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European Parliament passes EU-UK future trade guidelines

Today the European Parliament approved a position on the future EU-UK relationship by 554 votes to 110 with 51 abstentions.

The resolution sets out Parliament’s input ahead of 22-23 March summit of EU Council when it is expected that guidelines for negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be approved. Any deal with the UK will require the approval of the European Parliament.

It has been proposed that this relationship could be based on four pillars:

  • trade and economic relations (FTA),
  • internal security,
  • cooperation in foreign policy and defence and
  • thematic cooperation, for example on cross-border research and innovation projects.

The resolution stresses the importance of the integrity of the Single Market with its binding common rules, common institutions and common supervisory, enforcement and adjudicatory mechanisms.

This means that even closely-aligned non-EU countries with identical legislation cannot enjoy the same rights, benefits or market access to those of EU member states.

Alyn Smith, Scottish Member of the European Parliament, has said:

“With a heavy heart I supported the motion as it is a rational response to the self-imposed red lines of the UK Government. The future we face is pretty bleak and is not one Scotland wants.

“The bottom line is simple: if you voted Leave, this is assuredly not the Brexit they promised you. Leave voters were told by serious people like David Davis that there was no downside and a considerable upside to voting leave.

"The future we now face is of a diminished UK, a diminished Europe, a poorer citizenry, a poorer society, a poorer economy. As we see what the reality of Brexit really is, there is no shame in changing our mind. There is still time to change course."

The resolution adopted will be available here: