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Pittella and Gualtieri: Progress on divorce agreement is positive but still a long road ahead


08 Dec 2017


UK in Europe
Justice & Home Affairs

Brussels, 8 December 2017

S&D MEPs have welcomed the joint report which records the progress made in the first phase of the negotiations on the UK withdrawal from the European Union and consider that it is sufficient to move to the second phase.
S&D Group President Gianni Pittella and Group negotiator on Brexit, Roberto Gualtieri said:
“We are pleased that we have managed to reach an agreement on the three main separation issues. However, we need to see consistent and unambiguous implementation of these in the withdrawal agreement and a positive solution on the remaining outstanding issues before we give our final consent.
“With regards to citizens’ rights, we welcome that the agreement ensures that the rights of all EU and UK citizens and their families, including children born in the future, are protected. We have ensured administrative procedures to obtain settled status will not involve additional administrative or financial burdens. People will continue to have their access to healthcare and social security guaranteed as they do now. The European Commission will act as supreme guarantor and will be able to intervene in relevant cases on the interpretation of the citizens’ rights before UK courts and tribunals. 
“We also welcome the fact that a new independent national authority in the UK and the European Commission in the EU will monitor the implementation and application of citizens’ rights. This is fundamental to ensure the correct interpretation of the withdrawal agreement and right of redress for citizens. We still need clarity on some issues - we will insist that future partners are covered in the final agreement, that administration is as light as possible and ensure the role of the ECJ is defined precisely in the final agreement.
“On Northern Ireland, we are glad to see that Theresa May was finally able to hammer out an agreement with her partners back in London. Preserving the full integrity of the single market and customs union is of crucial importance for the S&D Group. We, therefore, welcome the UK´s final decision to remain fully aligned with the rules of the Internal Market and Customs Union, unless both sides agree another solution.
“Last but not least on the separation issues, we are pleased that the UK Government has finally agreed to honour its financial commitments made as a member state.
“The transition period of about two years requested by the UK seems like a pragmatic solution. However, it must be clear that the transition period will entail the prolongation of the entire EU acquis, which means that the UK must respect all EU laws, meet its budgetary commitments and respect judgements of the ECJ, during this period.
“Our Group and the Parliament will work on the finalisation of the withdrawal agreement, and in the definition of the transitional arrangements and the framework of future relationship in line with the principles set out in our resolutions.”




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