Published: Wed, 16 June 2021
The European People’s Party (EPP) Group in the European Parliament has appointed Ireland South MEP, Sean Kelly, to the key position of Standing Rapporteur for the UK in the Parliament’s Committee on International Trade.
In this post, MEP Kelly will chair the Monitoring Group for Trade with the UK and will have a very prominent role in the “UK Contact Group”, which provides the political direction for the Parliament.
Mr Kelly welcomed the announcement, saying he was looking forward to “working with colleagues to facilitate EU-UK relations. Considering the implications of Brexit on Ireland, as well as the current tensions surrounding the Protocol, it’s important to have an influential Irish voice in the European Parliament in the discussions moving forward.”
“While there is worry about the uncertainty surrounding the next phase of our relationship, the implementation of the Treaty is a priority for the European Union, not only in terms of citizens’ rights but specifically regarding the Northern Ireland Protocol. Its proper implementation would provide stability for businesses, citizens and farmers on both sides of the border as well protect the single market”, Mr Kelly added.
Commenting on the current negotiations, Mr Kelly said that, “there is a real problem with the lack of trust in the seriousness of any commitments made by the UK, significant differences and difficulties still remain. Nonetheless, I believe that although it will be a different relationship, particularly for business in the post-Brexit world, the EU and Ireland can have a strong and friendly partnership with the UK if it is willing”, said Kelly.
“There are solutions to be found, particularly in the area of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, and it is imperative that they are for everyone that is involved. However, this must be a give and take, not a situation where one party decides not to implement measures it agreed to or act unilaterally” Kelly concluded.