EU Lawmakers Instigate Two-Month Review of UK Trade Deal

EU Lawmakers Instigate Two-Month Review of UK Trade Deal. image: Pixabay

EU Lawmakers Instigate Two-Month Review of UK Trade Deal.

The European Parliament started a two-month review on Monday, January 11, of the EU-UK trade agreement that was struck on Christmas Eve, promising to “properly scrutinise” the deal even though it is almost certainly bound to approve it.

Christophe Hansen, one of the lawmakers charged with steering the deal through parliament, said he regretted that the agreement had been rushed through before a full review. Britain, he said, had driven negotiations to the very last moment in the hope of extracting concessions and so as to deprive lawmakers there a proper say.

“We want to properly scrutinise this agreement. The UK, the House of Commons, did it in less than a day,” the Christian Democrat from Luxembourg told the European Parliament’s trade committee. We have to make clear that this provisional application, which is not what the parliament wants, that this will not be a precedent for any future agreements,” he continued.

British lawmakers approved the post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Dec. 30. EU governments have also given their backing, but the deal is only in force provisionally, pending a vote in the European Parliament.

The provisional application lasts until February, although the EU parliament has said it should be extended to allow it to vote in mid-March. It is almost certainly expected to back the deal, given the alternative is a ‘no deal’ with the imposition of tariffs.

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Tony Winterburn

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