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EU ratifies post-Brexit trade agreement, British PM Boris Johnson calls it final step in long journey
The European Parliament on April 27, 2021 ratified the post-Brexit trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom with an overwhelming majority. This is significant as this clears the last hurdle towards the ratification of the trade deal, which will ensure the continuation of tariff and quota-free trade.
The members of the European Parliament voted to ratify the deal, with 660 votes in favour, 5 against and 32 abstentions. The Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) had been sealed in December 2020 after nine months of negotiations and had been operating provisionally since January 1, 2021.
European Parliament President David Sassoli stated that the European Parliament voted on the most far-reaching agreement the EU has ever reached with a third country. He continued by saying "this can form the foundation on which we build a new forward-looking EU-UK relationship." He also warned that the members of the EU parliament will be monitoring the implementation of the deal and will not accept any backsliding from the UK government.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the result saying, "The TCA marks the foundation of a strong and close partnership with the UK. Faithful implementation is essential."
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that this was the final step in a long journey. He said that the deal provides stability to UK's new relationship with the EU as vital trading partners, close allies and sovereign equals. He highlighted that "Now is the time to look forward to the future and to building a more global Britain."Significance
The EU's ratification of the deal brings an end to over four years of negotiations and debate and provides the framework for Britain’s new relationship with the 27-member European Union, five years after the Brexit Referendum when the British voters shocked the world by voting for Britain to leave the European Union, ending its 47-year EU membership.What Next?
Following ratification of the deal by the European Parliament, the EU’s 27 member states are expected to give their go-ahead to the trade deal and then the bloc will formally inform the United Kingdom and the trade agreement will be formally concluded.
European Council President Charles Michel welcomed the vote saying “it marks a major step forward in EU-UK relations and opens a new era”. He tweeted saying that EU will continue to work constructively with the UK as an important friend and partner.