For the first time after the “leave” victory on the 23rd June United Kingdom referendum, the European Parliament and the European Council expressed their positions and tried to outline the next steps regarding the upcoming formalisation of the United Kingdoms voters’ decision to leave the European Union.

After a debate between the leaders of the political groups, Jean-Claude Junker, President of EU Commission, and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, representing the Netherlands as current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament – convened in a extraordinary plenary session – adopted a resolution to make clear what should be done until the British government officially calls for the execution of article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and the beginning of the negotiations.

The approved resolution asks the British government to immediately activate the procedure stated by the article 50 of the EU treaty making the official notification to the European Council in order to respect the will of the British citizens expressed in the referendum and also to end this situation of uncertainty. The European Parliament demands to be informed and fully involved in all stages of the various procedures concerning the withdrawal agreement and the future relationship, while reminding that the final agreement has to be approved by itself. The European Parliament also asks the Council to change the order of its rotating presidencies and prevent the United Kingdom to take that role in the second semester of 2017, while negotiation on its leave will be ongoing.

The European Council – after informally meeting in an unprecedented 27 Members configuration on 28th-29th June - approved a Statement regarding the “Brexit” case and the forthcoming future of the relations between the Member States and Britain. In this document the Council expressed its displeasure on the outcome of the referendum, while noting that the UK will anyway remain a close partner of the European Union but any agreement will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations and the respect of all the four freedoms of the Single Market (free movement of goods, workers, capital and services). In conclusion the Council stated that no negotiations of any kind will start before the official notification by the UK government on the activation of the article 50 procedure.

 European Parliament resolution

European Council statement

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