MPs from the Foreign Policy Committee and the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds have met with EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier.
Brexit negotiations will be more active during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. This opinion was shared by the participants in the meeting.
EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier told the MPs about the progress of the negotiations and emphasised that agreement had been reached on the main terms of the process. We can start stepwise with the second and third part of this process, and by the end of January 2018, the Council of Ministers of the EU is expected to give agreement on the directives from the previous period, he explained.
Our goal is to put on the negotiation table Brexit-related solutions by October 2018, and it is planned to draft a political declaration on the future relationship, said Michel Barnier. The Brexit agreement will have to be approved by all member states and ratified by their national parliaments, he added.
Foreign Policy Committee Chair Dzhema Grozdanova expressed her hope that there would be substantial progress on Brexit negotiations during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. We appreciate what has been achieved so far as a good start and hope that in the second half of 2018 we will have talks with the UK on our bilateral relations, and not just on the three elements we have been discussing in relation to Brexit, she said.
The UK will exit under article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union in March 2019, but wants a two-year transition period during which it will continue to fulfil its commitments to the EU, emphasised Dzhema Grozdanova. In her words, the main issue is whether the terms that will be agreed on will be acceptable for all member states and whether the national parliaments will ratify the agreement.
Chair of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds Kristian Vigenin said that the National Assembly hoped that the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator would continue the active information exchange with the national parliaments as before. Having in mind that Brexit issues are of special significance for EU citizens, and the national parliaments are their representatives, we will really dedicate this time to active discussions within the parliamentary dimension of the presidency, he emphasised. We are aware that the intensity of Brexit negotiations will grow and get into more details in the next six months, and therefore, we count on a more active dialogue with you, said Kristian Vigenin to Michel Barnier. It is important for us to see what your next steps will be and what we as MPs can do to facilitate this process, added the Chair of the Committee on European Affairs and Oversight of the European Funds.