European Parliament on future EU-UK relations agreement: provisional application acceptable but exceptional, parliamentary scrutiny essential
Yesterday, the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament (EP) and EP’s President David Sassoli exchanged views with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier on the deal reached on 24 December on the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
The Conference of Presidents expressed the view that, given the need to mitigate the disruption for citizens and businesses and prevent the chaos of a no-deal scenario, provisional application of the agreement is acceptable. They further agreed to examine with the Council Presidency and the Commission a proposal to slightly extend the period of provisional application, allowing for a parliamentary ratification during the March plenary session. However, political group leaders clearly stated that ‘this specific provisional application neither constitutes a precedent nor reopens established commitments made among EU institutions’, and that ‘it should not serve as a blueprint for future consent procedures’.
The political groups’ leaders stressed the EP’s will to monitor closely the implementation of the EU-UK agreement in all its details, noting that parliamentary cooperation is a key part of the future treaty between the EU and the UK.
The EP’s Committees on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, as well as other relevant parliamentary committees, will now carefully examine the agreement and prepare the EP’s consent decision to be discussed and adopted in plenary before the end of the provisional application.
For more information, read the European Parliament’s press release.