Brexit: MEPs voice their concern over the UK government’s priorities
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MEPs have said that the hardest part of Brexit negotiations are yet to come and cautioned the UK government that it should “not take a Brexit transition deal for granted.” However they did acknowledge that progress has been made in Brexit negotiations.
The comments were made in a debate with European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the EU summit conclusions which took place in December. MEPs also highlighted the need to formalise the withdrawal agreement as fast as possible.
MEPs also called on the UK government to lay out clearly its vision for the country’s desired future relationship with the EU, avoiding, what the MEPs described as the, “apparently celebrated priorities such as the colour of passports, which it was always free to choose.”
Some MEPs made it clear that no status outside the EU could ever be as good as full EU membership.
Others stressed that the EU-UK negotiations are bound to be tough, but emphasised that this is because all parties involved are trying to achieve the best solutions for citizens.
Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt underlined the need for guarantees regarding residence application procedures for EU citizens wishing to live in the UK in the future, stressing that the new residence status proposed by the UK should not come into force until the end of the transition period.
The concrete steps recently taken towards more defence cooperation among EU countries were welcomed by MEPs, they stressed the need to reform the eurozone, and called for more EU-wide measures to tackle migration challenges and youth unemployment.