Helmut Scholz on EU-UK: no change to the agreement without prior consent of the European Parliament

Speech on Parliaments resolution for the ratification process of the EU – UK agreement in joint INTA/AFET meeting


Our resolution is aiming to be short. By taking on board only two paragraphs from each specialised committee, we run the risk to leave out important content. Let us phrase our resolution in a way that it provides guidance for later court decisions. We should make clear what interpretation of the text by the European Parliament made it possible to give consent.

Furthermore, we must emphasize that any amendment to the agreement requires prior consent of the European Parliament.

My group deplores that there is no mechanism for dynamic alignment in the agreement. This will no doubt lead to court decisions. Let us therefore take on board relevant passages from, for instance, EMPL, LIBE, ENVI, ECON, AGRI and PECH to give the courts guidance.

My group is alarmed by announcements by British government members to test the waters for possible derogation from EU legislation. Let us express that clearly in our resolution, in particular with regard to workers’ rights. The non-Regression clause on labour, social and environmental standards forms a precondition to our consent. Make the trade unions and civil society organisations strong watchdogs during the implementation of the agreement. They should be crucial when it comes to defining what constitutes a “significant impact”. We ask for a dedicated declaration by the Commission in this regard, with a commitment against social and environmental dumping.

On financial services: a government with a clear de-regulation agenda should not receive card Blanche on financial services by the EU. We ask the Commission to commit itself in a declaration to observe safeguarding standards in any

We are also concerned regarding the North of the Island of Ireland and attempts by London to shift the border back across the island. And the Commission just played in their hands. The irresponsible triggering of Article 16 by the Commission to block export of vaccines has fuelled conspiracy theory among radical Unionists.

This will not be the last time for us to deal with EU – UK trade relations. Our resolution will close a chapter, but not the story.