Today, S&D MEPs backed the political guidelines proposed by the Commission for the negotiations of a new partnership between the EU and the UK. The S&D Group supports a united approach from the EU in negotiating as close as possible a relationship beyond just trade, while maintaining the EU's high standards and protections and ensuring fair competition. The European Parliament's resolution comes ahead of a crucial meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers on 25 February set to officially approve the mandate of negotiations.
Iratxe García Pérez, S&D Group leader, said:
“We have eleven short months to negotiate a complex agreement that defines the future relationship between the EU and the UK. Nothing will be as good as membership, but that does not mean we cannot be ambitious. The S&D Group wants to build a new partnership that is as close as possible. However, the ambition of our future partnership depends on the will of the UK government and whether they accept alignment with EU norms in social, labour and environmental standards. We expect them to play by rules that ensure fair competition and avoid a race to the bottom.”
Pedro Silva Pereira, S&D UK coordination Group spokesperson:
“Today MEPs are calling on member states to take a united approach and act as a single bloc when negotiating a sound and ambitious political and economic partnership with the UK. However, an ambitious agreement has to mean open and fair competition, a level playing field and no regression in the UK on our shared high standards of protection in areas like labour, the environment, consumer rights and food safety. Furthermore, the first pillar of the future relationship has already been agreed and we intend to hold the UK government to their word on Northern Ireland aligning to EU rules and border checks in the Irish Sea on goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.”