Victory for Boris: Brexit deal to be backed in crunch EU vote – major document leaked

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This website has seen a leaked draft of the “legislative resolution” that will eventually write MEPs’ approval of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement into law. Drawn up by the Parliament’s international trade and foreign affairs committee, the legislation “gives its consent to the Conclusion of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part”. It will be accompanied by a report from Brexit rapporteurs Luxembourger Christophe Hansen and Dutch Kati Piri.

The pair are due to unveil their recommendations of the 1,246-page trade and security treaty to committee members later today.

It will take into account individual scrutiny reports from no fewer than 18 parliamentary committees.

With MEPs largely coming out in favour of the agreement, the legislation “instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the United Kingdom”.

The EU Parliament has been scrutinising the UK and EU’s future relationship ahead of a vote to green-light it in the coming weeks.

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A date has yet to be officially set for special plenary sessions and the authorisation ballot.

Delays are expected because of time it has taken for EU officials to translate the Brexit agreement into the bloc’s more than 20 official languages.

Earlier this week revealed the Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs committee urged its members to back the Brexit deal.

A leaked memo to its members “recommends that the European Parliament gives its consent to the TCA”.

But MEPs will demand special review sessions are held every year for them to monitor the so-called “level-playing field” provisions in the agreement.

It says they will “insist for annual reports on its implementation before the European Parliament, especially as regards to the level playing field with regards to social and labour standards”.

Chairwoman Lucia Duris Nicholsonova argued that while there was a number of flaws in the pact, it was worth supporting to prevent the “disastrous consequences” of a no deal Brexit.

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According to her note, she “regrets” the European Court of Justice was prevented from having the main role in overseeing the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

The Slovak MEP also argues the future relationship pact allows Britain too much room to diverge from the bloc’s rulebook.

She writes: “Under the TCA any lowering of social and labour standards in a manner affecting trade or investment, including by failing to effectively enforce its law and standards, is a breach of the non-regression principle and of the level playing field provisions.”

Ms Nicholsonova notes recent reports, since denied by the British government, on an overhaul of the “EU-derived employment laws” are a particular concern for the bloc.

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She adds: “Such measures could, if adopted, dramatically lower the rights of workers in the UK, but may also have a substantial material impact on the level playing field for open and fair competition and sustainable development between the Parties foreseen by the agreement.

“Such measures would be in contradiction with the Withdrawal Agreement and the TCA.”

The UK-EU Brexit trade agreement is currently under so-called “provisional application” and isn’t due to enter into full force until MEPs cast a vote on it.

Sources say current plans are for the session to be held towards the end of the month, ahead of the February 28 deadline for EU ratification.

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