Home » Politics » Bitter MEPs to declare Brexit ‘historic mistake’ as they FINALLY back deal – leaked memo
Bitter MEPs to declare Brexit ‘historic mistake’ as they FINALLY back deal – leaked memo
April 23, 2021
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MEPs are keen to discredit Britain’s split from the bloc in any way possible as they have their final say on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. They are expected to widely back a resolution that completes the EU’s ratification of the future relationship pact after months of delay. The document, seen by Express.co.uk, makes clear that MEPs believe the “UK’s withdrawal from the EU is a historic mistake”.
“The EU has always respected the UK’s decision while insisting that the UK must also accept the consequences of leaving the EU and that a third country cannot have the same rights and benefits as member states,” it adds.
Last week the EU Parliament’s international trade and foreign affairs committees voted overwhelmingly to recommend that MEPs support the agreement.
They are due to cast their final vote on Tuesday at the final plenary session before the period of provisional application expires at the end of the month.
Top MEPs, Luxembourg’s Christophe Hansen and Austrian Andreas Schieder, warned that if the Parliament fails to endorse the deal it will trigger a fresh no deal Brexit cliff-edge.
Despite plans to back the deal, their resolution contains a number of scathing criticisms of the future relationship agreement.
They are set to blast “the negative impact on certain fishing communities, while recognising that the provisions on fisheries which establish a 25 percent reduction phased in over five-and-half years represents a less damaging outcome than a complete closure of UK waters”.
And it calls on the Commission to “remind the UK that its continued access to EU markets is directly linked to the access of EU fisheries to UK waters”.
Some MEPs, especially those representing coastal communities, fear that their fishermen will be shut out of Britain’s coastal waters as the transition period expires in June 2026.
They will also bemoan that last-minute nature of the wrangling, which saw the future relationship deal secured on Christmas Eve last year.
“The extreme last-minute nature of the Agreements, and the resulting uncertainty which is imposing high costs on citizens and economic operators and has also impacted the Parliament’s prerogatives to scrutinise and apply democratic oversight of the final text of the Agreements ahead of their provisional application,” their resolution states.
And MEPs will also call for more powers managing the UK-EU trade relation moving forward.
They want to secure a role in the “imposition decisions” made by Brussels on the trade and security pact, especially when it comes to future disputes that could result in legal action or trade sanctions.
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Mr Schieder said: “Brexit is a historic mistake, but now we need to establish a strong fundament for future relations.
“With today’s decision, we welcome the provisions that bind the UK to our current high labour and environmental standards.
“However, all progress could be lost, if the UK continues to unilaterally breach the Withdrawal Agreement and the Protocol on Northern Ireland. We look forward to a workable plan on the implementation of the protocol and to being involved in the implementation and scrutiny of the agreement.”
His colleague Mr Hansen added: “Economic Brexit at the beginning of this year has caused real disruption.
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“The Trade and Cooperation Agreement, however imperfect it may be, has worked to cushion the worst impact.
“Ratifying it in Parliament after intensive scrutiny increases legal certainty for companies now operating in a difficult environment, and solidifies and preserves the unprecedented safeguards ensuring a level playing field, so painstakingly obtained.
“Moreover, green lighting the agreement also means expanding our arsenal of legal tools and leverage to continue pressing for a full and pragmatic implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and its Protocol, the importance of which was underscored by recent events in Northern Ireland.”