Iuliu Winkler: the interests of Romanian citizens, a priority throughout the ´Brexit´ negotiations
In a meeting held Thursday morning, in Strasbourg, with a delegation from the UK House of Lords, MEP Iuliu Winkler (RMDSZ, EPP) has expressed his determination to defend, throughout the ´Brexit´ negotiations, the interests of Romanian citizens that work, study or live in the UK.
Iuliu Winkler has declared that the UK is enjoying sympathy and respect in Romania, and that the UK citizens´ decision to leave the EU has been received with surprise and concern by people as well as the Romanian political class. “People have received with concern the decision on ´Brexit´ because many have relatives who work, study or live in the UK. (…) At this time, numerous Romanian citizens are working in the UK; many of them are highly qualified, working as doctors, engineers or professors. According to some estimates, the number of those living in the UK is around 300.000, from which 190.000 have an official status”, added the RMDSZ MEP.
In turn, members of the UK House of Lords delegation have shown their preoccupation with the post-´Brexit´ future of the some 2 million UK citizens that live in the EU, but also of the 3 million Europeans from various Member States that work in Great Britain. The key idea that surfaced in the aftermath of the discussions was that the future status of the abovementioned citizens will largely depend on the outcome of bilateral negotiations the UK shall have with every respective Member State.
In the context of discussions concerning the European Parliament´s role in the ´Brexit´ negotiations, Iuliu Winkler touched upon the complexity of this process, which will be a first-timer in EU history. He stressed the importance of the parliamentary dimension, both at a bilateral level, between the UK Parliament and Member State parliaments, as well as at the level of the European Parliament. According to the MEP, the Council, with a strong input from the European Commission, will be drawing up the conditions for Great Britain´s exit treaty, yet, the European Parliament will be called upon at the end to ratify the agreement, or not. “You can rest assured that the European Parliament is decided on fully exercising its competencies and its entire power throughout the negotiations with the UK”, underlined the RMDSZ MEP.
The UK House of Lords Members that were present at the discussions were interested in MEP Iuliu Winkler´s opinion as concerns the post-´Brexit´ future of the political and trade relations between the UK and the EU, as well as concrete elements of the negotiation chapters.
The UK House of Lords delegation comprised of Lord Boswell of Aynho, Baroness Verma, Lord Whitty, Earl of Kinnoull, Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top and Lord Teverson. All those present are active in Parliamentary subcommittees that deal with UK-EU relations, in various areas of interaction.