European Parliament ratifies EU-UK trade deal
People's Daily Online
(Xinhua) 15:40, April 28, 2021
BRUSSELS, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The European Parliament on Wednesday ratified the agreement on trade and cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) in a 660-5 vote.
After hours of parliament debate, 660 lawmakers voted for the free trade agreement and five against, with 32 abstentions.
The UK joined the EU bloc in 1973 but announced to withdraw in 2016 after a referendum. The two sides failed to reach a deal before the Brexit transition period ended on Dec. 31, 2020.
The EU-UK trade in goods has been deeply affected by Brexit, according to latest figures published by Eurostat, the EU's statistical office.
In the first two months of 2021, exports from the bloc to the UK fell 20.2 percent compared to last year, while the EU's imports from the UK recorded an even sharper decrease of 47 percent.
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