The debate in committee focused on Parliament`s contribution to protecting citizens` rights in the context of Brexit (the majority of speakers who praised the EU negotiating team) and what the UK and EU-27 governments should take to continue to protect these rights during the transition period and beyond. The debate also focused on the overall impact of Brexit and the future relationship between the EU and the UK, which will be the focus of future negotiations. The withdrawal agreement was adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday evening by 621 votes in and 49 against and 13 abstentions. The French argued that the United Kingdom could not benefit from any competitive advantage from which it would reap dividends in the future. Earlier, the Social Democrat coalition, which includes the ten Labour MPs, had posted a sign for outgoing British members, with the inscription “This is not a farewell, it is goodbye.” The UK has insisted that the talks do not go beyond 31 December 2020, when a transitional period at which the UK will comply with EU rules expires. Ms Dodds and Naomi Long, leader of the Alliance, voted against the agreement, while Martina Anderson of Sinn Fein voted in favour. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said ratification of the withdrawal agreement was “just the first step” towards a new partnership between the EU and the UK. Ms Dodds said her vote was “not a vote against Brexit.” The plenary vote of Parliament took place after the completion of the ratification process in the United Kingdom and the positive recommendation of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. The second part of the withdrawal agreement protects EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in other EU countries, as well as their families. In accordance with its provisions, all social security rights are maintained under UNION law and citizens` rights are guaranteed throughout their lives, and the administrative procedures associated with them must be transparent, fluid and streamlined. The implementation and application of these conditions are overseen by an independent authority with powers equivalent to those of the European Commission. The ratification of the withdrawal agreement, concluded in October by the UK and the EU, was not in doubt, having approved its committee phase last week without any problems. With regard to the historical importance of the vote, most speakers stressed, on behalf of the political groups, that the withdrawal of the United Kingdom would not be the end of the road to eu-UK relations and that the ties between the peoples of Europe are and will remain strong.
They also stressed the possibility of learning from Brexit to shape the future of the EU and thanked the UK and its MPs for their contribution throughout the UK`s accession. Many speakers warned that negotiations on future relations between the EU and the UK would be difficult, particularly given the timetable set out in the withdrawal agreement. She voted against the withdrawal treaty and called the day a “deep regret.” After the UK`s withdrawal, there will be an 11-month transition period during which the two sides hope to negotiate their future economic relations.