S&Ds on the outcome of the December European Council

Commenting on the results of the last European Council meeting of 2018, S&D group president Udo Bullmann said:

“On Brexit, the week that was supposed to be decisive has passed and nothing has changed. Theresa May is still Prime Minister and we have not had a vote on the withdrawal agreement. The deal on the table is the only one possible considering both the EU’s principles and the UK’s current red lines. The backstop is a last resort but it has to be there to guarantee that in whatever circumstances there could be no hardening of the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland and to protect the integrity of the single market. Time is running out, the UK government urgently needs to find a way out of this impasse – put the agreement to a vote in the Parliament or put it back to the people.

“On migration, the Council has again shown it is only interested in short-term fixes to keep the problem out of sight. Policies focused only on keeping people out will not work. Until we find a way to share responsibly fairly between all member states, we are just storing up problems for the future. We are now three years on from the height of the migration challenge and still the Council has failed to agree on meaningful action. 

“On disinformation, we are pleased that national governments are finally recognising the seriousness of the situation and putting it on the political agenda before next year’s European elections. However, they continue to fail to agree to the main legislative proposal to address the problem – the update to e-privacy laws. If they really want Europeans to be protected from manipulation and in charge of their online life, then they must adopt these proposals immediately.”