Statement by the European Parliament President on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement
“Today the European Parliament voted on the most far reaching agreement the EU has ever reached with a third country. This can form the foundation on which we build a new forward-looking EU-UK relationship. Despite the UK’s decision to leave our Union, we still share deep and longstanding ties, values, history and geographical proximity. It is in all our interests that we make this new relationship work.
“The European Parliament has been heavily involved throughout the negotiations. Parliament’s coordination group worked closely with the European Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier to ensure our priorities were included and our red lines respected. The final agreement reflects this with strong protections for the EU’s high social and environmental standards, and tariff and quota free access for EU companies. By its very nature, Brexit means greater disruption and inconvenience for citizens and businesses. You cannot have the advantages of EU membership while being on the outside. However, this agreement goes a long way to mitigate its worst consequences.
“Over the last four months, the relevant Parliamentary committees have examined the agreement in detail, to provide proper democratic scrutiny and parliamentary oversight. We will closely monitor the implementation of both this new treaty and the Withdrawal Agreement. We will not accept any backsliding from the UK government on the commitments it has made.
“We also support the creation of a Parliamentary Partnership Assembly for Members of the European and UK Parliament. Parliaments can often bring a different perspective than governments and I am convinced this assembly can help foster good relations and promote our common interests.”