The vote on a post-Brexit latest trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom is set to hold on Tuesday April 27, 2021 by the European Parliament.
This Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) which was a result of a nine-month negotiations set up a relationship of zero tariffs and zero quotas on goods traded between the EU and UK. The parliament is anticipated to endorse the pact that has been tentatively effective since the beginning of the year.
A lot of stern warnings had attended the final British Brexit from some European quarters.
Expressing an optimistic view on the said day’s parliamentary session, the EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said even though the EU is experiencing “a lot of vigilance, diligence and handwork,” the vote is “also the beginning of a new chapter.” This is in spite of the lack of agreement over joint health, environment and other regulations that have obscured the move to create a soft border between the Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The clamor on the supply of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses has also tainted the relations between London and Brussels.
Since the break commenced on January 1, the trade between the two sides has nosedived; the EU imports from the UK has dropped by almost 50% and exports to Britain down by 20% in the first two months. Austrian MEP Andreas Schieder who helped prepare the vote said “Brexit is a historic mistake. It was pushed through by irresponsible nationalism, based on false promises and shortsightedness; Brexit impact is bad for Britain and Brexit is bad for Europe.”
The ‘Northern Ireland Protocol’ that was aimed at protecting the single market while avoiding a hard border with EU member Ireland is still contended by both sides; the EU hurled a legal dispute against the UK after Westminster singly extended the grace period for not conducting checks on goods transported between the Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain.
Speaking from this angle, Terry Reintke, the vice-president of the Greens/EFA in the European Parliament said: “This deal is not good because Brexit is not good. The situation is also complicated because we cannot be sure how trustworthy the UK government really is; still, this agreement can be a starting point reconstructing what we lost due to Brexit.”
The European Parliament plans to vote in the evening, after several hours of debate, and the result will be announced by Wednesday April 28, 2021.