreed on issues, I bear no malice towards any of you. There’s so much I could say but so little time in which to say it. So I’ll mention only one thing that’s so close to my heart. I ask, in the spirit of cooperation, one simple thing of the Commission and the British Government, which is of vital importance to me: please do not use the fishermen of the UK and of the European Union as a bargaining chip, or the vast number of people employed in processing once those fish have been landed. Please do not sell out our fishermen. They have endured so much for all the last 40 years. Please do not put them through any more suffering.

So we say farewell to political union but hello to a new Britain, which will always be close allies to our new European neighbours. May our new relationship be everything it should be. Let us now work together to build that new harmonious relationship.

Last updated: 11 February 2020Legal notice - Privacy policy