"It's better to have a deal than no deal, but it's clear to me that the European Parliament needs time to properly assess the agreement reached between the EU negotiating team and the British government. It’s also clear to me that the voice of the people marching for Europe in the UK over the weekend again should be heard", said Dacian Cioloş, Renew Europe President, following the plenary debate on the conclusions of last week's European Council meeting.
He added: "We want certainty before we put our wheels in motion. This standpoint shouldn’t come as a surprise. It is what the Parliament already said in its latest Brexit Resolution. This Parliament needs time to study and scrutinise all legislation in detail. This agreement deserves to be handled with care, since it impacts so many lives and businesses on both sides of the channel".
The European Parliament decides not to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement before the full ratification by the House of Commons. This means: after the third reading by the UK Parliament and not earlier. The European Parliament first has to see if the vote on the second reading tonight will be successful or not. If the second reading passes, the House of Commons will then decide on a programme motion that will set out the further time table to get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) approved. This programme motion is crucial as it sets out the timetable for the Government to be able to complete ratification ahead of the 31 October deadline.
The AFCO committee will wait for the final implementing acts (vote of the WAB after third reading) before they will vote themselves