According to the results of the vote, the European Parliament has approved an agreement on trade and cooperation between the UK and the European Union.
660 deputies supported the agreement; five opposed it, according to the EP.
For the document to enter finally into force, it must be agreed by the EU countries.
The United Kingdom left the European Union. On January 1 of this year, the transition period ended, during which almost everything in relations between the country and the union remained as before. This also applied to trade: the parties did not apply duties to each other’s goods since Britain would not be subject to the rules of the EU single market.
The current agreement on trade and cooperation was necessary to define, in particular, the trade relations of the country and the union at the end of the transition period. It was reached at the very end of December 2020 after difficult and lengthy negotiations, just a few days before the key date for the end of the transit period.
Without this agreement, the economic relations of the parties would have abruptly moved into a new phase, which would have entailed tangible problems. The agreement allowed for a smoother transition.
Since the treaty was concluded right next to the “x-hour,” it did not have time to pass the ratification by the European Parliament and approval by the union countries until January 1. Therefore, the parties decided to apply it temporarily until the treaty is finally ratified. In accordance with this new agreement, Britain still left the single market and the EU customs union, but the parties will continue free trade without duties and quotas.