New EU-UK agreement is welcome but thorough scrutiny remains, insist lead MEPs

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Foreign Affairs and Trade MEPs welcome the new EU-UK agreement as a good deal but demand proper parliamentary scrutiny powers and thorough access to information.

On Thursday morning, members on the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committees held a first joint meeting on the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, intensifying the parliamentary scrutiny process of the deal reached by EU and British negotiators on 24 December.

MEPs welcomed the agreement as a good solution, albeit thin. A no-deal would have brought a disaster for citizens and companies on both sides, speakers emphasized. At the same time, they stressed that the parliamentary scrutiny of this deal must go beyond mere ratification, insisting on thorough access to information and a clear role for Parliament in the implementation and future monitoring of the agreement.

In addition, members also highlighted the importance of fostering a close dialogue between the European Parliament and Westminster on future EU-UK relations.

They regretted that many aspects, including the Erasmus programme, foreign policy, security and defence cooperation, were not included in the negotiations on the future partnership. Some expressed concern about the future for environmental standards, as the new UK emissions trading system has only been in place since 1 January without clarity on how to link it up with the EU one.

For all statements and interventions, you can watch the meeting again here. (14.01.2021)

Rapporteurs’ remarks

Kati Piri (AFET, S&D, NL) said: “Parliament’s red lines will continue to be central in the scrutiny process. I welcome the fact that the EU managed to secure a single, clear governance framework. This will allow EU and British citizens, consumers and businesses legal certainty about the applicable rules and will ensure robust compliance guarantees by the parties.

“At the same time, it is also important to be frank: we did not want or choose Brexit. So it is with regret and sadness that we acknowledge that this was the democratic choice of the British people. And sadly, the agreement itself falls far short of the Political Declaration that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson himself signed just months prior to the negotiations.”

Christophe Hansen (INTA, EPP, LU) said: “It is a very thin agreement. But I welcome the fact that there are no quotas and tariffs, and with that we avoided falling back to WTO rules that would have hurt a lot of our sectors, including agriculture and cars.

“I regret very much that the UK decided not to take part in Erasmus. This jeopardises the future for 170,000 Europeans in the UK and 100,000 UK students in the EU. I also regret that future Geographical Indications are not covered, which is contrary to the Political Declaration.

“I would have liked that services were reflected somewhat broader in the agreement. Nevertheless, regulatory cooperation on financial services will be negotiated until March.

“It is important not to let the consent drag on forever. Provisional application is not the legal security that businesses and citizens deserve after all these years.”

Next steps

The two committees will in due course vote on the consent proposal prepared by the two standing rapporteurs to allow for a plenary vote before the end of the provisional application of the agreement.

In addition to the plenary vote, Parliament will also vote on an accompanying resolution prepared by the political groups in the UK Coordination Group and the Conference of Presidents.

Background

The new Trade and Cooperation agreement has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. For it to enter into force permanently, it requires the consent of the Parliament. Parliament has repeatedly expressed that it considers the current provisional application to be the result of a set of unique circumstances and an exercise not to be repeated.

MEPs on the International Trade Committee held a first meeting on the new EU-UK deal on Monday 11 January, during which they promised thorough scrutiny of the agreement. Read more here.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Uganda’s Ebola preparedness ‘will go a long way’ says WHO chief

Are we letting politicians play with migrants’ health?

Parliament calls on member states to fully exploit the European Youth Guarantee

India and the US: 5 ways the countries compare

An enlightened response to COVID-19 can avert the climate emergency

Should trade continue to be global after the pandemic?

A Sting Exclusive, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger writes for the Sting on “EU Industry: a major energizer”

5G will redefine entire business models. Here’s how

It’s just electronic cigarette, don’t worry?

Why a multi-stakeholder approach is essential to our risk resiliency

Aung San Suu Kyi appears at ICJ as UN rights expert urges greater protection for Myanmar activists

Have central banks missed the exit train?

Commuters in these cities spend more than 8 days a year stuck in traffic

What business leaders can learn from jazz

Afghan refugees: €21 million in humanitarian aid for host communities and vulnerable populations in Pakistan and Iran

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

EU-Turkey leaders’ meeting, 9 March 2020

Three out of the past five Julys were the hottest on record

European Commission and World Bank Group renew agreement to strengthen development cooperation

Everybody against Japan over yen’s devaluation

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Why global collaboration is needed to protect against a new generation of cyber threats

The digital revolution will transform the steel industry

Climate change and health: public health awareness in an international framework

Pedal power makes ‘positive impact on climate’, urges UN on World Bicycle Day

Questions & Answers on vaccine negotiations

Cyprus banks under scrutiny

A sterilised EMU may lead to a break up of Eurozone

Traditional finance is failing millennials. Here’s how investing needs to change

Worldwide consumer confidence has shot up to its highest level for four years according to a survey of 130 Global Retail leaders

‘We all must step up’ collective action on disability inclusion – UN deputy chief

3 unexpected consequences of the US-China trade war

Migration has set EU’s political clock ticking; the stagnating economy cannot help it and Turkey doesn’t cooperate

Rights defenders jailed in Bahrain and UAE should be released unconditionally, UN urges

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ford trumpets new in-vehicle system, “fundamentally rethinks” transportation

10 expert predictions for the next decade in Chinese AI

Summer JADE Meeting 2015: We came curious, we left inspired

These German businesses are hiring refugees to plug the skills gap

New Zealand can improve well-being through better policymaking and reforms to housing and migration policy

5 droughts that changed human history

Coronavirus makes inequality a public health issue

UN chief outlines solutions to defeat ‘four horsemen’ threatening our global future

Green deal for Europe: First reactions from MEPs

The remote doctor, can it ever work?

Coronavirus: Commission launches call for innovative response and recovery partnerships between EU regions

Syria: Civilians bear brunt of unilateral sanctions, exacerbating ‘unparalleled suffering, destruction,’ says UN expert

Summertime Consultation: 84% want Europe to stop changing the clock

European Semester Autumn Package: Creating an economy that works for people and the planet

Can ocean health lead to wealth? Our latest House on Fire podcast tackles blue finance

Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

For resilient, sustainable city mobility after COVID-19, these trends must continue

12 ideas on how the private sector can help ensure universal healthcare access by 2030

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

‘Spectre of poverty’ hangs over tribes and indigenous groups: UN labour agency

COVID-19 and nature are linked. So should be the recovery.

How impact finance can alleviate COVID-19’s economic symptoms

Samsung’s profits fall as cheaper smartphones gain market share

Thousands risk lives fleeing fighting in Syria’s last ISIL stronghold

Youth unemployment: No light at the end of the tunnel

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s