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MEPs pave the way for UK's Withdrawal from the bloc

EPA-EFE/Francisco Seco / POOL
Members of Parliament react during plenary session on BREXIT vote of the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 29 January 2020.

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On Wednesday MEPs debated and voted on the terms of UK’s official departure from the European Union, paving the way for the country’s exit on Friday midnight CET.
In a historic vote, the European Parliament ratified the Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) which ends Britain’s 47 years in the European Union. The debate that lasted more than two hours, had several MEPs breaking down in tears and others triumphing Britain’s disengagement from the EU.
David Sassoli, the EP President announced the results of the vote, which saw 621 MEPs voting in favour, 49 against and 13 abstentions. With the MEPs of UK’s Brexit party having left the room, politicians in the room joined hands and sang “Auld Lang Syne”, a Scottish farewell folk song.
“We have stood shoulder to shoulder in the European Parliament – fifty years of integration cannot disappear easily,” said Sassoli.
After Friday, UK will have the the status of a “third country” and will leave EU institutions but will remain under certain EU rules until the end of the year. The country’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will have to negotiate and achieve a free trade deal with the Union during the transition period.
 
 

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