New chapter starts in EU-UK relations after concluding all steps of Brexit
The Council of the EU approved on Thursday a trade and cooperation agreement between the bloc and the UK.
The agreement on the two sides’ future relationship, reached on Dec. 24 and adopted on Wednesday by the European Parliament, will enter into force on May 1 after being published in the EU’s Official Journal.
This latest ratification officially ends the Brexit process, triggered by a 2016 referendum in the UK.
“Today, we open a new chapter in our relations with the UK,” Ana Paula Zacarias, Portuguese secretary of state for European affairs, commented on the decision on behalf of the EU Council’s rotating presidency.
“We value the UK as a good neighbor, an old ally and an important partner,” she added, expressing hope that the deal would serve “the interests of citizens and business on both sides of the channel.”
The UK officially quit the EU after 47 years of membership on Jan. 31, 2020, but it took the partners nearly a year to agree on future economic ties.
The trade deal involves zero quotas and zero tariffs with strict requirements on fair competition rules for economic operators.