The presidents of the parliamentary groups of the European Parliament have approved a declaration that sets a deadline: next Sunday. For what? So that the European Parliament can ratify a hypothetical Brexit agreement before the end of the transition period, on January 31. This was announced by the president of the Socialists in the European Parliament, Iratxe García: “At my initiative, the group leaders have adopted this declaration declaring that we cannot be urged to ratify the Brexit agreement before the end of the year if we do not have access to the text for Sunday “.
The statement affirms that the European Parliament “is prepared to organize an extraordinary plenary session at the end of December, in case an agreement is reached before midnight on Sunday 20 December, for the European Parliament to debate the outcome of the negotiations and consider giving your consent. ” He adds: “Parliament insists that this depends on having access to the text of any agreement before formal referral and, in this regard, urges the European Commission to provide Parliament with a provisional text as soon as possible.”
The decision of the European Parliament would imply that, unless there is a final text on Sunday, the treaty that is agreed later would have to apply provisionally from 1 January, and the European Parliament would have to give its approval later.
“I have proposed that we should only approve an agreement if we get it until this Sunday,” said the president of the popular in the European Parliament: “After that, we cannot reasonably examine the agreement before the end of the year. The agreement is too important to pass it quickly in Parliament. We owe it to the people and businesses, who will be badly affected by Brexit, to analyze the deal properly. After Sunday, we do not think this is still possible. ”
The chief negotiator of the EU, Michel Barnier, has also participated in the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament, and has sent a signal of hope. “There is good progress, but the last obstacles remain. We will only sign an agreement that protects the interests and principles of the EU,” he said.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, affirmed this Wednesday in the European Parliament that there is “a way, although narrow” towards an agreement. And he said it after Sunday’s conversation between Von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Of course, for the first time, Von der Leyen points out fishing as the main stumbling block. In other words, issues related to governance – how to monitor compliance with the trade agreement and how conflicts are resolved – can be addressed.
“Our teams are working to reach an agreement, day and night, sometimes with everything against it,” said Von der Leyen: “I cannot tell you whether there will be an agreement or not. But I can tell you that now there is a way to an agreement The road may be narrow but it is there. Therefore, it is our responsibility to keep trying. The good news is that we have found a way out of most problems. ”
Von der Leyen, however, has stated: “Two issues remain outstanding: equal conditions [level playing field, que no haya competencia desleal– y pesca”. En relación con la igualdad de condiciones, la presidenta del Ejecutivo comunitario ha afirmado: “Nuestro objetivo es simplemente garantizar una competencia leal en nuestro propio mercado”. ¿Y sobre la pesca? “La discusión sigue siendo muy difícil. No cuestionamos la soberanía del Reino Unido sobre sus propias aguas territoriales, lo que les pedimos es previsibilidad y estabilidad para nuestros pescadores y nuestras pescadoras. Y sinceramente, yo a veces tengo la impresión de que no vamos a poder resolverlo, pero tenemos que seguir intentando hacerlo. Es la única manera responsable de actuar”.
“Los próximos días serán decisivos”, ha zanjado. Y ha buscado la complicidad del Parlamento Europeo, que deberá ratificar el acuerdo en tiempo récord si se acaba cerrando: “Quiero agradecerles sinceramente su apoyo y comprensión. Sé que si logramos el acuerdo, puedo contar con ustedes para asegurar un buen resultado. Debemos caminar estos últimos kilómetros con los mismos zapatos”.