EU ambassadors on Monday approved a provisional application of the EU-U.K. future relations agreement, paving the way for a swift implementation of the deal on January 1.
“EU Ambassadors have unanimously approved the provisional application of the EU-U.K. Trade and Cooperation Agreement as of January 1, 2021,” a spokesperson for the German Presidency of the Council of the EU tweeted.
While the green light from ambassadors is an important step, official approval is expected Tuesday, December 29, as some countries, such as Sweden, still need to consult their national parliament. The presidency spokesperson said final adoption of the text will be done via “written procedure,” meaning that countries send a note of consent to the Council of the EU. The deadline for this is December 29 at 3 p.m., according to the spokesperson.
Brussels and London clinched the U.K.-EU trade deal on December 24. The European Commission presented the treaty as an EU-only agreement with a limited provisional application until February 28, 2020. This means that the EU can provisionally implement the agreement with the approval of EU countries but without the consent of the European Parliament. MEPs said they will scrutinize the deal at the beginning of next year.
The British parliament has been reconvened on December 30 to ratify the deal, which is highly likely to pass.
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