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European Conservatives call on measured Brexit talks


05 Apr 2017


Global Europe
UK in Europe

The United Kingdom and the European Union are friends not enemies, the ECR Group Vice-Chair Helga Stevens told the European Parliament today. She also said that the UK's exit from the EU should not be a nasty break up, but the beginning of a deep and special partnership between longstanding allies.

Speaking during the debate on parliament's Brexit guidelines, Helga Stevens said: “We need to start work on a comprehensive deal right now. A deal that looks at everything: cooperation on security, trade, education, research, transport, and money, everything from the start. Britain is an island, not a boat. It will remain where it is and it will remain one of our most important economic, political and security partners.” 

"It is essential that the rights of EU citizens in the UK and of UK citizens in the EU are dealt with quickly and fairly.”

Mrs. Stevens criticised the way the Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt had drawn up the draft guidelines, consulting only with a handful of political friends and setting a list of red lines ahead of the start of negotiations.

She said: "The European Parliament should seek to support the EU negotiator - not make life more difficult by making excessive demands in advance. This approach undermines the credibility of the parliament itself.”

"The UK leaving mustn’t be a missed opportunity to create positive change in Europe. It is not just the moment to determine how we will work with the UK in the future, but also how we can get the EU back on track," Mrs. Stevens concluded.


Contact Jan Krelina
ECR Group Spokesman
Mobile +32 493 21 43 46

The ECR was created to take the EU in a new direction, according to the principles of our founding Prague Declaration. It is the third largest group in the European Parliament with 74 MEPs from 18 EU states.

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