Today (April 27), the MEPs discussed the ratification of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the United Kingdom (DCA). In the debate, the political parties of the European Parliament chose an agreement that would set the rules for future EU-UK relations.
The 1,246-page Brexit deal manages the UK-EU trade relationship and covers $ 660 billion ($ 750 billion) in trade, ending on December 24, 2020 – just days before the end of the post-Brexit transition period.
In the following days, the agreement was approved by EU Ambassadors, the House of Commons, Queen Elizabeth II and the President of the Council of Europe. Charles Michael And President of the European Commission Ursula van der Leyen.
The agreement was reached too late for approval by the European Parliament before the document went into effect, and so far the terms of the agreement have been applied on a provisional basis. After months of observing the implementation of the terms of the agreement in practice, the European Parliament will vote this evening to ratify them.
The agreement is the result of several years of negotiations between the EU and London. Its rules are as follows: The UK maintains the Customs Union, restricts the free movement of people between the parties, or leaves European cooperation projects such as Erasmus +, Euradom or Horizon.
DCA: Symbol of European unity?
One of the first speakers Ursula van der Leyen. The head of the European Commission stressed that one of the most difficult times for the Union in the last decade is coming to an end. Negotiating a deal with the United Kingdom was a major challenge, and he stressed that there were no quick and easy solutions to the challenges of this importance.
The head of the commission did not hide his satisfaction with the actions of EU companies. He praised them for effectively conducting the Brexit talks and, above all, for reaching an agreement with the UK, despite the changing political situation.
“What you are voting for today is very interesting in terms of what it represents and what it offers. Above all, it reflects unity, responsibility and solidarity within the EU,” Ursula van der Leyen stressed.
He has a similar opinion Michael BarnierHe led the negotiations with the British government. “All these difficult moments in the last 4.5 years – the activities of the negotiating team, the discussions in Parliament or the weekly Brexit committee meetings – all show caution, seriousness and confidence within Parliament. Thanks to the unity of the 27 countries, this warning has been very powerful. […] The point is a “divorce”, which is a negative, must proceed in an orderly manner. “
Michael Barnier: “Brexit is a disaster”
However, the EU negotiator pointed out that despite collective action and close cooperation, Brexit should not be forgotten as a sign of the mistakes made by the EU and the most important lesson for the future. “Brexit was primarily angry at 52 percent. It was the British who decided they no longer wanted to be part of the European community,” the French added.
European United Left – Nordic Green Left (GUE / NGL) Martin Shirdevan He said leaving the community by one member was evidence of the EU’s incompetence and bad policy. This applies not only to Britain, but also to the national states in general.
In his view, he criticized the stubborn approach to European federalism, the general market and the notion of EU intervention in the internal affairs of member states. In these problems he found the source of the “frustration” of the English. Germany warned against the temptation to “punish” Britain for leaving the EU, for example by introducing unfavorable economic policies.
Uncertain cooperation with London
During today’s debate, riots in the last dozen or more days in Northern Ireland due to Brexit tensions went unnoticed.
Many MEPs have cited Britain’s actions against the withdrawal agreement, especially Northern Ireland’s protocol. The prevailing view is that the cooperation agreement will provide additional legal tools to the EU to prevent both parties from violating the terms on which they are involved.
“When I was growing up, British diplomacy was a model of credibility for me. It relied on contracts and agreements. Boris Johnson Diplomatic credibility tells him nothing, “said Tariq al-Hashimi, the party’s secretary general Manfred Weber.
For Weber, the review process is crucial in enforcing the contract. If the EU fails at the potential violations of the other party, only EU citizens will suffer. In particular, he drew the attention of students with limited study opportunities in the UK and increasing violence in Northern Ireland.
However, the leader of the Christian Democrats is optimistic about the future. He announced that the EPP would support the DCA approval and that a successful partnership with Great Britain would be forthcoming. He says his fate is inextricably linked with the fate of the union. He believes that when the new government and the new generation of politicians come, the UK will return to society because its place is in the United Europe.