Withdrawal Agreement Approved
The withdrawal agreement was adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday evening by 621 votes in and 49 against and 13 abstentions. The Prime Minister hailed a “fantastic moment” for the country after embarking on the historic agreement that paves the way for the UK`s exit from the European Union next Friday. Parliament will have to approve any future relations agreement. If such an agreement deals with powers that the EU shares with member states, national parliaments must also ratify it. The VA has already been approved by the heads of state or government of the Member States at the European Council. Voting in the Council is considered a formality. Immediately after the announcement of a revised withdrawal agreement on October 17, 2019, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the DUP said they could not support the new agreement.  Parliament`s coordination group in the United Kingdom, led by Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman David McAllister (EPP, ED), will work with the EU Task Force on Relations with the United Kingdom and will consult with the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Committee on International Trade and all other relevant committees. The Pe will closely monitor the work of EU negotiator Michel Barnier and will continue to influence the negotiations through resolutions. The final agreement must be approved by the whole of Parliament.
In a debate with Croatian Secretary of State for European Affairs Nikolina Brnjac on behalf of the Presidency of the Council, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU CHIEF negotiator Michel Barnier took stock of the withdrawal process and the challenges to be met so far. At the request of the United Kingdom (Article 50), the European Council has twice agreed to extend the Article 50 period, paragraph 3 of the TUE (for the first time on 21 March 2019, until 22 May 2019, if the House of Commons approves the withdrawal agreement until 29 March 2019 and then 10 April 2019 until 31 October 2019). The withdrawal agreement provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020, during which time the UK will remain in the internal market, to ensure the smooth flow of trade until a long-term relationship is concluded. If no agreement is reached by then, the UK will leave the single market without a trade deal on 1 January 2021. The withdrawal agreement is closely linked to a non-binding political declaration on future relations between the EU and the UK.