Boris Johnson’s Brexit agreement approved by the EU Parliament

The new Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by UK PM Boris Johnson was approved by the European Parliament today in the evening by 621 votes in favour, 49 against and 13 abstentions.

The debate at the plenary session of the EU Parliament has been very emotive with some members of the legislative arm of the EU coming from the UK even crying for the fact that they realized they were actually leaving the Institution for not returning. The members of the Parliament even sang “Auld lang syne” holding their hands after the voting.

Members of the EU Parliament sing Auld lang syne holding their hands after the approval of UK Withdrawal Agreement on 29th January 2020. Watch them on the video -w einclude a link at the end of this post- © European Union 2020 – Source: EP

Once concluded the historic vote, President of the EU Parliament David Sassoli said: “It deeply saddens me to think that we have come to this point. Fifty years of integration cannot easily be dissolved. We will all have to work hard to build a new relationship, always focusing on the interests and protection of citizens’ rights. It will not be simple. There will be difficult situations that will test our future relationship. We knew this from the start of Brexit. I am sure, however, that we will be able to overcome any differences and always find common ground”.

EU Parliament President, David Sassoli, signs UK Withdrawal Agreement after its approval in the plenary session held on 29th January 2020. © European Union 2020 – Source: EP

In order to enter into force, the Withdrawal Agreement still needs for the final vote by qualified majority in the EU Council. The vote in this EU Institution is set to take place tomorrow.

Once approved by the EU Council a transition period will start off on 1st February. The transition period, established to negotiate further concrete agreements to carry out a Brexit at least friction as possible, must end in priciple on 31st December 2020.

Moments of the plenary session of the EU Parliament where the UK Withdrawal Agreement has been approved. 29th January 2020. © European Union 2020 – Source: EP

Any agreement on the future EU-UK relationship will have to be fully concluded before that point if it is to come into force on 1st January 2021.

The transition period can be extended once for one to two years, but the decision to do so must be taken by the EU-UK Joint Committee before 1st July.

Parliament will have to approve any future relationship agreement. If such an agreement refers to competences that the EU shares with member states, then national parliaments will also need to ratify it for the agreement to enter into force.

Image over the headline.- Members of the EU Parliament debated and voted yes on the EU-UK withdrawal agreement at the plenary session held on 29th January 2020. © European Union 2020 – Source: EP

Related Eastwind links

UK Withdrawal Agreement approved at EU parliament and Meps sing Auld lang syne (video)

Related external links:

Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community (provisional version of the text approved by EU Parliament)

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