UK Vote - Brexit requires a renewed commitment to European political unity
Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 17:15
The Spinelli Group regrets the outcome of the referendum in the United Kingdom and calls for a fast withdrawal process of the UK, a renewal of other Member States' commitment to European political unity and the preparation of a European Convention to reform the Union.
The Spinelli Group deeply regrets the outcome of the referendum held on 23rd June 2016 in the United Kingdom. Flaws in the European construction, miscommunication and mistrust between the majority of British citizens and the rest of the Union will now lead to the exclusion of the UK from the European project to which they have greatly contributed.
In the aftermath of the referendum, the European Union needs clarity about its future and its future relationship with the United Kingdom. The Spinelli Group urges that the withdrawal clause of article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is activated as soon as possible. Negotiations between the UK and the EU should be started swiftly and completed well before the next European elections in 2019.
In this difficult moment, it is more important than ever that the other Member States stick together and demonstrate their commitment to European integration to their own citizens and to the rest of the world. Only an initiative for deeper political integration can counter the forces of populism. Solemn declarations will not be enough. It is urgent to put in motion a process of comprehensive reform of the Union – within the treaties and beyond the treaties – to ensure a stronger Economic and Monetary Union, respond to citizens’ call for democracy, equality and efficiency at European level as well as to build Europe’s capabilities in internal and external security. Such an initiative should include a democratic and open debate on the future of the Union where the European Parliament should play a central role. This should also lead to needed changes to the EU Treaties. Therefore the ground for a European Convention has to be prepared.
Mercedes BRESSO, Member of the European Parliament
Elmar BROK, Chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee
Pascal DURAND, Member of the European Parliament
Sylvie GOULARD, Member of the European Parliament
Danuta HÜBNER, Chair of the European Parliament Constitutional Affairs Committee
Jo LEINEN, Member of the European Parliament
Ulrike LUNACEK, Vice-President of the European Parliament
Guy VERHOFSTADT, President of the ALDE group in the European Parliament
The Spinelli Group is a group of pro-European and federalist members of the European Parliament. It is chaired by Elmar Brok (EPP) and Jo Leinen (S&D). The Board includes Mercedes Bresso (S&D), Pascal Durand (Greens/EFA), Sylvie Goulard (ALDE), Danuta Hübner (EPP), Ulrike Lunacek (Greens/EFA) and Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE). The Spinelli Group association is chaired by former MEP and European Parliament Vice-President Isabelle Durant.