EU Parliament makes tough demands for talks with UK
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EU Parliament makes tough demands for talks with UK

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Brussels, Feb 13: The European Parliament on Wednesday approved its tough opening position for talks with the UK on its future relationship with the EU.

Members of the European Parliament(MEPs) called on the UK to follow EU policies in a host of areas as the price for an ambitious free trade deal.

These range from chemicals regulation to climate change, food labelling and subsidies for companies.

The EU said they have toughened their position keeping in mind the dynamic alignment that was to accrue between the UK and EU post Brexit. In other words EU is calling upon the UK to follow its rules.

The resolution also called to ensure that Brexit does not lead to gender discrimination, a crackdown on tax havens with links to the UK, and for a joint UK-EU position at the upcoming UN climate conference in Glasgow in November.

It is also the latest example of the mandate being toughened up as it passes from institution to institution in the EU.

When Mr Barnier published a first draft in early February, there was no mention of alignment and definitely not the automatic kind.

Then a new version emerged that had been tweaked by diplomats from national governments.

It called for the need to have a level playing field which basically means that the UK will have to guarantee that it will allow free and fair competetion to prevail and ensure that UK companies do not undercut their European counterparts, said a BBC report.

The UK's participation in the Galileo satellite positioning system was downgraded from "should" to "could."

"It means we can be bad cop," said a senior MEP from the European Parliament's new UK Co-ordination Group. "Michel Barnier can say to London that he can't do certain things because the Parliament won't accept them."

That's a tactic Mr Barnier is virtually guaranteed to use. And he will have to take the European Parliament's views into account because it is likely to have a vote on whatever deal emerges from the talks with the UK. (UNI)

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