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European Parliament approves terms of UK's exit from EU

Jan '20
Pic: European Parliament
Pic: European Parliament
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) backed the terms of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (EU) by ratifying the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement by 621 votes to 49 following a recent debate in Brussels. MEPs marked the UK's exit by singing Auld Lang Syne after the vote. Today is the last day of the UK’s presence in the bloc.

Several British MEPs were hopeful of the UK returning to the EU bloc one day. Some MEPs marked the occasion with songs, others wore ‘always united’ scarves.

The EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also wished the United Kingdom well, saying the bloc would approach talks on the future relationship with ‘patience’ and ‘objectivity’ while defending its members' interests.

Ratification of the withdrawal deal was ‘only a first step’ towards a new partnership between the EU and the UK, president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said.

The two sides must heed the words of the late Labour MP Jo Cox when approaching their future relationship and recognise ‘there is more that unites us than divides us’, European Parliament president David Sassoli said while signing the letter confirming the EU's consent.

The Parliament's Brexit spokesman Guy Verhofstadt said it was 'sad to see a country leaving that has twice given its blood to liberate Europe". He added that British MEPs had brought ‘wit, charm, and intelligence’ as well as ‘stubbornness’, and would be missed.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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