An Association Agreement could mean the right framework for future EU and UK relations after the island’s EU has been set off, according to a European Parliament (EP) resolution adopted on Wednesday.
At the Strasbourg plenary session, which was voted by a large majority in the five-party resolution, MEPs first noted that the best solution would be for both sides if the island was to remain a member of the internal market and the customs union, but this possibility was excluded by the British government.
According to the EP, the future relationship system should be based on a kind of comprehensive association agreement, based on four pillars: trade-economic relations, foreign-policy-security-development cooperation, internal security, and so-called thematic cooperation.
As stated, the contract should include a dispute settlement mechanism to avoid shortcomings in the EU-Switzerland relations.
In addition, they have repeatedly stressed that a country outside the EU can not have the same rights and benefits as the Member States of the European Union.
According to experts, this idea is more in line with London’s plans than the negotiating directives that are still to be adopted by the President of the European Council last week. As has been said, some parts of the text on the Association Agreement are “more peaceful” than the Council’s “much more minimalist” rejection of British proposals.
Some analysts have previously argued that these disagreements can lead to “inter-institutional rivalry”, which the UK can use for its benefit. However, Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Brexit chief negotiator, said on Tuesday that he would not compromise on this solution.
So far, two options were at the center of the debate: a Norwegian model model that preserves the internal market, and a free trade agreement with the EU, Canada. However, the Association Agreement would, in many respects, allow more flexible, closer and more dynamic cooperation.
The European Union has concluded an association agreement with, inter alia, Georgia, Israel, Morocco, Ukraine and Turkey, albeit with different “depths”.
Leaders of EU member states will adopt their guidelines for future negotiations in next week’s summit. The agreement of the EP will also require the exit agreement and any association agreement.