“Brexit is bad for all of us. The negotiations are now about limiting the damage”, said Elmar Brok MEP, EPP Group Brexit Spokesman and Member of the EP’s Brexit Steering Group, in the plenary debate this morning on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU.
Tomorrow, 14 March, MEPs will vote on a Resolution on the post-Brexit framework for the future EU-UK relationship. Once again, all major political groups stand behind the Resolution.
The Resolution argues that a close relationship in the form of an Association Agreement with a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK as one of the component parts could be considered an appropriate framework for the future relationship.
"In a number of speeches, Prime Minister Theresa May has reaffirmed her government's position that the United Kingdom wishes to leave both the Single Market and the Customs Union. But she has not yet set out a consistent view of future EU-UK relations. A speech is not a legal text. Therefore, we are left with negotiating a trade agreement with a third country. The United Kingdom will become a third country after withdrawal", Brok said after the plenary debate.
The Resolution argues that any future relationship has to follow these principles:
- a third country cannot have the same benefits as a Member State of the European Union, or an EFTA/EEA Member;
- the integrity of the Internal Market, the Customs Union and the four freedoms and the participation in the financing of the structural policy must be protected;
- the autonomy of the EU’s decision-making must be preserved;
- the EU legal order and the role of the ECJ must be safeguarded;
- there must be a level playing field and adherence to standards to avoid a ‘race to the bottom’.
"If you don't fulfil European standards you will have less access to the European market. The UK's attempt to plug out certain sectors and still have full access is cherry-picking", Brok concluded.