EU MEPs are debating ahead of the G20 summit
European politicians discussed how the 27-member bloc will move forward in the wake of Brexit, a rising terror threat and rising tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
The escalating migrant crisis was also top of the agenda as Brussels MEPs were given an opportunity to talk ahead of Friday’s G20 Summit in Germany’s Hamburg.
The Estonian presidency’s plans for the next six months were also outlined, with Prime Minister Jüri Ratas focussing on the importance of EU defence cooperation and boosting relations with countries on the EU’s eastern flank.
To follow the developments, Express.co.uk will bring you the latest news below:
9:31am Estonia’s EU ambassador Matti Maasikas called for members to “preserve the sprit of cooperation” and urged them not to “give in to protectionism and isolationism”.
Frans Timmermans has said he loves the UK ‘deeply’
9:26am: Mr Timmermans also addressed Mr Finch’s attack on the Brussels club over Brexit.
Taking aim at the British MEP, he said: “I know Mr Finch operates under Farage’s doctrine in EU parliament – make outrageous statements and run away before we can respond.
“We have a political, economic and moral obligation to do the least harm possible in this Brexit process.
“But to go from there and say that the whole of the EU is going to suffer terribly after the G20 Summit is a bit rich frankly.”
And in one final swipe, he said: “Mr Finch I love the UK deeply, whether they are in the EU or not.”
Gunnar Hokmark said the EU needs to recognise Russia as a threat
9:21am: European Commission vice president Frans Timmermans is reacting to the criticism aimed at the bloc.
In response to concerns over NGO’s role during the migrant crisis, he said: “No one should accuse NGOs of anthing. Their intentions are noble and good.
“They are trying to save people from drowning.”
Mr Timmermans urged EU MEPs to encourage their prime minister’s to do what they had promised.
He said: “As a Commission we are in this fight together. We are doing our best to encourage member states to do what they promised.
“I would ask you all to please help us in talking to your prime minister to tell them to take responsibility.
“Talk to your prime minister in your political family and convince them to do what needs to be done.
“We need to do the same job together and convince leaders of our nations to make sure they do their bit.”
9:11am: Ahead of the G20 Summit, Sweden’s Gunnar Hokmark said the EU “needs to see Russia as the threat it is”.
He added: “When the US gets smaller, we need to get taller.”
Raymond Finch laid into the bloc
9:06am: Italy’s Elisabetta Gardinia sent a simple message to EU boss Juncker during her two-minute speech.
She said: “Tell Juncker we don’t want any ridiculous solutions,” as Italy crumbles under pressure from the ongoing migrant crisis.
9:01am: The UK’s Diane James called for the EU to be “a little bit more flexible”.
She said: “We need to send a clear message. The existing EU monetary policy favours one member state and penalises so many others.
“There are young people out there that want jobs and have to leave their countries.”
8:56am: Britain’s Janice Atkinson launched an attack on Brussels telling them they “must understand the threat to our culture” from terrorists and migrants.
She asked: “What don’t you understand? You are incapable of dealing with it.
“Arrest and deport migrants and tow them back Libya. Get real with the threat we face from migrants, ISIS and security.”
Ms Atkinson said the “death knell of the EU is ringing” and praised Russia’s Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump for their response to ISIS and the migrant crisis.
8:51am: The UK’s Diane Dodds said the continent faced “huge challenges” due to the migrant crisis and recent terror attacks.
She said: “We continue with same bit part solution that we always have,” before calling for a “coordinated approach to bring about meaningful and lasting results”.
“We need strong and untied leadership.”
Diane James asked for the EU ‘to be a little flexible’
8:46am: Rolandas Paksas said “people in the world are living in poverty,” adding that “growth should gave a positive effect on everyone”.
He added: “We need to have a fair distribution.”
8:41am: Dutch politician Marcel de Graff used his one-minute to launch an attack on Jean-Claude-Juncker, describing him as “incompetent”.
Mr de Graff said: “He should stand down and resign”.
8:36am: From Britain Raymond Finch told EU leaders were committing “economic self harm” by excluding the UK from fair access of the single market.
He said Britain would be “revitalised and liberated” which would encourage countries from around the world to trade with us.
His comments were met by sniggers from other MEPs.
Diane Dodd said the EU faces ‘huge challenges’
8:33am: From France Yannick Jadot said “Europe is a project for civilisation, for all men and women, us as Europeans.”
“The project should be based on solidarity, thinking of common good. Europe should not be there to promote free trade agreements, it creates chaos around the world.”
8:28am: Sophia in’t Veld from the Netherlands said “migration management is a global responsibility”.
“Member states are not living up to their responsibility and abandoning Italy and Greece.”
8:22am: Belgian politician Helga Stevens is speaking.
She says the EU is facing “Turbulent times and global challenges, which connect us all.”
She called for the G20 summit to be “fruitful” in the face of a humanitarian crisis
Ms Stevens said: “Talk is cheap and the electorate want result. The EU cannot solve this crisis by itself.”