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Summary

  1. In a motion vote, the European Parliament calls for the UK to begin formal exit negotiations from the EU 'as soon as possible'.
  2. However, MEPs reject an amendment calling for the UK to be effectively stripped of its European Commissioner.
  3. The vote follows an emergency sitting of MEPs in Brussels following the UK's vote to leave the EU last week.
  4. MEPs will not participate directly in the exit negotiations but will have to eventually ratify the final deal struck by national governments.

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

Thanks & goodbye

European Parliament

Brussels

That's it for the European Parliament today, in what has been a heated debate on how the UK should begin the process for withdrawal from the EU. 

It comes as David Cameron is due to meet EU leaders later today to discuss how exit talks should start. 

MEPs' next meeting will be held in Strasbourg between 4-7 July, when they will hold a debate on the outcome of this week's talks. 

MEPs call for UK to trigger Article 50 'as soon as possible'

Voting session

European Parliament

Brussels

MEPs pass their motion calling for the UK to begin formal negotiation talks by activating Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty "as soon as possible". 

In backing an amendment from the Green/EFA group, they override a draft version of the motion which had called for Article 50 to be triggered "immediately". 

However MEPs reject an amendment supported by the Liberal ALDE and Socialist and Democrat groups calling for any replacement UK commissioner not to be given a policy brief. 

They also massively reject, by 480 votes to 108, an amendment tabled by the anti-EU ENF group calling on Jean-Claude Juncker to resign as Commission President in the wake of the referendum. 

Alyn Smith MEP: "Scotland did not let you down. Please... do not let Scotland down now"
Scottish MEP Alyn Smith has urged members of the European Parliament to stand by his country following the UK referendum on EU membership.

Watch again: Sinn Fein MEP speaks

BBC News tweets

MEPs begin vote on motion

Voting session

European Parliament

Brussels

With the debate now finished, MEPs move onto voting on their motion to set out their position on how Brexit negotiations should proceed. 

There will be a number of votes on amendments tabled by the different groups to the main motion, which is backed by four of the Parliament's political groups. 

UKIP leader addresses MEPs in Brussels

Debate on Brexit negotiations

Farage tells EU Parliament: 'You're not laughing now'

Schulz: Uncertainty ‘the opposite of what we need’

The Guardian

Parliament President Martin Schulz has already called for exit negotiations to begin as soon as possible to prevent uncertainty surrounding the bloc’s future.

He told the Guardian on Friday that it would be difficult to accept that “a whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory party”.

He said David Cameron’s decision to wait until October before beginning formal exit talks “must not be the last word”, adding: 

I doubt it is only in the hands of the government of the United Kingdom”

Martin Schulz
EPA

'Britannia waives the rules' if NI dragged out of Europe

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

Martina Anderson
BBC

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson says the party respects and defends the wishes of people of the north of Ireland, but that if English votes "drag us out of Europe", that would be like "Britainnia waives the rules". 

We voted to remain, she tells the MEPs. 

She says the EU has supported the peace process in the Northern Ireland; she asks for that to continue.

She says that she wants the Commission and the Council to understand that they did not realise the depth of opposition to the anti-democratic policies and practices and those must change if the EU is to survive. 

SNP MEP calls on EU not to 'let Scotland down'

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

The SNP's Alyn Smith says he feels proudly Scottish and "proudly pro-European Union".

He says the vote in Scotland to stay in the EU "should be respected", before adding, to a long round of applause: 

Scotland did not let you down... please, I beg you, chers collègues, do not let Scotland down now."

Alyn Smith
BBC

What’s in the draft motion?

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

A draft motion supported by four of the Parliament’s political groups calls for the UK to begin formal negotiation talks immediately by activating Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.

It adds that opening negotiation talks straight away would prevent “damaging uncertainty for everyone” and “protect the Union’s integrity”.

The draft text also says that any new relationship between the UK and the EU “may not be agreed before the conclusion of the withdrawal agreement”.

It adds that the financial services brief of UK Commissioner Lord Hill, who resigned in the wake of the vote, should be reallocated “with immediate effect”.

The Liberal ALDE and Socialist and Democrat groups are supporting an amendment which calls for any replacement UK commissioner not to be given a policy brief at all.

It also calls for:

  • reforms to make the EU “better and more democratic”
  • a reinforcement of the “core of the EU”
  • the EU’s common foreign and security policy to be “strengthened”
  • changes to the “internal organisation” of the Parliament to reflect the referendum result.

