Seán Kelly MEP has urged the UK to “bin the bluster and get the deal done”, during today’s European Parliament debate on the talks between the EU and UK on their future relationship.
Speaking from Brussels on Wednesday, the leader of Fine Gael in the Parliament said: “Nobody in the EU, Ireland and indeed the UK if they are truly honest - wants an extremely disruptive No Deal. But it must said, a poorly drafted, last minute agreement that could break down under a multitude of legal disputes within a year would be of little use.
“To my friends in the UK: There is a room for a deal, in line with your previous agreements, that will finally provide certainty to businesses and citizens and avoid economic catastrophe. I plea to you to meet the EU at least halfway and ensure that ordinary people do not become casualties of ideology.”
Mr Kelly stressed that the on-going negotiations with the United Kingdom will have “the most immediate and severe effects to my home country of Ireland”.
Admitting his previous optimism for a deal has worn away somewhat, the Ireland South EPP Group MEP added: “I must admit, my confidence has lessened in this regard along with the shifting sands of Boris Johnson’s desires and his collection of supporters in Parliament who are more than willing to not only contradict themselves, but also contradict the foundation of the UK’s reputation by voting to willingly breach international law.
“On paper, with our years of close cooperation, the remaining issues to be sorted out on Brexit seem achievable. The sharing of fishing rights, and policing state subsidies to industry, should not be deal breakers to close allies for 47 years.”
But the real problem, according to Kelly, is “a lack of trust in the seriousness of any commitments the UK might give, which was most distinctly displayed by the abrasive introduction of the Internal Market Bill and the legal justification presented behind it”.
“There is a sense that the UK is more concerned with short-term optics than the long-term substance”, he continued.
“A trade agreement depends on both party’s common understanding and interpretation of the text - we need to move to space in the negotiations where this is possible, including a robust system for mediating and arbitrating disputes, which is consistent with the EU’s global trade policy.
“Bin the bluster and get the deal done”, Kelly concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States