Tuesday

19th Feb 2019

No guarantees for UK, says Schulz

  • EP president Schulz (r) hit out at suggestions the parliament could veto a UK-EU deal (Photo: European Parliament)

European Parliament president Martin Schulz has said he cannot give guarantees on the outcome of MEPs' deliberations on any deal renegotiating the UK's membership of the EU.

After meeting the British prime minister David Cameron on Tuesday (16 February), Schulz told journalists that MEPs would begin their work as soon as a text has been agreed by EU leaders, at this week's summit if talks go well.

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But Schulz warned that MEPs would be "as constructive as necessary", adding that he could not "give a guarantee on the outcome of the legislation".

Cameron is touring the EP on Tuesday, meeting leaders of the parliamentary groups, as he needs MEPs approval for several elements of the deal that would enable Britain to curb the benefits to EU workers living in the UK.

Schulz stressed that the EP had no veto over the deal, but that the EU's legislative procedure had to respected.

"The governments agree on a principle, and on the basis of that we have to legislate, within this framework we start the legislative work, but this is not a veto," he told journalists.

'Constructive debate'

Schulz signalled that the EP wanted a fair deal for Britain and promised to start legislation "immediately" after a deal is sealed.

But he also insisted that once the process started he could not predict the results, saying that no government could guarantee a result even when it went to its own parliament.

"There will be constructive debate in EP," Schulz said.

Schulz will be meeting leaders of the groups in the EP to reach a common position before the summit of EU leaders on Thursday.

He said he wanted British voters to choose to remain in the EU.

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With tough political issues still outstanding, EU leaders gather in Brussels on Thursday where they will try to seal a deal with the UK that would help Cameron to campaign successfully for Britain to remain in the bloc.

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