13th December 2017
The European Parliament should stick to its brief and not try and tie the hands of Brexit negotiators, Conservative MEP's leader Ashley Fox said today.
Mr Fox welcomed the vote by MEPs to recommend the European Council agrees that talks between the EU and UK can move onto discussions about a transitional deal and the future relationship.
He also backed the Parliament's call for future relations to be "as close as possible".
But he regretted that the Motion for Resolution approved by MEPs also attempts to dictate the course of the forthcoming talks.
Mr Fox said: "It is unfortunate but not surprising that once again Guy Verhofstadt and his colleagues cannot resist attempting to interfere in the negotiations.
"For instance, laying down red lines to Michel Barnier's team on what the transitional arrangements must contain is not their job and helps no-one. We need to enter the next round of talks in a spirit of co-operation, not confrontation, and be open to fresh, innovative thinking if we are to secure an outcome that enables both sides to prosper.
"Too many parts of this resolution set the wrong tone and resort to political point scoring. Indeed, Mr Verhofstadt's amendment accusing David Davis of 'undermining the good faith' that has been built up is the kind of personal attack that I'd hoped would be beneath this Parliament."
Conservative MEPs voted for the recommendation that the talks move forward but abstained on the resolution as a whole.