MEPs today vote on the withdrawal agreement that paves the way for the UK to leave the EU on 31 January at midnight. This is a sad moment for the EU. However, the agreement, which delivers on a number of the European Parliament’s longstanding demands such as the guarantee of citizens’ rights, will mean that the UK leaves the EU in an orderly way.
Iratxe García, S&D Group leader said:
“This is a sad moment in the UK and the EU’s shared history and a moment that we hoped would never come: MEPs will vote on the Withdrawal Agreement for the UK to leave the EU. For the S&D Group, the process of the UK leaving the EU has always been about damage control and about finding an agreement that protects citizens' rights, ensures a borderless island of Ireland and safeguards the integrity of the single market.
As we move forward, S&D MEPs will be there to make sure that social, labour and environmental rights are not undermined in the future relationship and that citizens’ rights continue to be a number one priority for the EU.
This was always going to be a difficult moment for many on both sides of the channel but it is made even harder as we have to say a sad but fond farewell to 10 outstanding MEPs who have worked tirelessly for citizens all across Europe, improving people’s lives in every corner of Europe. Not to mention all those who came before them, throughout the last 45 years of Labour MEPs.”
Pedro Silva Pereira, S&D spokesperson on Brexit, said:
"While a sad moment, this agreement is an important step in making sure the UK leaves the EU in an orderly fashion. This is a damage control exercise designed to protect the peace process on the island of Ireland, safeguard the all-Island economy and preserve the EU’s single market, providing much needed certainty to citizens' rights.
The time has come to look ahead and to build a sound political and economic relationship with the UK. The S&D Group will be sticking to the principle that there can only be an ambitious Free Trade Area between the UK and the EU if there is a level playing field with shared high standards of environmental, social and labour protection."