EU Parliament ratifies Brexit agreement

EU Parliament ratifies Brexit agreement
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The European Parliament voted Wednesday to approve the Brexit agreement, which will take effect on Friday at midnight in Brussels.

According to the BBC, the agreement passed in a 621-49 vote, with 13 abstentions. The vote came more than 3 1/2 years after British voters backed withdrawing from the European Union.

The Parliament's president, David Sassoli, noted while signing the confirmation letter that "there is more that unites us than divides us," referring to the EU relationship with the U.K.

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"You are leaving the EU, but you will always be part of Europe," Sassoli said, according to the BBC. "It is very hard to say goodbye. That is why, like my colleagues, I will say arrivederci."

Rosa Balfour, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund, told The New York Times that "Brexit is a defeat, a rebellion against the concept that working together makes Europeans stronger."

While there had been talk of Brexit prompting other nations to leave the EU, Josep Borrell Fontelles, the bloc's foreign policy chief, said those prospects are quite low.

The process for the United Kingdom has been turbulent enough, he said, that Europe's populists have stopped talking about concepts such as "Frexit," "Nexit," or "Italexit," referring to France, the Netherlands and Italy, the Times reported.