The European Parliament wants to prevent the UK from using lower social standards to gain an advantage in future trade with the EU.

AD – 04/2018

In its resolution ‘Guidelines on the framework of future EU-UK relations’, the European Parliament has set out the conditions that must be met in order for it to agree to a withdrawal agreement. The Parliament’s approval is one of several indispensable requirements for the treaty to enter into force on 30 March 2019. In the vote on the resolution on 14 March 2018, 516 MEPs voted in favour, just 133 against and 50 abstained. 

What is the Parliament calling for?

The Parliament is calling for Britain’s continued adherence to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols as well as the European Social Charter. 

It is demanding a level playing field, particularly with regards to the United Kingdom’s continued adherence to its international obligations and the Union’s legislation and policies in the fields of: 


  • fair and rules-based competition, including state aid; 
  • social and workers’ rights, and especially equivalent levels of social protection and safeguards against social dumping; 
  • consumer protection, public health, sanitary and phytosanitary measures; 
  • animal health and animal welfare; 
  • taxation, including the fight against tax evasion and avoidance, money laundering; and  
  • data protection and privacy. 

European social model to play a key role

The European Parliament has noted that the breadth and depth of the agreement on a level playing field will be crucial in determining the extent of the future relationship between the EU and the UK. It has noted that the United Kingdom’s continued adherence to the European social model will play a key role in ensuring this. 

Further negotiations

The European Parliament intends to comment on resolutions made on individual issues or on sector-specific issues as part if the ongoing negotiations.