EU parliament approves Brexit trade deal
Brussels, Apr 28 (EFE).- The European Parliament on Wednesday ratified the post-Brexit trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom, removing the final hurdle for the agreement to be fully implemented.
An overwhelming majority voted in favor of the ratification, with 660 votes in favor, five against and 32 abstentions.
The agreement “marks the foundation of a strong and close partnership with the UK. Faithful implementation is essential,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that “now is the time to look forward to a new relationship with the EU and a more Global Britain.”
The EU parliament had until April 30 to review and ratify the agreement struck in December.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart, David Frost, were able to seal a deal that resolved thorny issues such as facilitating trade across the English Channel, as well as fisheries arrangements.
In a statement, the EU Parliament said it “strongly welcomes the conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement that limits the negative consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, which it considers a ‘historic mistake’ as no third country can enjoy the same benefits as an EU member.”
Britain officially left the European Union on Jan. 31, 2020, more than four years after it held a referendum on its membership of the bloc.
Britain is the first ever EU member to leave the bloc.