In a referendum on the 23rd of June 2016, 52% of Britons decided to leave the EU. The transition period starts on February 1st, 2020.
On Wednesday the European Parliament overwhelmingly green lighted Britain’s departure from the EU, the final major decision in the four-year Brexit saga. The vote was 621 to 49 in favor of the Brexit deal. David Sassoli, European Parliament President, said after the debate and the vote on the withdrawal Agreement of the UK from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community: “We all lose colleagues and allies with whom we have close relations and with whom we have worked side by side all these years here in the European Parliament. Fifty years of integration cannot easily dissolve. We all must work to build new relations, always taking into account the protection of the rights of citizens".
In her turn, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said: “We will always love you and you will never be far.” EU’s Chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has also expressed his regret on seeing Britain leave the EU. Brexit transition starts on February 1st and can be extended once, by one or two years, but the decision must be taken by the EU-UK joint committee by July 1st.
At a meeting with representatives of the British business community in Bucharest, Romanian PM Ludovic Orban has emphasised Romania’s commitment to developing bilateral ties after Brexit. During the talks hosted by the British ambassador in Bucharest, Andrew Noble, PM Orban has also said that Romania supports a strong relationship between the EU and the UK and that the Strategic Partnership between the two countries will be an important pillar of prosperity and common security in the Euro-Atlantic area.
The UK is among the 10 biggest foreign investors in Romania and the 5th important destination for Romanian exports. At the same time, Romanians make up the second biggest non-British population living in the UK, after the Polish community. It is important to make sure that, even after January 1st 2021, Romanians who are legally living in the UK enjoy all rights, that they are not suffocated by red tape in exerting these rights and that they are granted all social benefits provided by the law, so as not to be subject to discrimination of any kind, Romanian MEP Iuliu Winkler has said.
(Translated by Elena Enache)