European Parliament group leaders, agreed in the Conference of Presidents of the Parliament to push ahead with a vote on a potential Brexit deal before the end of the year. The Greens/EFA group express concern that expediting the consent procedure will not allow adequate time for proper democratic scrutiny of any potential deal with the UK on a future relationship.
Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments: “This decision by a majority of the European Parliament’s group presidents to expedite the consent process of a yet-to-come EU-UK treaty deals a severe blow to the credibility of the European Parliament as a legislative body. Indeed, it makes a joke of the scrutiny process of a treaty massive in both size and political importance, that should now be expedited in a just few days. Checks and balances and due process are essential elements of any democracy; such should be the case for the European Union as the world’s first venture into a transnational democracy.”
“Regardless of the likelihood of the European Parliament’s approval, what is at stake is the seriousness of the parliamentary work. Consent to international treaties – a right the European Parliament gained as one of the major advances of the Lisbon treaty – should never be treated as a formality. Taking a second look at such treaties is essential so that the executive branch – in this case the European Commission – never takes parliamentary approval for granted. However, this is precisely the message the resolution adopted in today’s Conference of Presidents sends to the European Commission and Council, and beyond to our citizens. It has indeed to be noted that if the European Parliament was constantly informed by Michel Barnier’s team of the general progress of the negotiation, in contrast to previous treaty negotiations, we have yet to see even the first elements of a legal text.”
Ska Keller MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments: “Especially after the successful battle around the budget, the recovery plan and the rule-of-law conditionality, we thought that the days which saw the European Parliament making big stances only to cave in down the road were over; sadly, they are not.”
“Across Europe, too many Parliaments are increasingly being side-lined by their governments as rubber-stamping bodies. We strongly deplore that, out of its own free will, a majority of the European Parliament consents to such a development at the EU level.”