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Tensions overshadow EU vote on UK trade deal

April 28, 2021 9:50 am
EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen oversees trade relations with the UK [Source: EPA]

The European Parliament is expected to ratify the post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal – a key move to ensure that tariff-and quota-free trade continues.

The Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) has been operating provisionally since January. MEPs voted on Tuesday and a result is due on Wednesday.

Brexit tensions remain, including a French threat of “reprisals” against the UK over new fishing restrictions.

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Northern Ireland trade is also a thorny issue.

Under a separate protocol, Northern Ireland remains de facto part of the EU’s single market, so goods arriving there from Britain have to undergo EU checks. Since Brexit there has been some disruption to that trade.

The TCA covers EU-UK trade in goods, but not services. The UK economy is dominated by services – sectors such as banking, insurance, advertising and legal advice.

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