The European Parliament's Committees on International Trade and Foreign Affairs will vote today on the post-Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EU and the UK.
"Today’s vote follows an intense scrutiny of all aspects of the agreement. Though we regret that this agreement was provisionally applied before Parliament could deliver its verdict, it has given us the opportunity to observe that the agreement, however imperfect, has cushioned the worst impact of the economic Brexit", said Christophe Hansen MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on International Trade.
"Ratification by Parliament will safeguard the unprecedented level playing field provisions with a third country that were won in the negotiations at great effort, while also increasing legal security for all those who are directly affected by Brexit - people and businesses. Moreover, a fully ratified agreement will increase the leverage and expand our legal toolbox to continue pressing for the full and pragmatic implementation of both the Withdrawal Agreement and its Protocol", Hansen continued.
Sean Kelly MEP, Head of the Irish Delegation of the EPP Group, reaffirmed that "the violence of recent weeks in Northern Ireland was totally unacceptable.” “It is time for the UK to show responsibility and work hand in hand with the EU to calm tensions. The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland safeguards the Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement in all its dimensions. Protecting peace and stability on the island of Ireland is the EU's absolute priority. Existing structures in the agreement should be utilised to ensure the Protocol functions in a way that works for everyone, north and south of the island of Ireland as well as for the EU”, Kelly said.
Hansen stressed that the Parliament's vote "marks the end of one process and the opening of another chapter". "It is absolutely fundamental that Parliament’s prerogatives in supervising the implementation of the new agreement are maintained, also beyond the ratification. We will continue to keep a very close eye on it and will not hesitate to ask the European Commission to take action if we see any evidence of the provisions of the agreements not being honoured", he insisted.
After today's vote before the two committees, the Agreement will be brought before the plenary of the European Parliament for a final yes or no vote.
Note to editors
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 175 Members from all EU Member States