European Parliament approves new joint EU-UK Brexit assembly
EU and UK parliaments will each send 35 lawmakers to the joint assembly, which oversees the implementation of the Brexit trade deal.
The European Parliament voted Tuesday to approve the creation of a new joint assembly between British and EU lawmakers meant to help solve post-Brexit issues.
The assembly, which will include 35 lawmakers from each side, is supposed to monitor the implementation of the EU-U.K. trade and cooperation agreement and will be briefed on decisions by the Partnership Council, a supervisory body for the trade deal that is co-chaired by European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and U.K. Brexit Minister David Frost. The joint assembly will also be able to make non-binding recommendations for amending the deal.
The proposal to establish the EU delegation was approved by MEPs with 686 votes in favor, two against and four abstentions.
“I am convinced that well-framed, inter-parliamentary relations can help us to build trust and a mutually beneficial dialogue with our U.K. counterparts," said David McAllister, chair of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee. "A strong parliamentary dimension is crucial for shaping the implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement."
However, it is still unclear when the joint assembly will be able to begin its work because the British side has not yet set up its delegation nor decided how many of its 35 seats will be allocated to the House of Commons versus the House of Lords.
On the EU side, the center-right European People's Party will send nine lawmakers to the assembly as the biggest party in Parliament, while the second-largest group, the center-left Socialists & Democrats, will send eight. Both groups were still finalizing their choices for the assembly as of Tuesday afternoon.
The liberal Renew Europe group, which has five seats, selected MEPs Nathalie Loiseau, Liesje Schreinemacher, Jordi Cañas, Barry Andrews and Hilde Vautmans. As substitutes, the group chose MEPs Morten Helveg Petersen, Sophie in 't Veld, Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, Ulrike Müller and Ondřej Kovařík.
The Greens, which have four seats, picked MEPs François Alfonsi, Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, Bas Eickhout and Terry Reintke as members, as well as MEPs Anna Cavazzini, Ciarán Cuffe, Caroline Roose and Tatjana Ždanoka as substitutes.
The European Conservatives and Reformists group has three seats. It designated MEPs Raffaele Fitto, Anna Fotyga and Jan Zahradil for those seats, and named Peter Lundgren, Hermann Tertsch and Roberts Zīle as substitutes.
The far-right Identity and Democracy Group also has three seats, but its choices for the assembly were not finalized as of Tuesday afternoon.
The Left group picked MEPs Chris MacManus and Sira Rego for its two seats, as well as Luke Flanagan and Helmut Scholz as substitutes.
There is also one seat reserved for a non-affiliated MEP.