Today, the European Parliament has agreed on its position on the upcoming Brexit negotiations. Since all pro European groups worked on this resolution together and voted in favour of it, this decision has the strong support of the Parliament. The Parliament plays a crucial role in the Brexit negotiations, because it has to ratify the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU. The European Parliament differentiates between a withdrawal agreement, transitional arrangements and a future EU-UK trade agreement. MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“The Brexit position of the European Parliament marks a turning point in EU trade policy. Britain will only get access to the common market, if it adheres to the EU’s environmental, social and tax standards. Other than TTIP or CETA, a trade agreement with the UK would not undermine European standards. A trade deal with Britain, which follows European social and environmental standards, would be a positive model for EU trade policy.
The European Parliament made very clear that there will be no trade deal with a UK following a tax haven strategy. However, this is not enough as the UK with its oversea territories is already the biggest tax haven in the world. The UK needs to end all its tax haven policies if it wants to get access to European capital market. Great Britain must also no longer maintain tax havens in the Caribbeans like the Cayman Islands or the BVI, as they promote worldwide tax dumping and money laundering.
The European Parliament made clear that the Brexit negotiations will adhere to the principles of fairness and transparency. The UK enjoys the benefits of EU membership until the last day, but at the same time it has to fully abide by European law. Before the UK exits the EU, it must neither negotiate future agreements with individual EU member states nor trade deals with third countries. The European Parliament will make sure that the negotiations will be transparent and that the Brexit deal will not be a backroom deal.”