The Brexit Steering Group in the European Parliament has provisionally agreed on a draft resolution on the Brexit negotiations which insists that any Brexit deal must contain a backstop to protect the Northern Irish peace process and states that it is open to a Brexit delay if there is to be a general election or second referendum.
Reacting to the publication of the resolution today, the Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, Naomi Long MEP, commented:
“Those who want a hard Brexit are trying to provoke confrontation with the EU in order to force the issue. We have been working hard with our colleagues across Europe to urge patience in order to ensure that the EU avoids being goaded into such a stand off, which would only serve to assist a catastrophic no-deal outcome.
“This is a time for Parliament and the EU to remain focused and ensure that a no deal Brexit is avoided. The EU has a crucial role in supporting the UK Parliament as it works on a cross-party basis to find the consensus to do so, despite the Prime Minister seeking to frustrate them, and I welcome that today the EU MEPs are indicating their support for such an approach.”
The resolution sets out a series of concerns about the conduct of Boris Johnson’s government around the decision to prorogue the UK parliament and expresses its concern at the implementation of the UK’s settled status scheme for EU27 nationals.
The resolution also calls into question how close the future EU/UK economic relationship can be, given the UK Government’s desire to lower environmental and other standards by stripping out the existing “level playing field” provisions from the political declaration on the future UK – EU relationship.