MEPs support decision by Commission to move to trade discussions
The European Parliament urged EU leaders on Wednesday to allow the next phase of EU negotiations to start, backing a motion that recognised the talks had made sufficient progress as a well a line criticising Britain’s Brexit negotiator David Davis.
Earlier on Wednesday, the EU’s chief negotiator told lawmakers that Britain could not renege on commitments made to ensure Brexit talks with the European Union move on to discussions on the future relationship between the two.
European Union leaders are almost certain to judge on Friday that “sufficient progress” has been made on the rights of citizens, the Brexit divorce bill and the Irish border to allow negotiations to move to the next phase. The EU executive recommended last week that the leaders approve trade talks.
The European Parliament will have to approve any Brexit deal, although its motion on Wednesday was not binding.
The agreement, presented in a joint report last Friday, was in the view of some in Brussels, undermined by Brexit minister David Davis’s comment that it was more “a statement of intent” than a legally binding. Davis has subsequently said he wants the accord swiftly translated into a legal text.
“We will not accept any going back on this joint report. This progress has been agreed and will be rapidly translated into a withdrawal accord that is legally binding in all three areas and on some others that remain to be negotiated,” EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier told EU lawmakers.