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Members of the European Parliament's Committees on Foreign Affairs and International Trade met to debate the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) in a joint meeting on 14 January 2021. Compared to the alternative no-deal outcome, MEPs are said to have welcomed the TCA as a ‘good solution, albeit thin’, but have insisted on proper parliamentary scrutiny, stressing that scrutiny of the deal ‘must go beyond mere ratification’. MEPs are pushing for a clear role for Parliament in the implementation and future monitoring of the TCA and associated arrangements, supported by thorough access to information and close dialogue between the European and UK Parliaments on future EU-UK relations.
In due course, the committees will vote on a consent proposal to allow for a plenary vote before provisional application of the TCA comes to an end. In terms of timing, the consent vote may be held towards the end of February/early March 2021, allowing for a ratification during the March plenary session of the European Parliament. In remarks, Christophe Hansen MEP (and member of the EP Committee on International Trade) noted:
‘It is important not to let the consent drag on forever. Provisional application is not the legal security that businesses and citizens deserve after all these years.’
The International Trade Committee first met to review the TCA on 11 January 2021, during which they promised thorough scrutiny of the deal and its various ‘loose ends’. Further details are accessible here.
Source: New EU-UK agreement is welcome but thorough scrutiny remains, insist lead MEPs
For further detail, see: LNB News 13/01/2021 117 and LNB News 14/01/2021 83.
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