Parliament will only back deal on future relationship with UK that guarantees EU rules and standards

The leaders of the main pro-EU groups in the European Parliament today approved the Parliament’s position on the future relationship between the EU and the UK.


S&D Group spokesperson for Brexit, Roberto Gualtieri MEP said:

“Parliament today outlined its views on the future EU-UK relationship. This is important, as Parliament’s consent to the withdrawal agreement will also include our assessment of the agreed framework for this relationship.

“We support a close partnership with the UK, but any agreement requires an appropriate balance of rights and obligations, and needs to meet a number fundamental principles. A third country cannot not have the same benefits as a member state, the EU must keep autonomy of decision making, the integrity of the single market and financial stability should be protected, and a level playing field between the UK and EU must be ensured.

Only continued membership of the Customs Union and Single Market would ensure  frictionless trade, however the current UK red lines mean this is not an option. In the new free trade agreement, the degree of market access for goods will depend on the  UK’s continued alignment with EU rules and standards. We will not allow any future relationship that could lead to a race to the bottom on regulations or standards. We also need to ensure that rules of origin are based on EU standard preferential rules.

“Market access for services will have to be limited and subject to exclusions, reservations and exceptions, including, for financial services, a prudential carve-out. In some areas EU rules foresee the possibility of equivalence decisions, which are always of a unilateral nature. The EU has a duty to safeguard financial stability and ensure respect of its regulatory and supervisory regime and standards and their application. Therefore any agreement on financial services would be limited in nature.

“The Parliament still believes that an association agreement could provide the right framework for a future relationship which will ensure a consistent governance framework and include a robust dispute resolution mechanism. If the UK wants to continue to participate in certain EU programmes then it must be prepared to make financial commitments – we cannot accept any freeloading.

“Lastly, on Northern Ireland the Parliament stands firmly behind our commitment to avoid a hard border in Ireland and to maintain the Good Friday Agreement.”