European Parliament votes to not allow Brexit talks to progress to trade talks

Members of the European Parliament take part in a voting session on a resolution about Brexit priorities and the upcomming talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

The European parliament voted by a large majority to not allow Brexit negotiations to proceed to discussions regarding Britain’s future relationship with the EU.

The parliament backed a motion by 557 votes to 92 that said that unless a “major breakthrough” is made, particularly on the Brexit bill, negotiations should not proceed to the next stage.

While the European parliament’s vote is not binding, their vote will certainly be in the minds of the leaders of the 27 member states when they do make a decision in a summit later this month.

It is widely acknowledged in Whitehall and Brussels that talks will likely not get the green light by the council and that “sufficient progress” has not been made. Last month EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker said that talks won’t proceed unless a miracle occurs.

Downing Street want the next stage of talks to proceed as soon as possible because it would reduce the possibility of Britain leaving without a trade deal, and are disappointed by the fact that that won’t happen this month, but expect the EU to allow talks to proceed in the later summit in December.

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