Statement of David McAllister (EPP, DE), Chair of the UK Coordination Group of the Parliament after the latest round of talks to settle the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
"More than a month after the High Level Meeting between European Parliament President David Sassoli, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, we are concerned to see the poor progress on issues that both the UK and the EU identified as crucial: fair competition and fisheries.
As we have learned today from the EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, on both issues the UK has not shown a willingness to go beyond reiterating well-known positions and to break the deadlock and find common ground, delineated by agreements co-signed by the UK Prime Minister.
While there is some progress in social security coordination, police and judicial matters, transport, energy, and on British participation in EU programmes, the positions on crucial issues are still far away. This piecemeal progress falls short of the ambition expressed at the High Level Meeting where Prime Minister Johnson spoke of finding a political agreement by the end of July. Compromises need to be found to avoid a mutually harmful no-deal scenario.
The members of the European Parliament’s UK Coordination Group support the stated goal to avoid last-minute late-night negotiations. The European Parliament needs time to scrutinise the agreement before giving its consent. The end of October is therefore a solid deadline for starting to ratify the agreement by the end of the year.
The UK needs to engage in a constructive discussion on a level playing field, including state aid, and on fisheries. We also need to see real progress on the preparatory work that the UK needs to carry out in good time to implement the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Good Friday/Belfast agreement must be preserved, and both EU and UK citizens and businesses need certainty.
As a no-deal scenario unfortunately remains a real possibility, we ask the European Commission to further step up the efforts towards raising awareness of all EU citizens, business and administrations to get ready to face a no-deal scenario on 1 January 2021."