European Parliament sets date for Brexit trade deal ratification vote

A mere eight days before the expiry of the agreement being provisionally applied, Parliament announced that a plenary vote on the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) will take place on April 27.
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By Lorna Hutchinson

Lorna Hutchinson is Deputy Editor of The Parliament Magazine

22 Apr 2021

After members of Parliament’s trade and foreign affairs committees gave the TCA a green light on April 15, it is now the turn of all MEPs to give their consent.

Jaume Duch, Parliament’s Director General for Communication, tweeted on Thursday, “EP political group leaders have put the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement on plenary agenda. Debate and consent vote accompanied by resolution on Tuesday next week.”

Following the news of the plenary vote, trade committee chair Bernd Lange said, “We did not make it easy for ourselves; we examined it [the TCA] in detail and ensured participation and control in implementation by the European Parliament.”

He said that the agreement provides “additional instruments to act against the misbehaviour of the partner.”

He added, “EU-UK negotiations regarding Northern Ireland are also on track and a solution is in sight. The UK no longer wants to take unilateral measures.”

He said that ratification now makes sense and that going forward the focus will be on implementation and using all instruments to shape relations as well as possible for the benefit of both EU and UK citizens.

“We did not make it easy for ourselves; we examined it [the TCA] in detail and ensured participation and control in implementation by the European Parliament” Bernd Lange, International Trade Committee chair

Foreign affairs committee chair David McAllister said, “We are now approaching the finishing line of the ratification process in the European Parliament,” adding, “Challenges need to be solved jointly within the framework of our new partnership.”

Austrian S&D member Andreas Schieder, co-rapporteur on the TCA, said, “The future relationship [between the EU and the UK] needs clear rules as a foundation. The UK has to stick to agreements, otherwise there is a risk of escalation in Northern Ireland and severe damage to economic relations.”

German Greens/EFA MEP Anna Cavazzini, who is a member of the trade committee as well as chair of the internal market and consumer protection committee, said, “In a situation where there are no good alternatives, the European Parliament will vote on EU-UK deal next week.”

She added, however, “The biggest concerns remain, and we must use all the instruments to get the UK back to the Withdrawal Agreement.”

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