February 24, 2021

The European Union signs the trade agreement on its future relationship with the United Kingdom


The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, have signed on Wednesday the three treaties that will regulate the relationship between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom from this Friday. The text must now go to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who will sign it in London.

The keys to the dying Brexit agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union

The keys to the dying Brexit agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union

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Each agreement has to be signed in two copies, first in Brussels by Von der Leyen and Michel – except for the third, which will only be signed by the President of the European Commission on behalf of Euratom – and then in London by the British “premier”.

Parallel to the signing, the two British legislative chambers will process this Wednesday through an emergency procedure the law that will transpose the commitments made with Brussels into UK legislation. Both the leadership of the Labor Party, the first in the opposition, and the influential Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party have voiced support for the text, anticipating strong backing in the House of Commons.

Johnson will open the debate in the House of Commons in the morning, which he hopes to have approved the text around 14:30 GMT, after which the law will go to the House of Lords, where it will be submitted to scrutiny until night.

Once you get the green light from both chambers, you will receive the official assent of Queen Elizabeth II in the following hours, which will allow it to enter into force before the end of the Brexit transition period, at 23:00 GMT on the 31st.

A dying pact

The pact will be in force provisionally from January to February 28. The European Union and the United Kingdom closed a historic agreement on their relationship after Brexit on Christmas Eve, just one week after EU legislation ceases to apply on British territory and after a few months of agonizing negotiations.

The pact includes a trade agreement that covers goods and services and eliminates tariffs; a framework of judicial and security cooperation, as well as provisions to apply the agreement itself and settle disputes that may arise.

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