The UK government has agreed to extend the deadline for ratifying the trade agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
The European Commission had requested a “technical extension” until April 30 because it needs more time to finalize the preliminary trade deal. The provisional agreement that has been in effect since January 1 will expire on February 28.
According to a UK spokesman, “it is disappointing that the EU has not completed its internal process within the agreed timeframe”. London is now counting on that this will be the case before the end of April, the spokesman said.
Brussels wanted more time to convert the treaty into the 24 officially recognized EU languages. The European Parliament has yet to give its opinion on the treaty.
On December 24, Brussels and London reached an agreement on a new trade agreement. On the British side, all necessary steps were taken on December 31 and pending the EU Parliament’s vote, and the treaty entered into force provisionally on January 1.
The EU politicians had previously indicated that a proper assessment of the agreements requires translating the almost 1,300-page thick and highly technical treaty into their own language. The commission negotiated the deal on behalf of the 27 member states.