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European Parliament approves post-Brexit trade deal with UK

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The European Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of the post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union, clearing the last hurdle towards full ratification of the deal.

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EU lawmakers backed the trade and cooperation agreement by 660 to 5, with 32 abstentions, parliament said on Wednesday. The vote took place on Tuesday, but the coronavirus work restrictions meant the outcome was not immediately known.

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Parliament’s approval ends four years of acrimonious negotiations and debate and lingering mistrust as Britain ended 47 years of EU membership.

The deal, which was finalized on Christmas Eve, had already been ratified by the UK parliament and entered into force conditionally pending approval by the European Parliament, marking the latest legal hurdle.

The United Kingdom joined the bloc in 1973.

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