The day after the European Parliament finally approved the agreement establishing the new framework for relations between the 27 and the UK post-'Brexit', the Council, on 29 April, took the last remaining formal step towards ratifying the text on the European side by adopting the decision.
"Today we open a new chapter in our relations with the UK. The conclusion of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement will give legal certainty to the new EU-UK relationship, in the interest of citizens and businesses on both sides of the channel. We value the UK as a good neighbour, an old ally and an important partner", commented Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State for European Affairs, on behalf of the Council of the EU.
The post-'Brexit' Trade and Cooperation Agreement negotiated between the UK and the EU was concluded on 24 December, 2020 and began provisional application on 1 January, with a deadline of next Friday, 30 April, to allow for the completion of its legal-linguistic review and approval by the European Parliament, which came to fruition this week during the plenary session taking place in hybrid format from Brussels.
In a vote on 27 April, the result of which was announced only on 28 April as the process of counting votes from a distance takes longer, the agreement was approved with 660 votes in favour, five against and 32 abstentions, thus ending the long process of divorce between the EU and London.
Prime Minister António Costa commented on 29 April that the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union is proud to have contributed to the existence of a strong partnership with the UK, with the approval of the agreement during 'its' six-month term.
"With today's approval by the European Parliament of the trade and cooperation agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom a new chapter is opened in bilateral relations," António Costa wrote in a message he posted on his personal account on the social network Twitter.
In the same message, the leader of the executive stressed that the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union "is proud to contribute to developing a strong partnership with this neighbour, friend, ally and key partner".