Published: Thu, 23 November 2023
Sean Kelly, lead MEP for UK trade in the European Parliament and first vice-chair of the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly, welcomes the resounding support for his report on the Implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement in the European Parliament.
The report received near-unanimous backing with 512 in favour, 9 against, and 42 abstentions, highlighting the unity among MEPs from across the political spectrum. Addressing the Parliament, Kelly stated, “This report is the first step in not only assessing the operation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement but also outlining practical measures to enhance our relationship with the UK while upholding our commitments.”
The report emphasizes the Trade and Cooperation Agreement’s ambitious nature, acknowledging its functionality for the EU. However, Kelly notes, “The relationship does not entirely mirror the access the UK had as a member state, and this report provides constructive recommendations for improvement.”
A crucial aspect highlighted in the report is the Windsor Framework, deemed a new chapter in the EU-UK relationship. Kelly expressed appreciation for this development, emphasizing the need for ongoing monitoring of the Retained EU Law Act.
Covering key areas such as the institutional framework, trade, the level playing field, specific sectoral issues, thematic cooperation, and foreign and security cooperation, the report provides a comprehensive analysis.
Looking ahead, Kelly stressed the relevance of the report as MEPs prepare for discussions in Westminster and with the upcoming UK general election within the next year. “Despite the pressing global issues, the impact of Brexit persists, affecting citizens and businesses. This report addresses the ongoing challenges and provides a roadmap for a constructive way forward.”
In a speech prior to the vote, Kelly concluded, “Stormont has been without a functioning executive since February 2022; it’s now time to move past the political stalemate in Northern Ireland and get the Assembly back up and running.”