London (Associated Press)-On Wednesday, the House of Commons passed a trade agreement with the European Union by an overwhelming majority, paving the way for an orderly exit from the European Union, which will eventually end Britain’s years-long Brexit journey of.
With only one day left, MPs voted 521-33 in favor of the agreement reached between the British government and the European Union last week.
Later that day, after passing through the unelected House of Lords and obtaining official royal approval from Queen Elizabeth II, this will become English law.
The UK left the European Union about a year ago, but was still under the economic support of the EU during the transition period, which ended at midnight Brussels time (1
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Lehn and the President of the European Council Charles Michel signed the agreement at a brief ceremony in Brussels on Wednesday morning. These documents were then transported by Royal Air Force aircraft to London for Johnson to add his signature.
Michel said: “The agreement we signed today is the result of months of intense negotiations. In these negotiations, the EU has shown an unprecedented level of unity.” “This is a fair and balanced agreement that will fully protect the EU. And create stability and predictability for citizens and companies.”
The European Parliament must also sign the agreement, but it is not expected to sign it in a few weeks.
After senior EU officials formally signed the hard-won agreement in Brussels, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged members of the House of Commons to support an agreement, which he said heralded “a new sovereign and equal relationship between Britain and Europe. “.
It has been 4 1/2 years since the UK left the EU in 1973 with 48% of the vote with 52%. Brexit started on January 31 this year, but the real impact of the decision has not yet been produced because the economic relationship between the UK and the EU remains unchanged during the 11-month transition period ending on December 31.
This will change on New Year’s Day. The agreement was finalized after more than nine months of intense negotiations and signed on Christmas Eve. It will ensure that the UK and the 27-member European Union can continue to trade commodities without tariffs or quotas. This will help protect the 660 billion pound ($894 billion) annual trade between the two countries and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on it.
However, the UK is no longer a member of the EU’s huge single market and customs union, and it will still bring inconvenience and new expenses to individuals and businesses-from tourists requiring travel insurance to millions of new customs declarations that companies must fill .
Brexit supporters, including Johnson, said that any short-term pain is worthwhile.
Johnson said that the Brexit agreement would transform the UK from “a half-hearted and sometimes obstructive EU member state” to “a friendly neighbor-the best friend and ally the EU can have.”
He said that Britain will now “trade and cooperate with our European neighbors under conditions of the closest friendship and goodwill, while retaining sovereign control over our laws and national destiny.”
Some members are dissatisfied that Parliament has only five hours to review a 1,200-page agreement, which will have a profound impact on the economy and society of the United Kingdom. But this is likely to be supported by the House of Commons, which has a majority of Johnson’s Conservative Party.
The party’s strong European skeptical faction supported the agreement. This faction has fought for years with the seemingly ambitious goal of withdrawing Britain from the European Union.
The Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democratic Party, which strongly support the European Union, voted against the bill. But the main opposition Labour Party, which seeks to build closer relations with the EU, said it will vote for the agreement because even a meager deal is better than a chaotic, no-deal break.
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said: “There is only one day before the end of the transition period. This is our only agreement.” “This is the basis for continued development in the years to come.”
Former British Prime Minister Theresa May (Theresa May) was crippled in Parliament three years after Brexit and he resigned in 2020. But she said that this was worse than the outcome of her negotiations with the EU, and lawmakers repeatedly rejected it.
She pointed out that this transaction protects trade in goods, but does not include the service industry, which accounts for 80% of the British economy.
May said: “We have a trade agreement that benefits the EU, but not a service agreement that would have benefited the UK.”
Petrequin is from Brussels.
Follow all the stories of Brexit trade negotiations on https://apnews.com/Brexit