At a press conference in Strasbourg earlier today, Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group, outlined the EPP Group's red lines on the Brexit negotiations.
- Europe’s citizens come first. The EU is not for sale. When necessary, we are able to change trade routes and reorganise production chains. But we will never allow the division of our EU citizens into first and second-class citizens! If the UK wants to take EU citizens hostage and threaten them with expulsion during the negotiations, we will not give our support to a trade agreement with the EU.
- Peace settlements cannot be put in danger. If the UK tries to endanger the Irish Good Friday Agreement with the reintroduction of barriers at the Northern Irish border, we will never give our support to an agreement.
- EU citizens remain the masters of their own house. We will not allow the emergence of a Singapore on our doorstep. EU Member States must continue to decide on their own social systems and on their own taxes. We will not let these decisions be dictated by a fiscal and social dumping paradise on our doorstep.
- EU citizens decide on their own money! We have learned lessons from the crisis in our financial markets. We have tightened regulations for our financial markets in recent years. We will not abandon this progress because of Brexit. London must recognise the EU financial market regulations or the EU has to significantly strengthen its own financial centres.
- EU citizens will not pay the bill for the British. Agreements with the UK can only be reached if the UK recognises its financial liabilities. Why should a Croatian nurse - whose country has only been a member since 2013 - pay the bill for the UK’s liabilities since 1973 so as to make a tax cut for a London City banker possible?
- EU citizens will not accept British blockades. Leave means leave. We will not let the UK block the future of the EU27 (security union) or even change it (Turkish EU membership).
- The right order of the negotiations has to be respected. First we have to sort out the divorce arrangements. It is only after this that negotiations on the future can start. The tight schedule is reason enough to avoid negotiation chaos.
Chairman of the EPP Group