May 12, 2021

The European Parliament has ratified a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain

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Results announced Wednesday showed EU lawmakers supporting the pact with a vote of 660 votes in favor and five against, with 32 members abstaining.

The vote was the final step in a years-long process of defining trade terms between Britain and the remaining 27 members of the European Union.

European Council President Charles Michel welcomed the vote Wednesday, saying it “marks a major step forward in EU-UK relations and opens a new era.”

The two sides had been operating under the terms of the trade agreement on a conditional basis since late December while awaiting the European Parliament’s approval.

The Brexit process began with a 2016 referendum in which British voters chose to leave the EU. Britain had been a member since 1973, and after several delays, officially exited the EU in January 2020.

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