MEPs welcomed the unity of the 27 Member States and the EU institutions with regard to Brexit and also called for a reform of the EU to benefit all its citizens.
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk presented to MEPs the Guidelines for Brexit negotiations agreed by the Member States at the summit on 29 April. He welcomed the alignment with the ‘red lines’ set by the European Parliament. The detailed negotiating mandate will be presented for adoption at a Council meeting on 22nd May, pointed out the President of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.
In line with negotiator Michel Barnier, most MEPs emphasised the unity between the EU institutions and the 27 Member States, who are determined to act together to reach a balanced agreement with the United Kingdom.
The debated focussed on the basis for future negotiations, as recalled by Michel Barnier:
- no negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom can take place before “tangible progress” on the exit agreement is made,
- guaranteeing the rights of European citizens affected by the UK’s decision to leave the EU,
- the Northern Ireland peace process must be upheld (including the absence of physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland),
- the United Kingdom must respect all the financial commitments made as a Member State.