European Parliament Approves Brexit

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January 29, 2020

One more official step, and Brexit can go ahead.

Brexit

The penultimate remaining obstacle to the United Kingdom's leaving the European Kingdom is gone, after the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to approve the Withdrawal Agreement that the U.K. Parliament had sanctioned the week before. The vote in the European Parliament was 621–49 (with 13 abstentions). The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) took the vote after two hours of debate. Accompanying the announcement of the vote were bagpipes playing and a few versions of the song "Auld Lang Syne," including one sung by some MEPs who had held hands and linked arms.

Under the terms of the agreement, the U.K. and the EU will now enter into a transition period in which the former is still obligated to EU laws and rules but no longer has any official say in the EU decision-making process. The two entities will embark on likely lengthy negotiations to strike new deals in areas like immigration and trade.

All that is left is a decision by the European Council. That decision is expected to be a formality since the Council is already on record as favoring such an outcome.

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