“Brexit is most of all about people. It is about safeguarding the rights of our citizens, preserving peace in Northern Ireland and protecting jobs affected by the UK’s departure,” stated European Parliament President, Antonio Tajani, following Brexit chief negotiator, Michel Barnier’s debrief on the Brexit agreement at the Conference of Presidents today.

“We believe in democracy and respect the decision of the British people. The text agreed to by the European Union and United Kingdom is the first step on a long road. Nevertheless, I am optimistic that it will pave the way towards a close future EU-UK relationship. The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union, not Europe,” added President Tajani.

“I would like to thank Michel Barnier for his tireless work and the spirit of cooperation that has underpinned the relationship between us. I would also like to acknowledge the essential input provided by the European Parliament‘s Brexit steering group.

“This agreement reflects that any outcome will be inferior to full membership, while safeguarding EU27 interests. It demonstrates what the European Union stands for: solidarity and unity among its members.

“This is just the beginning of a new phase. The European Parliament will be called upon to approve the agreement and will therefore continue to scrutinise developments, ensuring that that our red lines are delivered upon,” President Tajani concluded.