Brexit: joint statement by EP President and Brexit coordinator

Parliament’s Conference of Presidents debated the current state of play of Brexit talks and possible delay of phase two of the negotiations.

The European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents (COP) met today in Brussels. Following a presentation by EP Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt, a clear majority of group leaders were of the view that continued lack of clarity or absence of UK proposals on separation issues as well as the latest developments in Brexit negotiations meant that it was more than likely the assessment on “sufficient progress” on the first phase of Brexit negotiations is unlikely to have been met by the October European Council.

The COP also decided that the Parliament will adopt a resolution in the October I session that will primarily focus on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, post – Brexit. The resolution will also outline the European Parliament’s priorities with regard to Ireland/Northern Ireland and assess the situation on the financial settlement.

The Parliament’s resolution will also state whether sufficient progress has been reached on the three separation issues, which is a prerequisite for talks to progress to the second phase of negotiations.

The EP President Antonio Tajani said: “Given the current state of play of negotiations and the current position of the UK, it would seem very difficult that sufficient progress can be achieved by October on separation issues in order to enter phase 2 of the negotiations. In this case I would think it wise for the European Council to postpone this point to its December meeting.”