Cleverly to hail UK-EU ties in Brussels speech
The Foreign Secretary will hail the “close and friendly” co-operation between London and Brussels in a speech to EU parliamentarians.
James Cleverly is expected to meet top EU figures on Monday, with his speech likely to look ahead to better and more “mature” post-Brexit relations.
“This is a new chapter in the UK-EU relationship.
“We stand together in our support of Ukraine, and we want to maximise the opportunities of our trade deal,” he said ahead of his trip to Brussels.
We don’t have to agree on everything – a mature relationship can deal with differences
“But we don’t have to agree on everything – a mature relationship can deal with differences.”
The speech to the UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly, a body created as part of the post-Brexit trade deal, comes as Rishi Sunak’s Government seeks better relations with the bloc.
Mr Cleverly is also expected to stress the importance of continued support for Ukraine as part of the visit.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was in London last month, as part of the UK-hosted Ukraine Recovery Conference.
The Prime Minister earlier this year brokered the Windsor Framework deal with the EU, designed to address concerns over the operation of post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland.
While the deal did not lead to the return of powersharing at Stormont, which the Democratic Unionist Party continues to boycott, it did usher in hopes of a new foundation for UK-EU ties.
The Foreign Secretary will co-chair the Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee alongside the EU’s Maros Sefcovic and is also expected to meet European Parliament President Roberta Metsola as part of the trip.
Citizens’ rights and illegal migration are among the topics that could be on the agenda at the committee meeting.
Mr Cleverly will also hold talks with Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg, ahead of a crunch summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.
It comes as Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy is expected to be in Paris for meetings with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, as well as Transport Minister Clement Beaune.
It is understood that Mr Lammy is keen for discussions on his party’s proposals for a UK-EU security pact, efforts to tackle smuggler gangs, as well as possible improvements to the Brexit trade deal.
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