The S&D Group is calling on the UK Government to deliver on its commitments for a comprehensive future partnership and to keep its promises to ensure a level playing field when it comes to protecting standards to avoid a race to the bottom.
In a report on the future EU-UK partnership, S&D MEPs in the committees on foreign affairs and trade are calling for the UK Government to move away from the pick-and-choose approach that are preventing progress in negotiations towards a deal.
Kati Piri, S&D vice-president on foreign affairs and co-rapporteur on the future EU/UK partnership, said:
“The UK’s expectation to keep the benefits of a member state without agreeing to any obligations including a clear level playing field and governance provisions is simply not realistic. The UK made a conscious decision to leave the single market. We respect this. So should the United Kingdom.
“It is now time for the UK government to finally engage in the negotiations and to deliver on its own promises of a comprehensive agreement and fair competition with clear social, environmental and labour protections in which the CJEU remains the sole interpreter of EU law. This is what Prime Minister Johnson and the EU signed up to only months ago in the Political Declaration. None of this should be in any way controversial. The EU is united and continues to stand ready to negotiate in good faith, constructively and as an honest broker. An ambitious and comprehensive future partnership is in the best interests of both EU and UK citizens.
“What we need with this deal is not short term answers but a long term vision given the unprecedented challenges we are confronted with including economic recovery after the coronavirus crisis. This is the kind of partnership we want to negotiate and we want to succeed. We now need an injection of new energy and dynamism with a paradigm shift in these negotiations after the stalemate of the past four rounds. We hope the High Level Conference can do just that.”
Paolo de Castro, S&D trade committee member and shadow rapporteur on EU-UK, said:
“Time is short in the EU-UK negotiations, but it feels like the UK is running down the clock. If we want to do everything we possibly can to avoid a damaging no-deal scenario, we have to see a more constructive approach from the UK, with more political engagement and more ambition.
“The European Parliament will have to consent to any agreement so it would be well worth the UK Government’s time reading our recommendations. We have made it clear that we want a stable, reliable future partnership which is mutually beneficial for people on both sides of the Channel. But for this we need an overall agreement where a long-term deal on fisheries, the guarantee of fair competition and the commitment to high labour, social and environmental standards are all part and parcel of an economic partnership that would also include the EU’s most ambitious trade deal to date.
“Time and time again, Michel Barnier has said that cherry-picking is not an option in these negotiations and he has the full support of the S&D Group in his mandate.”