EU parliament votes in favour of Brexit negotiation red lines

Mark Sands
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The UK voted to leave the European Union on 23 June. (Source: Getty)

The EU parliament has backed a motion laying out guidelines for Brexit negotiations, including a limit on potential transition measures and "phased" negotiations on divorce and new trade terms.

MEPs voted 516 - 133 in favour of the motion, which was put forward by four of the political groups in the assembly.

Although MEPs won't have a formal role in talks, the EU parliament will have to approve the final Brexit deal.

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The draft motion puts the parliament in favour of calls for "phased" negotiations, rather than parallel talks on divorce and a new relationship as favoured by the UK.

It also calls for a limit of three years on any transition measures introduced in talks.

And it says the European Medicines Authority and the European Banking Authority should both be moved out of London.

Finally, the motion also stresses that the UK should pay the EU for costs that "arise directly from its withdrawal".

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It came after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier played down demands for cash as he spoke to MEPs.

"All we are doing is settling the accounts. No more, no less," Barnier said.

Earlier in the debate EU parliament chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said last week's triggering of Article 50 was "a sad moment", but labelled the UK's relationship with the EU as "a marriage of convenience".

"It was never a love affair. And certainly not 'wild passion'," Verhofstadt said.

The vote came after former Ukip leader Nigel Farage accused his fellow MEPs of behaving "like the mafia".

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