The International Trade Council has hailed the European Parliament's decision to ratify the post-Brexit EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) as a key move to ensure tariff- and quota-free trade continues between the two sides. MEPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal by 660 votes to 5, while 32 abstained.
The TCA has been operating provisionally since January, and its ratification brings welcome stability to the new relationship between the EU and the UK as vital trading partners, close allies, and sovereign equals. The deal provides both sides with certainty and allows them to focus on the future, according to Lord Frost, the UK's chief negotiator.
"The UK is committed to upholding the terms of the TCA, which is essential to supporting the jobs and livelihoods of millions of people in both the UK and the EU," Frost said.
The TCA covers EU-UK trade in goods but not services. The UK economy is dominated by services, including banking, insurance, advertising, and legal advice, and sectors that were not covered have experienced more paperwork, extra costs, and less trade between the two sides since the UK left the EU.
According to a European Parliament resolution, the UK's exit from the EU is a "historic mistake." However, the trade deal provides stability and certainty to a new relationship between the EU and the UK, which will be crucial to supporting the jobs and livelihoods of millions of people in both regions.
"We welcome the ratification of the EU-UK trade deal and congratulate both sides for coming together to preserve tariff-free trade," said a spokesperson for the International Trade Council. "This is a positive step towards boosting global trade, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners in the EU and UK to support mutually beneficial economic growth."
Despite tensions that remain over issues such as Northern Ireland trade and French threats of reprisals against the UK over new fishing restrictions, the trade deal marks an important milestone in the evolving relationship between the EU and the UK. The International Trade Council believes that the EU and the UK have much to gain from a collaborative approach to economic growth, and it is committed to supporting initiatives that promote mutual understanding and the strengthening of trade links between these important partners.