Brexit Agreement European Parliament
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Brexit Agreement European Parliament
The 599-page withdrawal agreement covers the main areas: In the political declaration attached to the withdrawal agreement, the EU and the UK agreed to “develop an ambitious, comprehensive and balanced economic partnership” for their future trade relations. While the withdrawal agreement represented an absolute novelty for the EU, negotiating a trade agreement with the UK puts the Union on the right track. The Lisbon Treaty enshrined international trade issues as the exclusive competence of the EU. In addition, the treaty provides that EP approval is required before the EU can conclude trade agreements, including a potential trade agreement with the UK. On 17 October 2019, the UK and the EU agreed on the terms of the UK`s exit from the EU (Brexit) and a transitional period until 31 December 2020. The withdrawal agreement also contains provisions for the United Kingdom to leave the Convention setting the status of European schools, with the United Kingdom bound by the Convention and accompanying regulations on accredited European schools until the end of the last academic year of the transition period, i.e. at the end of the spring semester 2020-2021.  The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political statement that replaced the word “appropriate” with “appropriate” with respect to labour standards. According to Sam Lowe, a trade fellow at the Centre for European Reform, the amendment excludes labour standards from dispute resolution mechanisms.  In addition, the Equal Competition Mechanism has been postponed from the legally binding withdrawal agreement to the political declaration, and the line of the political statement that “the United Kingdom will consider taking into account alignment with trade union rules in the relevant areas” has been removed.  The UK government and the 27 other EU member states approve the draft agreement. The agreement covers issues such as money, citizens` rights, border agreements and dispute resolution. It also includes a transition period and an overview of the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
It was published on 14 November 2018 and was the result of the Brexit negotiations. The agreement was approved by the heads of state and government of the other 27 EU countries and by the British government led by Prime Minister Theresa May, but it faced opposition from the British Parliament, which needed approval for ratification. The approval of the European Parliament would also have been necessary. On January 15, 2019, the House of Commons rejected the withdrawal agreement by 432 votes to 202.  The House of Commons again rejected the agreement by 391 votes to 242 on 12 March 2019 and rejected it a third time, on 29 March 2019, by 344 votes to 286. On 22 October 2019, the revised withdrawal agreement negotiated by Boris Johnson`s government approved the first phase in Parliament, but Johnson halted the legislative process when the accelerated approval programme failed to receive the necessary support and announced his intention to declare a general election.  On 23 January 2020, Parliament ratified the agreement by adopting the withdrawal agreement; On 29 January 2020, the European Parliament approved the withdrawal agreement. It was then concluded by the Council of the European Union on 30 January 2020.
The reception of the agreement in the House of Commons ranged from cold to hostile, and the vote was delayed by more than a month. Prime Minister May has received a motion of no confidence within her own party, but the EU has refused to accept further changes. Parliament will have to approve any future relations agreement. If such an agreement deals with powers that the EU shares with member states, national parliaments must also ratify it. The Northern Ireland Protocol, known as the Irish Backstop, was an annex to the November 2018 draft agreement outlining provisions to avoid a hard border in Ireland after the UK`s withdrawal from the European Union.
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