"We would like to congratulate Michel Barnier who has done a tremendous job in trying to reach an agreement. Unfortunately, it is clear that after 4 long rounds, there are still too many files to be addressed. At the forthcoming high-level conference we expect Boris Johnson to finally move forward. He must stop playing political games with the situation of millions of citizens on both sides of the Channel", said Kris Peeters MEP, the EPP Group's representative in Parliament's negotiating team for the new EU-UK agreement, as the last round of negotiations on the issue come to an end.
"Let me be clear: the EPP Group will not give the green light to an agreement if the UK - in return for market access - does not accept EU market rules. This means the same standards on workers’ rights, the environment or state aid. We also need a stable framework for fisheries, clear provisions on the role of the European Court of Justice and on the respect of fundamental rights", Peeters added.
"Even if Boris Johnson's timetable for the agreement is extremely ambitious, our duty is and will remain to properly protect European interests. The UK chose to be a third country. As a consequence, it will not have the same rights and benefits as a Member State of the EU. But this was not our choice at all. UK negotiators should now take a more result-oriented approach. If not for the Europeans, they should do it for their citizens, because a no-deal scenario will lead to huge UK job losses of more than half a million", he explained.
"A divorce is already a disappointment. But let's at least try to have an amicable divorce and not leave behind a broken home", Peeters concluded.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States