Ambassadors of 27 European Union member states on Monday unanimously approved the provisional application of the Brexit agreement struck on Christmas Eve between the United Kingdom and the EU.
“Green light,” said Germany’s spokesman Sebastian Fischer after the vote in Brussels.
The deal, reached after nine months of negotiations, prevented a potentially disastrous “no-deal” Brexit on Friday and ensures that Britain and the 27-nation trading bloc will continue to trade in goods without tariffs or quotas.
It will now be approved by all of the EU members on Tuesday.
The UK’s House of Commons is expected to vote on Wednesday.
The leader of the opposition Labor Party has urged his members to support the deal, all but guaranteeing that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have the votes to get the deal through Parliament.
But pro-Brexit legislators in Johnson’s Conservative Party are scouring the agreement to see whether it constitutes a clean break from the EU.
The British government on Monday warned businesses and citizens to expect some “bumpy moments” when the new rules on importing and exporting goods take effect.
Government minister Michael Grove cautioned businesses that time was “very short” to make preparations.
“The nature of our new relationship with the EU … means that there are practical and procedural changes that businesses and citizens need to get ready for,” Grove told the BBC.
“We know that there will be some disruption as we adjust to new ways of doing business with the EU, so it is vital that we all take the necessary action now,” he said.
Britain published the more than 1,200 pages of the draft agreement on Saturday.
Johnson praised the deal reached last week.
“It is, I believe, what the UK needs at this time, and the right way forward,” he said.
Britain left the EU last January but continued to enjoy a transition period with the trading block that expires Thursday.
With Post Wires