The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament welcome the announcement of an agreement that is expected to deliver the necessary damage control after Brexit. Based on regular updates from the EU negotiating team led by Michel Barnier, S&D MEPs welcome the agreement with cautious optimism. The European Parliament will now start the process of analysing and scrutinsing the deal to ensure that it fully respects our red lines providing for the protection of citizens, and safeguarding the peace process on the island of Ireland, the integrity of the single market and our high European social and labour standards.
Iratxe García, S&D Group leader said:
“Brexit is a historic mistake but from day one we respected the UK’s decision to leave the EU. For the S&D Group, this process has always been about damage control. Today’s agreement limits the hardship that businesses and citizens face with Brexit and puts in place the building blocks of a potentially strong future partnership. But most importantly, in spite of a few voices in the UK peddling misleading myths, we have avoided the catastrophic consequences of a ‘no-deal’ scenario. There has been limited time available for negotiations but the deal is done and now it is up to the European Parliament to scrutinise the agreement. Despite our efforts, European Parliament’s consent will only be possible in early 2021. This is a unique situation and there has and never will be an agreement quite like it, either in its nature or its procedure. This year has been all about helping people through difficult and disruptive times in their lives and we will continue in that same spirit.”
Pedro Silva Pereira, S&D representative on the UK Coordination Group, said:
“Brexit is a costly adventure for everyone, but even more so for the UK. That is why from the outset we advocated a fair and ambitious agreement with frictionless trade and wide-ranging cooperation. We will now analyse the final outcome of negotiations but, having had regular contact with the EU negotiating team, we believe that this agreement deserves our full support since it ensures a new relationship based on fair trade, and high standards, avoiding social, environmental and regulatory dumping, and protecting our fishing communities. Thanks to Michel Barnier and his team, the EU has been united and firm throughout the whole Brexit process in standing by the red lines we set to protect citizens’ rights, European economic interests, jobs, and our high social, labour and environmental standards.”
Kati Piri, S&D vice-president on foreign affairs and co-rapporteur on the consent vote to the future EU/UK partnership, said:
“We welcome with the necessary reserve and caution this excellent news as we await the actual content of the agreement. However, the negotiations have shown us the UK did not fully understand that a close relationship between the EU and the UK is a win for both sides. Foreign policy, security, defence and Erasmus are only some, and significantly not all, of the areas having paid the price of this. Let’s hope with the new partnership, we can develop that understanding going forward. However, now is the time for MEPs to start looking at the detail of the deal and move ahead with the consent procedure that will now only be possible in early 2021. As this scrutiny process gets underway in the European Parliament, it is also important that we make full use of the Brexit Adjustment Reserve to cushion the disruption that some countries, regions and sectors will feel, even with a deal in place. The funds guarantee that up to 5 billion euros are available to support the sectors and Member States that will be most affected by negative and unforeseen impacts of Brexit in the transition to the new relationship after 1st January 2021.”