Share article:
Share article:

European Parliament formally approves post-Brexit agreement

Credit: Belga

The European Parliament has formally approved the post-Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) reached between the continent and the United Kingdom last year.

The agreement came into force provisionally on 1 January this year, when the UK officially left the union, but parliament’s consent is necessary for the agreement to enter into force permanently, which it will do on 30 April 2021 once the European Council has concluded.

“The TCA marks the foundation of a strong and close partnership with the UK. Faithful implementation is essential,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, welcoming the outcome of the vote.

During the vote on future relations between the United Kingdom and the continent on Tuesday, 660 votes were in favour of the agreement, five against and there were 32 abstentions, according to a press release from the European Parliament.

EU and UK negotiators had initially agreed on the TCA cooperation on 24 December last year.

Despite considering UK’s withdrawal from the EU, which it considers a “historic mistake”, the Parliament strongly welcomes the conclusion of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement that limits the negative consequences of its departure.

Specifically, MEPs applaud the decision on the zero quotas and zero tariffs aspect of the trade agreement, which guarantees that “fair competition rules could serve as a model for future trade agreements”.

However, the press release stated that the continent regretted the UK’S refusal to extend foreign, security and development policies and did not want to participate in the Erasmus+ student exchange programme.

MEPs also highlighted that the European Parliament must play a full role in monitoring how the agreement is applied, including by being involved in unilateral EU actions under the agreement.

“The EU and the UK have created the basis for a relationship among equals. Most importantly, today is a beginning, not an end. For citizens’ interests to be represented, Parliament must be closely involved. Only a partnership in which both sides stick to their commitments has a future,” said Andreas Schieder, rapporteur for the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Vaccination uptake surges in Wallonia following CST announcement
The number of people getting vaccinated against the coronavirus increased fourfold in Wallonia after it was announced that the Covid Safe Ticket ...
Guilty by association
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES Weekly analysis and untold stories With SAM MORGAN Other Brussels behind the scenes stories: Brussels' bid to make ...
Health minister supports use of Covid Safe Ticket in workplace
As the use of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) has been expanded in Brussels and is set to in Wallonia, federal health minister Frank Vandenbroucke has ...
Maggots show Conings may have lived longer following disappearance
Former army soldier Jürgen Conings, whose disappearance in mid-May resulted in a month-long manhunt, may have been alive for longer than has been ...
Pandora Papers: European Parliament describes UK and US as global hubs for money laundering and tax evasion
The European Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution taking the European Commission to task for not doing enough to combat money laundering, tax ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 29 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than 100 people hospitalised with coronavirus per day
More than 100 people are being hospitalised per day in Belgium as a result of the coronavirus, as the rise in new Covid-19 infections continues its ...
Digital well-being: being healthy in a hyperconnected world
There was hardly any doubt about the direction that digital innovation was moving in, but whilst the pandemic restricted human contact and slowed ...
Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...
New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...
More than 1 in 4 Belgians use mobile phones whilst driving
A recent European study into the use of mobile phones whilst driving highlights some alarming results: 26% of Belgians read or send messages on their ...