In a debate on Tuesday, Parliament’s political groups argued in favour of the agreement that sets the rules of the future EU-UK relationship.
Most MEPs as well as Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the Portuguese Council Presidency stressed they regret the UK’s departure but argued for voting in favour of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the UK. It is the best option to cushion against the worst effects of Brexit and to ensure the integrity of the Single Market, they added.
Referring to unilateral UK measures in breach of the Withdrawal Agreement and its protocol on Northern Ireland, most speakers argued that the agreement will provide additional legal tools to prevent and protect against unilateral divergence from the obligations to which both parties signed up.
After four months of intense scrutiny, MEPs also underlined that Parliament will continue to play an active role in closely monitoring that the UK fully carries out its obligations.
Later today, Parliament will vote on whether to give its consent to the agreement and on a resolution setting out its evaluation of and expectations from the deal. Results are announced on Wednesday 28 April at 9am.
On 24 December 2020, EU and UK negotiators agreed on the Trade and Cooperation Agreement establishing the terms for future EU-UK cooperation. To minimise disruption, the agreement has been provisionally applied since 1 January 2021. Parliament’s consent is necessary for the agreement to enter into force permanently before it lapses on 30 April 2021.