Cameron 'deserves praise' for holding vote - DUP MEP

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

Diane Dodds, who leads the DUP delegation in the Parliament and campaigned for a Leave vote, says last week's vote was a "victory for democracy". 

However, she adds that Prime Minister David Cameron should be "praised for giving the British people their say", even if he found himself on the losing side. 

Now is a time for "cool heads", she adds, noting that member countries should avoid "knee-jerk reactions". 

Diane Dodds
BBC

Le Pen: 'Put away those sulky faces'

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

Look at how beautiful it is when history succeeds, Marine Le Pen, the Front National leader, tells MEPs. 

"It's a kind of love of a people for their country. The British have chosen a route we thought was closed for all time," she says, adding that the British people have given a slap in the face to the system.

She says the British saw through the threats of an apocalypse.

"Put away those sulky faces," she tells MEPs and rejoice in the emancipation, adding: 

I can already hear urban myths and falsehoods to discourage others from going down the same path."

Marine Le Pen
BBC

Praise for UKIP leader

UKIP MEP tweets

'Hammered with abuse'

National Organiser of Trade Unionists Against the EU tweets

'Grown up attitude' called for

The Sun's deputy political editor tweets

Farage: Leave vote 'a beacon of hope for democrats'

Debate on Breixt negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

UKIP leader Nigel Farage says that when he first came to the Parliament campaigning for the UK to leave the EU, the MEPs "all laughed at me". 

"Well I have to say, you're not laughing now, are you?" he adds. 

He says that EU politicians are "in denial" about the failures of the eurozone and the "massive divisions" between countries caused by the migration crisis. 

He adds that the referendum result should provide a "beacon of hope for democrats" across Europe, and predicts that the UK will not be the last member state to leave the EU. 

He says that he agrees politicians should not "spend too long" on the negotiation talks, but should move to strike a "sensible, tariff-free deal" that suits both the UK and remaining EU. 

He notes that "even no deal" is better for the United Kingdom than the "rotten deal" it has as a member of the EU at the moment.  

Nigel Farage
BBC

German left-wing MEP urges 'clarity' on negotiations

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

Gabriele Zimmer
BBC

Left-wing GUE group leader Gabriele Zimmer says "economic elite in London" got behind the campaign led by UKIP. 

She says her group does not want "punishment" for the UK, but does want "clarity" on how the negotiations are to proceed. 

The European Parliament, she adds, must be involved in the exit talks "right from the very outset". 

Belgian MEP Philippe Lamberts, the co-leader of the Green/EFA group, says that in the modern world, "you can only have sovereignty if you share sovereignty". 

He adds that Euroscepticism is rising because an "ever larger number" of EU citizens are being marginalised by the "neoliberal" economic model. 

Philippe Lamberts
BBC

Today's story: debate in European Parliament

European Parliament tweets

Congratulations on 'future job'

SNP supporter tweets

Verhofstadt: EU 'should not wait' for Leave campaigners

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian prime minister who leads the Liberal ALDE group, says the choice made by the British people has to be respected.

"What makes it so hard for me...is the way it succeeded," he says, before likening the UKIP poster endorsed by Nigel Farage to Nazi propaganda.

"The lies on migration, the lies on 'Turkey will join the union next week', or the lies on the £350m that would return to the NHS...it's that climate of fear that has been created, that is the most shocking thing of what happened in Britain, not the choice of the people," he says.

Referring to the downgrading of the British currency, he says the Brexiteers say it is a "temporary setback", and that he hopes it is a temporary glitch.

Calling for the triggering of Article 50 is respecting the choice of the British people, he says.

He says the Leave camp is "lost, rudderless"; and that the Parliament should not wait for them to get their "act together". 

He says Europeans should return to the big ideas of the "founding fathers", and calls for showing the people of Europe a new union which can address the crises Europe currently faces.

Guy Verhofstad
BBC

Working through possibilities

SNP MEP tweets

What's happened today in the European Parliament?

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker welcomes Nigel Farage at the European Parliament
Reuters
Mr Juncker embraced UKIP leader Nigel Farage at the start of the session, a key campaigner for the Leave side

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker urges UK to "clarify its position" on Brexit as soon as possible.

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage (L) talks with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

Anger as EU parliament debates Brexit

Bitter exchanges mark the European Parliament's first debate on the UK's vote to leave, while David Cameron prepares to face his EU counterparts.

Read more

'Deal at the end' more important than speed - Kammall

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

British Conservative Syed Kammall, who leads the Conservative ECR group, says that now is the time to "look to the future", but that the parties should "pause" and consider their negotiating strategies. 

