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Summary

  1. MEPs debated UK Parliament’s rejection of Theresa May’s Brexit deal
  2. Michel Barnier told them risk of no-deal Brexit was greater than ever
  3. Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez made speech on future of EU
  4. He called for 'true European Army' and national vetoes on EU tax policy to be scrapped

Live Reporting

By Paul Seddon

All times stated are UK

  1. Jayne McCormack

    BBC News NI Political Reporter

    Arlene Foster

    Jayne McCormack

    BBC News NI Political Reporter

    The votes of the party's 10 MPs helped the government face down the challenge by 19 votes.

    Read more
    next
  2. Goodnight

    That's it for our coverage of the European Parliament this week.

    MEPs will be back in Strasbourg for their next plenary session on 11-14 February.

  3. MEPs debate report on EU budget fraud

    MEPs are now debating a report from the budget control committee on protecting the EU’s budget against fraud in countries where there is a threat to the rule of law.

  4. Another EIB report...

    European Investment Bank (EIB) chief Werner Hoyer will stay on for the next debate, which is on a report on the financial control of the Bank.

  5. Green MEP: EIB should only fund zero-carbon projects

    Debate on the EIB annual report

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Bas Eickhout

    Dutch Green MEP Bas Eickhout says the EIB has been investing "a lot of money" in "fossil fuel infrastructure".

    He says this is a "contradictory" with the EU's long-term climate goals.

    He says EIB loans should be "taken away" from fossil fuels, with only zero-carbon projects gaining funding from the Bank.

  6. MEPs debate report on EU investment bank

    MEPs have now been joined by European Investment Bank (EIB) chief Werner Hoyer to debate the Bank’s annual report for 2017.

    A report from the economic affairs committee criticises the geographic spread of the Bank’s lending, pointing out 70 % of it was allocated to just six countries that year.

    It also calls on the Bank to contain staff costs and increase the transparency of its procedures.

    It also says Brexit must not affect the Bank’s triple-A credit rating.

  7. MEPs debate report on EU core values

    MEPs are now debating a report from the civil liberties committee about respect for the EU’s ‘fundamental rights’ in 2017.

    The draft report says the EU has failed to stop “serious and persistent breaches” of these values, and its main tool for doing so has had a “limited impact so far”.

    The EU has clashed with Poland, Romania and Hungary over issues including alleged attacks on the media, minorities, and the rule of law.

    The report also condemns “abuses and human rights violations suffered by migrants and refugees”.

  8. MEPs debate education of 'totalitarian past'

    First up this afternoon is a debate proposed by the centre-right EPP group on educating people and conducting research on Europe’s “totalitarian past”.

  9. Votes end

    That’s the first of today’s voting sessions finished.

    MEPs are now making short speeches to explain how they voted.

  10. MEPs back revision of EU tariff quotas

    Voting session

    Port of Antwerp

    MEPs also give their backing to an agreement between EU countries on how they will divide up the bloc’s tariff rate quotas (TRQs) after Brexit.

    TRQs set out the quantity of different products which can be imported into the EU before firms have to start paying higher rates of import taxes.

    The quota for each product is set out in documents held at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

  11. MEPs back changes to EU job training fund

    Voting session

    MEPs give their initial backing to a series of proposals they debated yesterday to revise the EU’s globalisation adjustment fund.

    Member states can apply for grants from the fund to finance retraining schemes for workers laid off due to changes attributed to globalisation.

    MEPs approve changes recommended by the employment committee to allow the fund to finance job losses from digitisation and automation.

    Formal negotiations on the revamping the scheme will now begin with national ministers.

  12. Votes soon

    That's the debate on the Spanish PM's speech finished.

    MEPs are now taking their seats for the first of today’s two voting sessions.

  13. Sanchez: I want 'dialogue' with Venezuela

    Debate on the future of Europe

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Pedro Sanchez

    Replying to MEPs, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez enthuses about the number of women in work in Spain, despite overall unemployment being high.

    He says his government's 22% increase to Spain's minimum wage, which comes into force this year, is the biggest since 1977.

    On external affairs, he says he wants to "promote dialogue" with Venezuela to "thrash out a solution" to the country's political crisis.

    Spain has been one of the main destinations in Europe for Venezuelans escaping economic hardship under the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro.

  14. Verhofstadt criticises unanimous voting rules

    Debate on the future of Europe

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Guy Verhofstadt

    Guy Verhofstadt, who leads the Liberal ALDE group, calls for the EU to make greater use of the qualified majority voting system.

    The need to find unanimous approval on legislation is the "main problem" in a number of policy areas, he says.

    Germany's Ska Keller, a co-leader of the Green/EFA group that houses Catalan nationalist MEPs, calls for a "democratic political solution" for Catalonia.

    She says previous Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy deal with the Catalan independence issue in a "harsh and uncompromising" manner.

  15. Weber: Don't go back on Rajoy reforms

    Debate on the future of Europe

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Manfred Weber

    German Christian democrat MEP Manfred Weber, says it would be the "wrong signal" for Mr Sanchez to unpick the "economic reforms" of his conservative predecessor Mariano Rajoy.

    "Don't follow the populists, keep the reforms in place," he asks.

    German conservative Hans-Olaf Henkel largely ignores Mr Sanchez's speech, instead pleading for the EU to offer the UK a deal which would "allow" it to cancel Brexit.

  16. Timmermans praises Spanish 'solidarity' over migration

    Debate on the future of Europe

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Frans Timmermans

    European Commission deputy chief Frans Timmermans thanks Spain for last year taking in the Aquarius, a rescue ship stranded in the Mediterranean.

    The move showed "true political leadership" and European "solidarity", he says.

    He says the next EU budget, to run from 2021, will contain an almost three-fold increase in migration spending, which will especially benefit Spain.

    He calls on Spain to "step up and shape Europe" in the coming years.

  17. Spanish PM backs plan to scrap national tax vetoes

    Speech from the Spanish Prime Minister

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Pedro Sanchez also calls for the EU to "move ahead openly towards the creation of a true European Army", as part of actions to become a "true global actor".

    He also endorses EU proposals to get rid of unanimity voting on foreign policy and taxation matters.

    The European Commission made a formal proposal to do away with national vetoes in taxation policy earlier this week.

  18. Sanchez: EU must 'govern globalisation'

    Speech from the Spanish Prime Minister

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Pedro Sanchez

    Moving to general themes, Pedro Sanchez tells MEPs the EU is facing a "battle of ideas", with much disenchantment at globalisation.

    He says that whilst globalisation has levelled the wealth gap around the world, it has increased inequities "within our societies".

    The challenge for the EU, he adds, will be that of "governing globalisation" and preserving the "European social model".

    Alongside work to reform the governance of the eurozone, he calls for work towards creating an EU-wide "unemployment insurance scheme".

    He also calls for the creation of a "binding" EU strategy for promoting gender equality, and making a 2017 declaration on social rights "compulsory".

  19. Spanish PM: I regret last night's Brexit vote

    Speech from the Spanish Prime Minister

    European Parliament

    Strasbourg

    Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez

    Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez tells MEPs he "respects" but "regrets" the rejection of the Brexit deal in the House of Commons last night.

    He calls the deal the "best possible agreement".

    He says EU states and the European Commission will take the necessary steps to minimise the disorder of a no-deal Brexit.

    He says he hopes the UK will maintain the "closest possible relationship" with the EU.