The S&D Group in the European Parliament is calling for significant progress in next week’s negotiations between the EU and the UK on the future relationship.
Ahead of the fourth round of negotiations from 1-5 June, S&D MEPs are giving their full support to the EU’s negotiating team, headed by Michel Barnier, to make progress towards a comprehensive, and unprecedented, future partnership with the UK.
Pedro Silva Pereira, spokesperson on EU-UK negotiations said:
“If the UK is serious about a deal, we need to see significant progress in next week’s negotiations.
In recent weeks, it has been clear that the UK government wants to enjoy all the benefits that could accompany the unprecedented offer on the table - a comprehensive free trade agreement with zero tariffs and zero quotas - while rejecting the conditions for that deal to be agreed, such as a level playing field on standards and fair competition.
Michel Barnier and his negotiating team have our full support when they say the UK will need to be more constructive if it really intends to reach a deal. We want to secure a future partnership that is mutually beneficial for UK and EU citizens alike, but the UK’s current cherry-picking approach, and refusal to engage in key areas, is not helping.
Like the negotiations, we also have to see more progress in the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement. If preparations to implement the Irish protocol are not ramped up or citizens’ rights are not fully respected, mutual trust for the future partnership will be undermined” .
Kati Piri, S&D vice president on Foreign Affairs and rapporteur on the negotiations for a new partnership with the UK, said:
“The Covid-19 pandemic and all the shared challenges the virus has uncovered should be the reason for success in these negotiations and not the excuse for failure. In this determined spirit, I am working with colleagues across 17 specialised committees so that the European Parliament can give clear recommendations going forward, when next week’s negotiating round has concluded.
As it stands, the UK government has shown no ambition in key areas, such as fisheries, police cooperation or the level playing field, and there has been no engagement whatsoever on foreign and security policy. The UK is one of our most strategic partners and we need to agree a stable partnership agreement that properly reflects those shared mutual interests.
The European Parliament will be called to give consent to any future deal and it is important for MEPs to be fully engaged every step of the way, including at the upcoming High Level Conference.”