Boris Johnson

"Almost 5 years ago, the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. Today, as we finally finalise the divorce saga, our message to Boris Johnson is: the challenges you face are immense and you have a responsibility to respect your commitments to the Withdrawal Agreement, in particular on the implementation of the Irish/Northern Irish Protocol. Protecting peace and stability on the island of Ireland will always be the EU's priority. Don't play with fire!", said Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, as MEPs vote today to give their consent to the post-Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom.

The vote is accompanied by a Resolution prepared by the United Kingdom Coordination Group and political groups, in which MEPs recall their priorities. "We expect the European Commission to mobilise all legal instruments of the agreement to ensure its full implementation, including the Northern Ireland Protocol - and we will follow each step taken in this regard closely", Manfred Weber added.

Christophe Hansen MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on International Trade and negotiator on EU-UK relations, promises that Parliament will keep a close eye on how the UK government implements what was jointly agreed. "Today, we open a new chapter in our relationship with the UK. Friends never say goodbye and we will obviously continue to work together closely. The negotiated agreement puts in place clear safeguards to ensure that the UK respects the rights of our citizens and businesses, ensures fair competition and respects the fisheries agreements. Obviously, we will be vigilant in enforcing these safeguards. I repeat that it is absolutely fundamental that Parliament has been granted a strong role in supervising the implementation of the new agreement. This role is clear and we will not hesitate to use it."

"As a final word, we would like to once again congratulate and honour Michel Barnier and his team. What he achieved in the negotiations is outstanding and truly historic. The unity he kept on the European side was remarkable. His work was colossal", concluded Weber and Hansen.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 175 Members from all EU Member States

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