Brexit deal passes the first EP test

EC President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel have also signed the agreement

The Constitutional Affairs Committee agreed on Thursday to recommend that the EP plenary should approve the UK withdrawal terms. After parliamentary ratification in the UK was concluded earlier today, with Royal Assent granted for the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, Constitutional Affairs Committee MEPs voted in favour of a positive recommendation regarding the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, with 23 votes for, three against and no abstentions.

The vote took place after a statement by Committee Chair Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT) and a discussion between the Parliament’s Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt (Renew Europe, BE) and political group coordinators.

The debate in the Committee focussed on Parliament’s contribution to protecting citizens’ rights in the context of Brexit (with the majority of speakers during the first round commending the EU’s negotiating team), as well as the steps that should be taken by the UK and EU27 governments to continue protecting these rights during the transition period and beyond. The discussion also addressed the overall impact of Brexit and the future relationship between the EU and the UK, which is going to be the objective of the future negotiations.

Meanwhile, EC President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel also signed the agreement, opening the way for its ratification by the European Parliament. The agreement will be voted in the EP plenary on 29 January, opening the path fo the UK to leave the Union on 31 January as scheduled.

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