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The European Parliament is preparing a key vote on a trade agreement with the United Kingdom

The European Parliament is preparing a key vote on a trade agreement with the United Kingdom

The European Parliament will hold a number of key votes on its committees this week – POOL / AFP

The MEP has said that the European Parliament will hold a number of key votes this week on the committees to ratify the trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom.

The EU-UK trade agreement came into effect on January 1, after nine months of intensive negotiations and a last-minute agreement in December 2020.

The British Parliament has ratified the agreement, but MEPs have until April 30 to approve or reject it, while growing tensions over the effects of Brexit on the island of Ireland. In recent days, fierce fighting has taken place in the British province of Northern Ireland.

At a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, the leaders of political groups decided that commissions responsible for international trade and foreign affairs would vote on the agreement, probably on Thursday, European Parliament officials announced.

However, the MEPs pointed out that before holding a full referendum, they needed to be assured that the UK would respect its Brexit contract obligations.

Luxembourg legislator Christoph Hanson tweeted that we need “progress on the path to the practical and full implementation of the divorce agreement”.

Without an agreement with the UK to approve or extend the temporary application further by the end of the month, the trade agreement will no longer be valid.

MPs have expressed outrage that the UK has decided to postpone food restrictions imposed on Northern Ireland until October, which represents a unilateral change of agreement.

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Following that decision, the EU began legal action against the UK, although officials on both sides are still trying to find a solution.

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