Labour MEPs: Strasbourg Brexit vote must be wake-up call to Tories to get serious

Conservative chaos and confusion is to blame for the stalled Brexit talks, with the government’s refusal to give guarantees on citizens’ rights and the future of Northern Ireland, Labour MEPs warned as the European Parliament voted today on a resolution that says further progress is still need to take negotiations to the next stage.

Richard Corbett MEP, Labour’s acting leader in the European Parliament, said:

“It will be impossible to move on to the next stage of the negotiations unless the Tories start engaging constructively with our EU negotiating partners with the level of detail needed to advance key questions, including on citizens’ rights and securing the Good Friday Agreement.

“Labour MEPs believe that clearer guarantees are needed on citizens’ rights, and that there is scope for progress to be made on this in the next round of talks in October. The three million EU citizens in the UK and 1.3 million British citizens in the rest of the EU are still living under a cloud of uncertainty – they deserve clarity and reassurances over their future.

“And on Northern Ireland, the Tory government, not to mention its DUP enablers, must explain how exactly they envisage a borderless border if the UK is to leave the customs union.

“With one more round of negotiations until EU heads of government meet at the end of this month, this resolution should be a wake-up call to the Tory government that it is time they got serious about Brexit and stopped putting the unity of their party before the future of our country.

“The Tories need to spend less time arguing with each other and more time answering the myriad questions posed by Brexit, if we are to avoid the prospect of a no-deal outcome, which would be disastrous for jobs, trade and rights.”