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Brexit Withdrawal Agreement passes first EU Parliament hurdle

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement passes first EU Parliament hurdle

UK-EU - Image © jonybigude - Fotolia

(BRUSSELS) - The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement passed its first EU Parliament test Thursday, when its Constitutional Affairs Committee recommended that the Parliament plenary should approve the UK withdrawal terms.

The UK's own parliamentary ratification was concluded earlier today, with Royal Assent granted for the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill. The Constitutional Affairs Committee MEPs voted in favour of a positive recommendation regarding the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement, with 23 votes for, three against and no abstentions.

To enter into force, any withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK needs to be approved by the European Parliament by a simple majority of votes cast (Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on European Union). The Council will then conclude the process on the EU side by a qualified majority vote, foreseen for 30 January.

The UK's withdrawal from the EU is set for midnight CET on 31 January 2020, with Parliament scheduled to vote on the Agreement next Wednesday, 29 January.

The debate in the Committee focused on Parliament’s contribution to protecting citizens’ rights in the context of Brexit (with the majority of speakers during the first round commending the EU’s negotiating team), as well as the steps that should be taken by the UK and EU27 governments to continue protecting these rights during the transition period and beyond.

The discussion also addressed the overall impact of Brexit and the future relationship between the EU and the UK, which is going to be the objective of the future negotiations.

UK withdrawal from the European Union 
on 31 January 2020 - background guide

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