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Brexit dominates packed European Parliament agenda

March 26, 2019 at 10:08am

With the most packed agenda since the beginning of the current legislative period in 2014, the plenary session in the European Parliament in Strasbourg started on Monday its work, with the debate on Brexit considered to be one of the top issues.

The last plenary before the European elections on 26th of May will take place in mid April.

European Parliament`s spokesman Jaume Duch Guillot, said during a press conference in the presence of representatives of the political groups that the debate on Brexit will be held tomorrow, Wednesday regarding the conclusions of the European Council summit. It was also noted that the European Council gave two dates that of May 22nd if the British House of Commons votes in favour of an agreed Brexit and that of April 12th, if there is no agreed Brexit as it is the last date for the British to be able to hold european elections.

MEPs will also vote on the provisional deal reached in February regarding internet copyright rules, which is another complicated but very important issue. The rules aim to ensure that the rights and obligations of copyright law are applied to the internet. The debate in the plenary and vote will held today.

Single use plastics in an issue on which agreement has been reached between the European Parliament and the European Council. MEPs are set to endorse the ban on single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery, straws and cotton buds from 2021. The legislation also sets a 90% collection target for plastic bottles by 2029 and a reduction by 70% of polluting plastics. This issue will be discussed and voted on Wednesday.

The European Parliament will also vote on a report about the switch between summer and winter time.  The European Council has not yet agreed on a common position on the issue. MEPs will vote on the proposal to end the switch between summer and winter time. EU countries can either keep their summer time and adjust clocks for the last time on the last Sunday of March 2021, or keep their standard (winter) time, and change clocks for the last time on the last Sunday of October 2021. MEPs will vote on this issue today.

Curbing CO2 emissions from cars is another topic on the agenda. Parliament will vote on plans to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from cars and vans by 2030. MEPs and EU ministers have agreed on a 37.5% reduction target for new cars, and 31% for new vans by 2030.

EP’s plenary is set to adopt a detailed roadmap revamping taxation and tackling financial crimes. These are the reforms proposed by the Special Committee (TAX3) set up on 1 March 2018 following the continuous disclosure of LuxLeaks Panama papers, Football leaks and Paradise papers, concerning financial crime, tax evasion and tax evasion.

The report also flags 7 countries, Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and The Netherlands potentially acting like tax havens and calls for an end to golden visa schemes. The vote takes place on Tuesday.

(Cyprus News Agency)