Published On: Thu, May 7th, 2020

Brexit news: European Parliament hand VDL letter demanding seat at trade talks | UK | News


The institution’s Italian president said he should take part in the high-level meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this summer. The two leaders are due to meet in June in what is seen by many as a crunch moment for the future of the negotiations. Mr Johnson has hinted he could walk away from the negotiations if he doesn’t believe a deal is possible before the transition period expires later this year.

Downing Street has continuously denied the meeting will be used to extend the post-Brexit standstill arrangement.

But Mr Sassoli has now insisted he must participate in the talks to push swathes of demands being made by MEPs.

In a letter to Mrs von der Leyen, the Italian wrote: “The Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK foresees a high-level conference of the parties to take place in June of this year.

“I understand that the aim of the conference will be to take stock of the progress in the negotiations on the future EU-UK partnership and on the state of the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, in particular when it comes to citizens’ rights and the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland.”

He added: “As Parliament is a key player in negotiations on international agreements and its consent is a precondition for any agreement to be concluded, this kind of open and inclusive approach will help us secure consent in this House and show our unity and support for the future deal with the UK.

“In light of this, I therefore believe that it would be very important that Parliament participate In the high-level conference in June. I trust you would be able to take this into consideration when determining the participation on the Union’s side.”

Express.co.uk understands the Parliament are preparing a resolution in order to table more demands for Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, to make during future negotiating rounds with Britain.

It is expected to include clauses that demand Britain is blocked from any security cooperation with the EU unless it signs up to have the pact protected by the European Convention on Human Rights and oversight by European judges.

MEPs will likely vote on the motion in mid-June before the showdown summit between Mr Johnson and Mrs von der Leyen.

It comes amid growing tensions between the EU and UK after a recent round of trade talks failed to break the deadlock.

MUST READ: EU panic: Barnier says UK is stalling trade talks in gloomy assessment

“If we want to achieve the outcome that is preferred by the UK to have a deal by the end of the year we need to get on with the job.”

But a UK spokesman hit back at the Irishman’s allegations.

They said: “We do not recognise the suggestion that we have not engaged seriously with the EU in any area.”



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