The Brexit saga continues in this week's State of the Union

The Brexit saga continues in this week's State of the Union
By Jack ParrockDarren McCaffrey
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

In the State of the Union, we look at the delay to Brexit that Boris Johnson promised wouldn't happen, the call from MEPs for EU sanctions for Turkey and the farewell to Tusk and Juncker.


Brexit delay...

At the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week, MEPs gathered expecting to rubber stamp Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. But things didn’t quite go to plan on the other side of the Channel.

For the first time in three years the Brexit deal passed parliament but minutes later - but the vote to go ahead with the process of passing it in just three days was roundly rejected.

With hopes of getting Brexit done by the end of the month dashed, MEPs found themselves once again watching and waiting for some clarity to come out Westminster.

Member of the Greens group in the European Parliament Bas Eickhout told Euronews that he_"fully understands that the parliament is asking for more time because this is a huge deal. If you are then saying, 'let's deal with this hundreds of pages, that's totally ridiculous."_

The co-leaders of the Greens Philippe Lamberts added:

"Even if the British side ratifies after a few weeks, we will need a number of weeks to ratify here [at the European Parliament]. So if only for that, 31 January is reasonable."

On the other side of the political spectrum, Christian Democrat MEP Manfred Webe says "if the UK Labour party is successful and they go for a second referendum, then it's their choice. It would be a good choice in my understanding, but it's their choice to do so. We are in the hands of London and again an extension should be granted."

MEPs call for consequences for Turkey...

This week wasn’t just about Brexit though.

On Wednesday in Strasbourg, MEPs called for EU sanctions against Turkey for its offensive in Syria.

This in addition to a number of senior MEPs calling for more support for children stuck in Syria after watching a special Euronews documentary.

There are hundreds minors who are EU nationals taken to the country by their parents.

“We need to pave the way for a good European strategy for helping these children because they really are the victims of the terrorists" said former European Parliament President Antonio Tajani.

Farewell Tusk and Juncker...

It was swansong speeches from European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Strasbourg session. The two Presidents made their final appearances here before handing over the reins of power to their successors.

The European Union they’re handing over doesn't look to be growing - both men expressed their regret at the blocking of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.

Looking ahead...


Back in Brussels next week, it’ll be ECB President Mario Draghi’s turn to say goodbye.

It's also Belgium’s time to decide what to do about the Catalan leader Carles Puidgemont who Spanish want repatriated.

And we’ll mark the day Britain should have left the EU.

We'll leave you though with some warm words paid by the arch Eurosceptic Nigel Farage to the passionate Europhile… Jean-Claude Juncker.

"I think it's important particularly given the polarity of politics these days to understand, you can take a different point of view from someone, but actually like them as a person, and I've always enjoyed his company" Nigel Farage told Euronews.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

State of the Union: von der Leyen bid for re-election, sanctions and Rafah crisis

This week in Europe - Only one pilot? A dispute over cockpit crews

State of the Union: Orbán backs down as farmers carry on