However, he says politicians should "give the markets certainty" by setting out a timetable for the exit negotiations. 

He adds that the "deal at the end" of the talks is ultimately more important than the speed at which they proceed. 

He calls on British politicians to reaffirm the UK's commitment to remain an "open, tolerant and global nation" - and make sure the UK becomes "good neighbours" with Europe instead of "reluctant tenants". 

Syed Kammall
BBC

Pitella: Article 50 should be triggered 'as soon as possible'

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

The leader of the Socialist and Democrat group, Italian MEP Gianni Pitella, says the Parliament stands with younger voters who "had the courage to cast a vote for Europe". 

He says the Leave campaigners in the UK have left behind them a "battlefield full of ruins", with promises made during the campaign that are unlikely to be fulfilled. 

He calls for the UK to trigger formal Article 50 negotiations "as soon as possible", with the European Commission to initiate talks shortly afterwards. 

He adds that Europe must now set a different course to increase public and private investment and fight against tax avoidance.

He adds that at the next European Parliament elections, his group would like to see "direct elections" for the EU Commission President to install a kind of "mayor of the European Union". 

Gianni Pitella
BBC

Merkel outlines Britain's relationship

AP tweets

UKIP responds to Weber's remarks

UKIP MEP tweets

'Worst liars'

Business correspondent, The Guardian, tweets

'Opportunities lost'

Labour MEP tweets

EPP group leader: Referendum result 'a victory of the populists'

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

German Christian democrat MEP Manfred Weber, who leads the centre-right EPP group - the largest in the Parliament - says that the hopes of younger, more pro-EU Britons have been "destroyed".

He says that the referendum result is a "victory of the populists", with "new walls" being put up by a generation that has largely known peace in Europe. 

He tells the chamber that "the worst liars can be found among UKIP", and that the UK has "harmed itself" by voting to the leave the EU. 

He says his group will now seek to represent the interests of the remaining EU citizens, and "no longer the City of London" - adding that "the time for cherry-picking is over". 

Manfred Weber
BBC

Market pressure eases after Brexit rout

Trader in London
AFP

UK financial markets calm down after two days of turmoil in the wake of the Brexit vote, with the FTSE 100 gaining 2%.

Trader in London

Market pressure eases after Brexit rout

UK financial markets calm down after two days of turmoil in the wake of the Brexit vote, with the FTSE 100 gaining more than 2%.

Read more

Watch again: Juncker challenges UKIP

BBC News tweets

Juncker: 'No secret negotiations' with UK

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

Mr Juncker adds that there should be "no secret negotiations" with the UK over its future relationship with the EU. 

He adds that "this is not the time for fragmentation in the European Union", and that the "European dream will continue". 

Jean-Claude Juncker
BBC

Other options?

House of Commons library tweets

Cameron to face EU leaders over Brexit

Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Francois Hollande
AFP
David Cameron is seen at a previous meeting with Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Francois Hollande

David Cameron is to meet European leaders for the first time since the UK voted to leave the European Union, as the European Parliament debates the implications of Brexit.

George Osborne

Osborne: Brexit means cuts and tax rises

Tax rises and spending cuts will be needed to deal with the "shock" to the UK economy caused by leaving the EU, Chancellor George Osborne says.

Read more

No contact between officials

Brussels correspondent, the Daily Telegraph, tweets

'I will fight for united Europe' - Juncker

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

Jean-Claude Juncker
BBC

Mr Juncker continues that he has placed a "ban" on any commissioners or senior Commission officials entering into preliminary negotiations with the UK government before Article 50 is triggered. 

"No notification, no negotiation," he adds. 

He says that the result of the referendum has "cut off one of the wings" of the European Union, but that "we are still flying". 

He says that the EU institutions will continue to work towards the "pre-determined objective" set out in the EU treaties, adding: 

To my last breath, I will fight for a united Europe."

'Consequences' to decision

Brussels correspondent, the Daily Telegraph, tweets

Still here?

Labour MEP tweets

Juncker: 'Lasting uncertainty' should be avoided

Debate on Brexit negotiations

European Parliament

Brussels

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker begins his speech by telling MEPs that the outcome of the referendum must be honoured. 

"Democracy is democracy, and we should respect it", he says - although he adds that he "makes no secret" that the result has saddened him. 

He says that the British "remain our friends", but that he will be seeking clarity on how negotiations will now proceed, given that the EU does not need a long period of "lasting uncertainty", adding:

I would like the United Kingdom to clarify its position."

Jean-Claude Juncker
BBC