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The final hurdle: Post-Brexit trade deal given 'big green light' by MEPs

Members of the European Parliament had threatened to reject the agreement over the UK’s actions on the NI Protocol.

Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

THE EU-UK’s post-Brexit trade deal has cleared its final hurdle after the European Parliament overwhelmingly voted to back it.

The majority of MEPs gave their consent to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) by 660 votes to 5, with 32 abstentions.

It comes after members of the European Parliament had threatened earlier in the year not to pass the deal after the UK government unilaterally waived checks required under the deal between Great Britain and Northern Ireland for six month.

The European Parliament ratification has been welcomed by all senior figures in the EU, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling it “momentous”, and Council President Charles Michel calling it “a major step” that “opens a new era”.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said it was “an important milestone”.

It will ensure we have a full toolbox at our disposal to make the best of the new framework for EU-UK cooperation. Ireland, as part of the EU, will play our full role in ensuring the Agreement works as effectively as possible.

The EU’s former chief negotiator on Brexit Michel Barnier said the “big green light” had been given by the European Parliament.

“My thanks to all MEPs for the excellent cooperation over the past years. It is the EU and UK’s joint responsibility now to ensure that their respective commitments are respected – today and in the future.”

His UK counterpart David Frost said: “Hugely welcome the overwhelming vote by the European Parliament for our trade agreement with the EU. Hope we can now begin a new chapter together as Europeans, characterised by friendly cooperation between sovereign equals.”

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