Brexit: EU 'run rings around UK on fisheries' says expert
The UK and EU signed the groundbreaking Trade and Cooperation Agreement last month with member states of the bloc giving it provisional applications before the turn of the year. Both sides had originally set the deadline of February 28 for MEP in the EU Parliament to sign off on the deal. Despite that, there had been plans for MEPs to push a vote back to as late as April as they need more time to scrutinise the text.
In a veiled threat to the EU, a Downing Street source told RTE's Tony Connelly, the two sides had already agreed a "reasonable" and "proportionate" length of time to ratify the agreement.
They added: "We and the EU agreed only last month to provisionally apply the EU-UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement until 28 February.
"The aim was to allow the EU a reasonable and proportionate length of time to ratify the agreement."
A source told Express.co.uk that the delay to the ratification was caused due the need to translate the 1,246-page document in into 23 EU languages.
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A source told this website: “Translations will not be finished before February 28 and member states are still working through the details of the deal.”
It is also thought the EU Commission's vice-president, Maros Sefcovic will be charged with leading the implementation council and foresee Brussels' new relationship with the UK.
Last month, member states stepped into to allow the provisional application of the deal despite warnings from MEPs.
The two sides a deadline for a deal to be agreed in order to stop a long drawn out process such as the EU's agreement with Canda which came into force in 2017 and is yet to be ratified.
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The Prime Minister insisted MEPs must ratify the Trade and Cooperation Agreement by February 28.
This warning comes as some MEPs on the continent have pushed to delay the vote on the deal until April.
However, a Downing Street source told RTE's Tony Connelly: "We and the EU agreed only last month to provisionally apply the EU-UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement until 28 February.
"The aim was to allow the EU a reasonable and proportionate length of time to ratify the agreement.
"That still seems the right basis on which to proceed and we look to the EU to complete its processes within this timeframe. We note that Vice President Sefcovic said today that that was still the Commission’s intention.
"We will consider any request for extension if and when we receive one”.
Member states moved to give the agreement provisional application last month in lieu of a later for MEP to ratify the deal.