There can be no second-class Parliament membership for UK MEPs – Hayes
Brian Hayes MEP today (Wednesday) said that he will not stand for UK MEPs rights being curtailed following the triggering of Article 50, following moves by the President Martin Schulz to assess the impact of Brexit on European Parliament activities.
“British MEPs, like Irish MEPs and German MEPs, have been elected by their constituents to carry out a mandate in the European Parliament until 2019. As long as Britain remains a member of the European Union, its MEPs should have the same rights as other MEPs.
“There can be no second-class membership of the European Parliament. This would be completely unconstitutional. The legal provisions under the EU Treaties are clear – UK MEPs can have no change in their status until the exit agreement between the EU and UK has been ratified. Any change in status would send a very bad signal in advance of negotiations and we must remember that negotiations could go on for more than two years following Article 50 being triggered.
“Recently the European Parliament President Martin Schulz instructed the heads of each Committee to examine the impact of Brexit on their respective Committee and how it might affect legislative files being concluded. This has been seen by some as an attempt to sideline UK MEPs. Being vindictive is not the right approach to take – this cannot be an attempt to squeeze people out of their roles for political purposes. All EU representatives involved in these negotiations need to take a calm approach; respect must be given to both sides of the negotiations. If we start a tit-for-tat battle, things could get very ugly.
“A Parliament report will be finalised by January 2017 in advance of Article 50 being triggered. The idea is that this report will allow the European Parliament to establish its red lines in the Brexit negotiations.
“Britain currently has 73 MEPs and holds 3 Committee Chair positions. Several UK MEPs also hold rapporteur positions on key legislative files. I strongly believe that these roles and positions should remain in place.”