Happy Christmas in April? The Christmas Eve Brexit deal approved in April by European Parliament
The Brexit-related Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EU and the UK was announced on Christmas Eve 2020.
The 1,449 page document was only published on 27 December 2020 but the UK's Westminster Parliament approved it on 30 December 2020.
However, the European Parliament decided that it needed more time to read it and, moreover, wanted to see the final version before agreeing to the document which would be the roadmap for many aspects of both trade and cooperation between the EU and the UK for years to come.
So the agreement was only given "provisional approval" in December by the EU - until the European Parliament and European Council had time to study and, if they chose to do so, approve the final version.
There was also a great deal of "legal cleansing" to be done to perfect the December working draft. This legal cleansing and finalisation took longer than expected and it was only on 27 April 2021 that the European Parliament voted.
On 28 April 2021, the European Parliament announced that the Parliament had voted to approve the EU being a party to the TCA.
The vote was 660 votes in favour, 5 votes against and 32 abstentions.
So, technically, the TCA will finally enter into force only on 1 May 2021 now that Westminster has approved it, the European Parliament has consented and, assuming, the European Council concludes the Agreement.
While the world has operated since 1 January 2021 on the basis of the earlier "provisionally approved" version of the TCA, it is now finally official from 1 May 2021.
For more information on this topic please contact Vincent Power, Partner or any member of A&L Goodbody's EU, Competition & Procurement team.
Date published: 28 April 2021