The European Parliament on Tuesday voted against proceeding to the second phase of negotiations to finalise terms of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, Reuters reported. The resolution, however, is non-binding.
The two-year timeline for the UK’s exit are divided into two phases: the first to decide the manner of separation and “orderly withdrawal”, and the second to decide on terms of future trade relationship between the UK and the EU. The second phase can begin only when the EU has decided that sufficient progress has been made in the first phase.
Members of the European Parliament passed the motion calling on EU leaders to not allow progress to future trade negotiations when they meet on October 19-20. The resolution was backed by most of the biggest groups in the EU legislature. Another round of negotiations will be held in Brussels next week.
Earlier in the Parliament session on Tuesday, German leader Manfred Weber called for UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to be sacked to ensure progress in the Brexit talks, The Guardian reported. Weber is a key ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
He suggested that Johnson’s views on Brexit have been at odds with those of Prime Minister Theresa May. “The question for the moment is who shall I call in London [on Brexit]?” Weber said. “Who speaks for the British government – Theresa May, Boris Johnson, or even David Davis [UK’s chief negotiator for Brexit]?...Please sack Johnson because we will have clear answers as to who is responsible for the British position.”