MEPS call for a "special relationship" with the UK

01-Mar-2017 @ 12:00

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MEPS call for a "special relationship" with the UK

The European Parliament's influential Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee is calling for "deep mutual market access" and "a special relationship" between Britain and the EU post-Brexit.

The Parliament is preparing a detailed statement on the Brexit negotiating strategy to be voted on as soon as Article 50 is triggered. IMCO members have now agreed 16 action points for inclusion in the resolution.

The points have been approved by negotiators representing the Parliament's six largest political groups, including members from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.

Included is a statement that the committee "believes it to be in the mutual interest of the EU and the UK to pursue a special relationship...which should include arrangements regarding deep mutual market access in goods and services".

The committee also supports the mutual recognition of professional qualifications, continued market access for products where UK and EU standards mirror each other and specifies that there should no lessening of consumer standards by either side following Brexit.

In addition, it acknowledges that any agreement between the EU and the UK ought to be "mutually beneficial."

Conservative Internal Market spokesman Vicky Ford said: "I have always said our future partnership needs to be much closer than the EU normally has with third countries. The recently agreed EU-Canada trade agreement, for example, does not give anything like the level of market access the UK is used to having across EU borders,

"By calling for a 'deep' partnership the committee is advocating significantly more co-operation than the EU has with other third countries, especially on single market issues.

"This is very significant. If these action points are endorsed by the full Parliament for inclusion in the final text, it will be a major step forward."

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