The Brexit trade agreement was thrashed out by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, the UKs chief negotiator Lord Frost which has now been completed 1,492 days since Article 50 was triggered.
After crunch votes earlier this week MEPs backed the European Council rubber-stamped the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the the final formalities will come into force on 1 May.
EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, responsible for Brexit said, “The ratification of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is good news for European citizens and businesses.
“It provides a solid foundation for our longstanding friendship, cooperation and partnership with the United Kingdom on the basis of shared interests and values.
“In practice, the agreement helps avoid significant disruptions, while protecting European interests and upholding the integrity of our Single Market.
“It also ensures a robust level playing field, by maintaining high levels of protection in areas, such as climate and environmental protection, social and labour rights, or State aid.
“Moreover, the Agreement includes effective enforcement, a binding dispute settlement mechanism and the possibility for both parties to take remedial measures.
“Democratic scrutiny will continue to be key in the implementation phase of the Agreement in order to ensure faithful compliance. Unity among EU institutions and Member States will remain a cornerstone during this new chapter in our EU-UK relations.”
Lord Frost said, “The European Parliament have voted in support of our Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU.
“Last year both sides worked tirelessly to agree a deal based on friendly cooperation and free trade between sovereign equals.
“The vote brings certainty and allows us to focus on the future.
“There will be much for us and the EU to work on together through the new Partnership Council and we are committed to working to find solutions that work for both of us.
“We will always aim to act in that positive spirit but we will also always stand up for our interests when we must, as a sovereign country in full control of our own destiny.”
Johnson hailed the moment 660 MEP endorsed his Brexit trade deal and said, this is the “final steps” in our EU exit.
The Prime Minister said, “This week is the final step in a long journey, providing stability to our new relationship with the EU as vital trading partners, close allies and sovereign equals.
“Now is the time to look forward to the future and to building a more global Britain.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, “I warmly welcome the European Parliament’s vote in favour of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
“The TCA marks the foundation of a strong and close partnership with the UK – faithful implementation is essential.”
Michel Barnier, her former chief negotiator added, “Big green light from the European Parliament for the EU-UKTrade and Cooperation Agreement. It is the EU and UK’s joint responsibility to ensure respective commitments are respected, today and in the future.”