EU-UK Deal: 'let's establish a positive framework for a new partnership'
Press release from EFA MEP Jordi Solé
With MEPs set to vote on approving the post-Brexit trade and co-operation agreement between the EU and the UK, EFA MEP Jordi Solé said that whilst the agreement has its shortcomings, overall ‘it establishes a positive framework for this new partnership’.
But the Catalan MEP emphasised that Brexit had gone ahead without the consent of some constituent parts of the UK, such as Scotland. Furthermore, the Welsh and Scottish governments were not sufficiently consulted by London during the TCA negotiations. He hoped that constituent parts of the UK would soon be able to re-join the EU, if they chose to do so.
MEPs debated UK – EU relations with European Commission President von der Leyen and Vice-President Šefčovič. The European Parliament’s consent is needed for the agreement to come into force.
Speaking in the debate, Jordi Solé (Greens/EFA) – President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament – said:
"Now that Brexit has happened, the EU needs to have the strongest possible relationship with the UK. Even if we regret their choice to leave, there is still a lot that keeps us close.
“Therefore, we needed a good post-Brexit deal. And the TCA, despite some shortcomings and concerns, for instance on data protection, overall establishes a positive framework for this new partnership.
“But let’s be clear. An ambitious zero tariff/zero quota trade agreement like this can only happen on the condition that at the same time there is zero social, environmental, fiscal and regulatory dumping.
“A trustful partnership between the EU and the UK also requires the withdrawal agreement and the Northern Ireland protocol to be implemented in all its dimensions. We are fully committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement, shielding the peace process and avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“Finally, let’s not forget that Brexit went ahead despite some constituent parts of the UK voting against it. And on top of that the Welsh and Scottish governments have not been sufficiently consulted by London during the TCA negotiations.
“For our Scottish friends the TCA might be the lesser evil to keep ties with the EU, but also a painful consequence of a decision imposed on them, a decision they did not take. For them, as well as for an increasing number in Wales, the best possible relation with the EU is not the TCA. It is the possibility of full membership in our Union. I hope they can soon re-join us once they take a democratic choice in favour of independence.”