Guy Verhofstadt, who will negotiate regarding Brexit with British authorities in representation of the European Parliament, said he was satisfied with the announcement of Prime Minister Theresa May on her intention of putting Article 50 into force by the end of March 2017. Following this, London will officially have informed its desire to leave the European Union. Mrs. May must however not consider that discussions will begin before this act is instated, said Tuesday Mr. Verhofstadt.
“There will be no pre-negotiations. Discussions will begin when Article 50 enters into force,” he clarified to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, adding that he wishes for the negotiations to conclude before the European elections of 2019. If this is not the case, elections should be organized in the United Kingdom, even though the country has indicated that it wishes to leave the EU: “a bizarre situation” according to the leader of Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).
Verhofstadt also recalled that the four fundamental freedoms of the European Union: freedom of movement of goods, capital, services, and people, constituted “a package”. That is to say that if Mrs. May chooses to decide independently regarding the migratory policy of the United Kingdom, British citizens will no longer continue to have access to the inner market of the EU.
Manfred Weber, leader of PPE, the most important political group in the European Parliament, stated on his part that these liberties were the “DNA” of the EU. “I cannot conceive lorries not being subject to control at borders if people are,” he stated.