Following the European Council summit during which EU leaders called on the UK to move in key areas of the negotiations on the future partnership, the S&D Group in the European Parliament fully supports negotiations continuing in the coming weeks. However, S&D MEPs remain committed to the core principles that the EU has stood by throughout the negotiations with the UK and will not support any fundamental change in approach to the future partnership.
Iratxe García, S&D Group leader, said:
“For months we have stressed to the UK government that the clock is ticking and time is now running out. We want to see negotiations continue to avoid a damaging no-deal scenario, but we are not about to fundamentally change our approach to negotiations. We have been open and transparent from day one on our core principles in these negotiations and we have been consistently clear they are not up for compromise. We are not about to fundamentally change that approach.
The door will always remain open for further negotiations, but we need to see some movement from the UK government on the key areas. This includes our call for the UK government to withdraw the offending parts of the UK Internal Market Bill that breach the Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement is not a simple bureaucratic matter, it is about upholding the Good Friday Agreement and is an essential tool to ensure peace and stability on the island of Ireland.
The EU is preparing for any scenario and we support the efforts of the Commission to make sure the we are ready to provide for every contingency.”
Pedro Silva Pereira, S&D representative on the UK Coordination Group in the European Parliament, said:
“The EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, has our full support in pressing ahead with further negotiations and we urge the UK government to make the most of the remaining negotiating time. We will not strike an agreement at any cost, however, and the key issues that we have consistently set out as priorities are not up for compromise.
The UK has to move on some key areas to secure any agreement. There should be no surprises for the UK government when it comes to the EU’s position: we need a level playing field. We will not allow dumping and we need fair competition so we need an enforceable state aid regime. A fair and sustainable agreement on fisheries must be part of the overall deal. The UK’s breach of the Withdrawal Agreement makes it more important for there to be an extra-strong and enduring governance framework so that we have the guarantees we need that the UK will abide by its obligations.”