HomeInsightsStatement by European Parliament Brexit Steering Group following second round of negotiations between EU and UK

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The statement notes that the second round of negotiations was “the first real round of Brexit negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom.”  “It was an opportunity for the two parties to review the main issues and map out where further explanations are necessary” Members of the European Parliament Brexit Steering group said.

The statement continues, however, by saying that if negotiations are to succeed within the limited time there is, “progress on more detailed content will have to be made sooner rather than later”.  The statement notes that a new EU-UK relationship can only be talked through if “sufficient progress has been achieved in the three main withdrawal areas: citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the border issue on the island of Ireland.

The European Parliament says that it “cannot be clear enough” that sufficient progress means “progress across the board, and not just in one or two areas”.  The European Parliament will formally and in due time indicate when the point of “sufficient progress” has been reached.

In other words, the European Parliament says that it will “remain vigilant regarding citizens’ rights and will continue to push for full rights for EU citizens in the UK as well as UK citizens in the EU.  It is a core mission of the European project to protect, not to diminish, the fundamental rights of all citizens.

In particular, the European Parliament is keen to “fully safeguard the rights concerning family reunion, comprehensive healthcare, voting rights in local elections, the transferability of (social) rights, and the rules governing permanent residence (including the right to leave the UK without losing this status)”.  At the same time, it wants to “avoid an administrative burden for citizens and want proposals which are intrusive to people’s privacy off the table, e.g. proposed systematic criminal checks.

Last but not least, the European Parliament says that it wants the Withdrawal Agreement to be directly enforceable and to include a mechanism in which the European Court of Justice can play its full role.  To read the European Parliament’s press release in full, click here.