Britain may still be struggling to finalise its Brexit agreement at home, but MEPs in Brussels are eager to get started. The European Parliament is slated to begin procedures to endorse the divorce deal next week.
“Hopefully, at the end of January we will start our procedure,” MEP Danuta Hubner said on January 22 of the parliamentary consent necessary for the deal to take effect.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, the parliament’s Brexit pointman, Guy Verhofstadt, told the same session on January 22 that starting the process would send an important signal.
“This means there is no renegotiation possible for us of the Withdrawal Agreement. If there is renegotiation possible, it’s only the Political Declaration in which we have nothing against a more deep future relationship between the EU and the UK,” he said.
“The problem seems to be for the moment in the UK that apparently there are only negative majorities in the House of Commons,” Verhofstadt added.
According to Verhofstadt, there is no positive majorities for alternatives at this stage. “Prolonging Article 50 without having a clear plan for a way out to break the deadlock based on a majority in the House of Commons seems to me very difficult to do,” he said of the EU treaty regulating Britain’s departure.