European Union parliament to denounce lack of progress on Brexit talks

Marie Harrington
October 6, 2017

Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have said that "sufficient progress" has yet to be made in the Brexit negotiations, and recommended that EU leaders postpone formally assessing the state of play.

The Parliament's Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt said the Cabinet disunity meant, "it's hard to make sufficient progress and it's hard to make the step towards the second phase of negotiations", Verhofstadt said.

But earlier on Tuesday, the European Parliament passed a non-binding motion calling on EU leaders to conclude at a summit on October 19-20 that Brexit talks had not made sufficient progress to justify opening trade negotiations with Britain.

He said he believed advancements could be made on the issue of citizens rights.

They regret, as Mr Barnier, that "discrimination" have already taken place " in the Uk and in certain other member States", stressing that " these had repercussions on their daily life, by limiting the effective exercise of their rights ".

The EU leaders' motion insists that Britain must first move to settle three key separation issues: the financial settlement, the future rights of EU citizens, and the Irish border.

They overwhelmingly backed a resolution calling for the delay as negotiators prepare to enter the latest round of talks next week.

While Tuesday's vote was not binding, the European Parliament will eventually have a final veto on any deal for Britain's departure from the bloc in March 2019.

"The future is not Brexit, but Europe" Juncker said, and lent his support to Barnier, noting that he has a clear negotiating mandate.

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The European Parliament resolution passed by 557 votes to 92, with 29 abstentions.

EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a session at the European parliament that more needs to be done on the withdrawal issues for EU nations to agree moving to the next phase of future relations later this month.

"By reading Johnson's attacks against his own Prime Minister, he shows the British government is trapped by their own party quarrels and political contradictions", he said.

It said MEPs were "of the opinion that in the fourth round of negotiations (held last week in Brussels) sufficient progress has not yet been made".

"Who do I call London: Theresa May?".

Notably, for Barnier, this means no talks on a "transition" phase after the United Kingdom officially leaves the European bloc, and certainly no discussion of a framework for the future relationship between Britain and the EU, trade or otherwise.

"With every fruitless negotiation round that goes by, the time left to negotiate a deal with the European Union shrinks, and the likelihood of a hard and destructive Brexit that puts jobs at risk grows".

"You heard the Prime Minister say very clearly in Florence that she envisages the transition period being run under existing arrangements - that was the phrase she used, "The existing rules", he said.

It is up to Mr. Barnier to assess the state of progress of discussions with London and if necessary, proposing to the 27 member States (without the Uk) to accept to begin to discuss the nature of the future partnership between the European Union and London.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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