MEPS have voted in favour of the post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU by a landslide number of votes.
MEPS voted on whether to approve the EU-UK agreement, that was struck on Christmas Eve last year, last night. The vote was announced shortly after 8am this morning, which saw lawmakers overwhelmingly back the deal with 660 voting for, five against and 332 abstentions. European Commission President Ursual von der Leyen has welcomed the news, which brings over four years of acrimonious negotiations between the two sides to a formal end.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the trade agreement “marks the foundation of a strong and close partnership with the UK”.
But she added: “Faithful implementation is essential.”
She wrote on Twitter: “I warmly welcome the@Europarl_EN vote in favour of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
“The TCA marks the foundation of a strong and close partnership with the UK.
Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt, an outspoken Brexit critic, announced the result on Twitter ahead of the formal announcement.
He didn’t hold back on criticising Brexit, and described the agreement as “the first trade deal in history to put up barriers and remove freedoms”.
MEPs were expected to endorse the trade deal, even though several have highlighted their reservations to the agreement in the European Parliament this week.
In a stinging attack, MEPs branded the result of 2016’s referendum on our EU membership a “historic mistake”, blamed Brexiteers for recent violence in Northern Ireland and accused Downing Street of ruining the futures of young people.