EU Ratifies Trade Deal with Britain

The European Parliament has ratified a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain. Results announced Wednesday showed EU lawmakers supporting the pact with a vote of 660 votes in favor and five against, with 32 members abstaining. The vote was the final step in a years-long process of defining trade terms between Britain and the remaining 27 members of the European Union.Members of European Parliament, David McAllister, Andreas Schieder, Christophe Hansen and Bernd Lange participate in a media conference after a debate on the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement at the EU Parliament in Brussels, April 27, 2021.European Council President Charles Michel welcomed the vote Wednesday, saying it “marks a major step forward in EU-UK relations and opens a new era.” The two sides had been operating under the terms of the trade agreement on a conditional basis since late December while awaiting the European Parliament’s approval. The Brexit process began with a 2016 referendum in which British voters chose to  leave the EU. Britain had been a member since 1973, and after several delays, officially exited the EU in January 2020. 

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