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BREXIT: MEPs reach agreement on Brexit negotiation

The European Parliament has agreed to adopt a motion setting out the principles and conditions for its approval of the terms on which the UK will withdraw from membership of the EU.10 Apr 2017

The Parliament stressed the importance of securing equal and fair treatment for EU citizens living in the UK and British citizens living in the EU.

Citizens’ interests must be at the forefront right from the beginning, the Parliament said. Irish citizens "will be particularly affected", and the Parliament "insists on the absolute need to ensure continuity and stability of the Northern Ireland peace process and to do everything possible to avoid a hardening of the border".

There must be no trade off between security and the future EU-UK economic relationship, the Parliament said, and it will oppose a piecemeal economic relationship based on sector-specific deals. The four freedoms of the single market, in the free movement of goods, capital, services and people, are indivisible, it said.

The resolution also warns the UK against any attempt to limit the right to freedom of movement before it withdraws from the EU, and asks the remaining EU countries to look into how they can address British citizens' fear that Brexit will lead to the loss of their current EU citizenship rights.

Any discussion on transitional arrangements can only begin when substantial progress has been made on how the UK will leave, and these arrangements must not last longer than three years. An agreement on a future relationship can only be concluded once the UK has left the EU, it said.

The UK remains an EU member until its official departure, and that this entails rights but also obligations, including financial commitments which may run beyond the withdrawal date, it said.

It would be a breach of EU law for the UK to negotiate trade agreements with third countries before it leaves the EU, and the UK must also avoid bilateral talks with member states on withdrawal proceedings or the future relationship between the UK and the EU, the Parliament said.

The motion is not binding on European Commission officials, the Parliament said.