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The European Parliament ratified the Brexit trade deal by a majority

Ursula von der Leyen speaking before the vote in the European Parliament. He welcomed the result, but warned that loyal implementation was needed. - EPA:

Ursula von der Leyen speaking before the vote in the European Parliament. He welcomed the result, but warned that faithful implementation was possible. – EPA:

The European Parliament overwhelmingly ratified the Brexit trade deal, which Boris John Onson called “the last step” in years of negotiations between the EU and Britain.

“Now is the time to wait for the future, to build a more global Britain,” he said.

Mr. Onson said. “This week is the last step on a long road to stability in our new relationship with the EU as potential trading partners, close allies and sovereign equals.”

About four months after the deal was signed, on the eve of Christmas Eve, 660 MEPs backed a zero-tariff quota deal. Only five MEPs voted against the historic agreement, while 32 abstained in March 2017, four years after the start of the Article 50 Brexit process.

On December 30, the deputies of the House of Commons ratified the trade agreement with 521 votes in favor and 73 against.

The Brexit minister, former British negotiator Lord Frost, said he “greatly” welcomed the “overwhelming vote” and thanked his colleague Michel Barnier for “helping us here”.

“I hope that we, as Europeans, can now start a new chapter together that is characterized by friendly cooperation between sovereign equals,” he wrote on Twitter.

The UK-EU agreement has been provisionally implemented until the end of 2020, without a deadline for the deal, so that parliament has time to study it in detail before approving it. It will now officially enter into force on April 30.

The agreement replaces the closer trade relations that Britain had with the EU as a member state. If MEPs rejected it, Britain and the EU could be forced to trade at a much more lucrative WTO trade agreement.

MEPs voted on the trade deal on Tuesday, but the results were announced only on Wednesday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs on Tuesday that the deal had “real teeth” and that she would not hesitate to use mechanisms to ensure that the UK would implement the trade-withdrawal agreements.

Britain angered Brussels by unilaterally extending the grace period in the protocol,: The European Commission began to take legal action against the UK.

He promised the MEPs that they would be involved in monitoring the implementation of the trade deal, that the equal competition guarantees agreed upon after the torturous negotiations with London would be respected.

After announcing the result, he said that the deal “means the foundation of a strong partnership with the United Kingdom.” Faithful implementation is important. ”

Christoph Hansen, Senior MEP of the Parliamentary Trade Committee, said: “Ratification of the agreement is not a vote of no confidence in the British Government’s intention to implement our agreements in good faith. “Instead, it is an EU insurance policy against further unilateral mutually agreed deviations.”

With 578 votes in favor, 51 against and 68 abstentions, the MEPs adopted a non-binding resolution on the trade agreement. He described Brexit as a “historic mistake”.

“It’s a logical consequence of the UK’s exit from the EU, in particular the cessation of freedom of movement, that the opportunities for the UK’s mainly service economy are being significantly reduced,” the resolution said.

The resolution urges the Commission to prosecute the United Kingdom over alleged branches of the Northern Ireland Protocol against the United Kingdom.

It accused Britain of “depriving young people of such a unique opportunity” by refusing to continue participating in the Erasmus student exchange program.

Pierre Gataz, President of the BusinessEurope Trade Association, said: “The UK is the EU ‘s third largest trading partner, making it one of the most important trade agreements the EU has ever concluded.

“A positive vote by the European Parliament eliminates the main element of uncertainty, while companies on both sides are still adapting to the new trade reality by fighting the COVID-19 challenges.”

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