The European parliament approved Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal on Wednesday marking the final major decision in a four-year long journey.
The vote was 621 to 49 in favour of the Brexit deal that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson negotiated with the other 27 EU leaders in the fall of last year. For the most part, exchanges of warmth and love abounded but there were some hard warnings from Europe to the UK not to seek too many concessions when trade negotiations for the future begin.
Not much will be changing post-Friday as the UK will be entering a transition period until the end of 2020 during which it will still have the benefits of the EU member states. The UK will however not be included in any policy decision making come Friday and therefore the UK MEC’s will be leaving their posts within the EU parliament.
There will be a special farewell ceremony for the British MEPs leaving the parliament for the last time. When the British representatives arrived in the European Parliament on Wednesday, a sign above the chamber could be seen reading “It’s not good-bye, it’s au revoir” which had been put up by the S&D, a coalition of socialist parties. (source).
“We will always love you and you will never be far”, said EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen on a day when some legislators were moved to tears.