Brexit Party leader and outgoing MEP, Nigel Farage | Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images
European Parliament approves Brexit deal
Now that the UK and European parliaments have ratified the deal, it’s up to EU Council to sign off.
Updated 1/29/20, 9:32 PM CET
The European Parliament on Wednesday backed the Brexit deal agreed with the U.K. government, one of the last formal steps required to take Britain out of the European Union on January 31.
A total of 621 MEPs voted for and 49 against (with 13 abstentions) a document which called on the Parliament to “give its consent to the conclusion of the draft Withdrawal Agreement.”
Straight after the vote, MEPs stood up and sang “Auld Lang Syne.”
The EU and the U.K. struck a deal at a European Council in November. Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel officially signed the agreement, days after MEPs gave their preliminary consent to the text during a vote in the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee.
Now that the U.K. and European parliaments have ratified the deal, it is up to the Council of the European Union, which represents 27 EU countries, to sign off on the agreement by qualified majority. Countries have until 1 p.m. on Thursday to submit their approval in writing, a Council official said.
Prior to the vote, MEPs held a debate with von der Leyen and Michel Barnier,