Today, 28 April 2021, it has been announced that the European Parliament has voted with a large majority in favour to grant consent to the agreement setting the rules of the future EU-UK relationship.
The decision comes after EU and UK negotiators agreed on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement on 24 December 2020. These negotiations established the terms for future EU-UK cooperation.
In an effort to minimise disruption, the agreement has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. Parliament’s consent was required for the agreement to come into force permanently before its lapse on 30 April 2021.
With Parliament’s consent, the agreement will enter into force once Council has concluded it by 30 April.
Following the official approval, MEPs have called on the UK government “to act in good faith and fully implement the terms of the agreements which it has signed”, including the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, and apply them based on a timetable jointly set up with the European Commission.
MEPs have underlined 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 and having its views taken into account.’
According to Andreas Schieder (S&D, AT), rapporteur for the Committee on Foreign Affairs;
“The EU and the UK have created the basis for a relationship among equals. Most importantly, today is a beginning, not the end. We agreed in many important areas, such as securing mutual market access and building a good relationship on trade. Much work remains on foreign policy and educational exchange programmes. 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,”