Pittella on Brexit: We will fight for the best deal for EU citizens. Brexiters' lies put UK into chaos
Speaking during a debate on the European Parliament’s resolution on Brexit today in Strasbourg, S&D Group president Gianni Pittella said:
“We are relieved that an overwhelming majority today approved the resolution outlining the Parliament’s guidelines for the negotiations on Brexit. This is the first time in European history that an EU member state has decided to leave. This is a serious challenge for Europe but we will emerge stronger and more united after Brexit. We probably cannot say the same for the United Kingdom. The Brexiters wanted to take back control. Does this look like control? The lies put forward in the last year and the decisions of David Cameron, Nigel Farage and Theresa May have brought about chaos in the UK, turning the United Kingdom into a dis-United Kingdom.
“For the S&D Group the Parliament resolution will act as the benchmark against which we evaluate the outcome of the negotiations. We believe fundamentally that we have a duty to safeguard the acquired rights of the EU citizens living in UK and UK citizens living in the EU based on equity and reciprocity. We believe the four freedoms of the single market are indivisible – Theresa May can therefore forget about an arrangement that alters this. No one in fact who lies outside of the Union can have greater benefits than those who are inside. The UK must then honour all outstanding financial commitments – when you change your apartment, you had better first pay the electricity bill for the old one. We want a solution that safeguards the peace process in Northern Ireland. On Gibraltar, Theresa May should condemn the ludicrous and dangerous comments of former Conservative leader Michael Howard and work towards a solution that is acceptable for both sides: we can’t accept Gibraltar transformed into a kind of financial, capital or tax haven within the EU.
“Finally, any possible future trade agreement with the UK will be conditional on British adherence to European legal, social, environmental and health standards. Europe could not accept a deal with a UK detached from these standards.
“Brexit is not what we wanted to happen. But it did. Now we will hammer out the best possible agreement for Europe and European citizens. Nevertheless, we hope that the UK will remain close to our ideals and our model of society.”