"Unless there is a major breakthrough on the withdrawal results during the fifth negotiation round, the European Council has to postpone the start of negotiation talks on the future relationship with Great Britain," said Elmar Brok, member of the Brexit steering group, after today's vote on a resolution on the state of play of negotiations with the United Kingdom.

The European Parliament passed the report with an overwhelming majority - more than 82% of Members of Parliament.

In the resolution, the European Parliament asks for clarification on citizens’ rights, financial settlements and the guiding principles for dialogue on Northern Ireland.

The clock is ticking. We cannot only talk about the problems we face, we need substantial solutions and we need them now. Elmar Brok

"The atmosphere in the last round of negotiations has significantly improved and meaningful progress has been made, but while Europe knows exactly what it wants to achieve, the British government is still afraid of concrete proposals," criticises Elmar Brok, demanding substantial proposals.

"The clock is ticking. We cannot only talk about the problems we face, we need substantial solutions and we need them now. But instead of delivering, the United Kingdom seems to focus only on the transitional period after the official withdrawal in 2019. This transitional period, which can only exist if there is a withdrawal agreement, will be for discussing the future relationship and not for clarifying key issues like their financial commitments. Britain must stop their cherry-picking strategy," Brok said.

I encourage the European Commission and Michel Barnier to stick to the two-phased negotiations strategy agreed upon by the European Council

"The issues involved in the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU must not be used as a bargaining chip in the negotiations on a future partnership. I therefore encourage the European Commission and Michel Barnier to stick to the two-phased negotiations strategy agreed upon by the European Council," added Elmar Brok.

The European Parliament will have to approve or reject the final departure deal. Without a withdrawal agreement, the United Kingdom would automatically exit the European Union on 30 March 2019, and would do so in a disorderly manner.

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