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MEPs Say Not Enough Progress Made On Brexit

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

04 December 2017

The European Parliament's Brexit Steering Group has argued that more progress is needed on citizens' rights and on the situation on the island of Ireland before negotiators can move on to discussing the future EU-UK relationship.

On November 29, the Brexit Steering Group met with the chairs and coordinators of the European Parliament's committees on Employment and Social Affairs, Legal Affairs and Civil Liberties, and Justice and Home Affairs.

Following the meeting, Guy Verhofstadt wrote on behalf of the Steering Group to the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, to set out its concerns over the lack of progress made to date.

In the case of Ireland, the letter explained that the Steering Group wants the UK to "make a clear commitment, to be enshrined in a form which would guarantee its full implementation in the withdrawal agreement," that it will protect the Good Friday Agreement. In addition, it wants the UK to guarantee that there will be no "hardening of the border on the island of Ireland " and that the rights of people in Northern Ireland will not be diminished as a result of Brexit.

Regarding citizens' rights, the letter acknowledged that progress has been made since the start of negotiations but stressed that "considerable problems remain, which pose a fundamental question as to whether sufficient progress has been achieved."

The European Council will meet from December 14-15 to decide whether "sufficient progress" has been made in phase one of Brexit negotiations to warrant the discussion of the future trading relationship between the UK and the EU.

The European Parliament must approve any withdrawal agreement.

TAGS: free trade agreement (FTA) | Ireland | export duty | trade treaty | United Kingdom | agreements | import duty | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe

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