Draft withdrawal agreement gives credibility to commitment to avoid hard border in Ireland. The ball is now in May’s court.


UK in Europe

Press release

The S&D Group welcomes the first draft from the European Commission of the UK’s withdrawal treaty from the EU.
S&D Group spokesperson on Brexit, Roberto Gualtieri MEP, said:  
“The UK will leave the EU in just over one year. Time is running out to reach an agreement on the withdrawal treaty, a transition period and the future EU-UK relationship. We now need to turn commitments and nice words into legally binding texts. For this reason, we welcome the publication of the draft agreement by the European Commission and we will carefully examine it.
“We are pleased that many of our priorities have been included in the text. We welcome in particular the inclusion of the future partners and spouses in the scope of the agreement, the article which ensures that the full set of citizens' rights are covered throughout the transition period, and the detailed provisions necessary to guarantee that administrative procedures will merely be a formality.
“On Northern Ireland, both the UK and the EU have said throughout the process that they do not want to see any hardening of the border. This was the basis of the joint report signed in December and today’s proposals translate that commitment into a legally binding text, ensuring that the fall-back position can be used if it is needed. It is clear that the other possibilities foreseen in the joint report should be explored in parallel to this.  It is now up to the UK government to propose credible and viable alternative options: the ball is now in May’s court. In this respect, we welcome the speech of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn which puts a customs union back on the table”.