Charles Michel, President of the European Council, welcomed the vote and tweeted that it was an “important step in the process of ratifying Article 50”. He added that “equal conditions of competition remain a must for all future relations.” He recalled the EU`s call for fair competition in exchange for a free trade agreement with zero tariffs and zero quotas. South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, one of six Labour MPs who wanted to vote in favour of the bill, said it was time to end “opposition to the opposition.” Friday`s vote focused on the second reading of the law, in which MPs will vote on whether they were in principle ready to pass a bill. Changes can be made at later stages. After the historic vote, President Sassoli said: “I am deeply saddened to believe that we have reached this point. Fifty years of integration is not easy to dissolve. We will all have to work hard to build a new relationship, always focusing on the interests and protection of citizens` rights. It won`t be easy. There will be difficult situations that will test our future relationships. We have known this since the beginning of Brexit.
But I am sure that we will be able to overcome all the differences and always find common ground. In recent years, financial markets have been fascinated by the twists and turns of britain`s Brexit drama, with its fierce negotiations in Brussels, its votes in Parliament and heavy defeats for unstable governments. The Labour Party`s amendment to grant permanent residence to all EU citizens residing in the UK before the day of withdrawal was rejected by 342 votes to 252. After an unprecedented vote on 4 December 2018, MEPs ruled that the UK government was not respecting Parliament because it refused to give Parliament full legal advice on the consequences of its proposed withdrawal terms.  The focus of the consultation was on the legal effect of the “backstop” agreement for Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom with regard to the CUSTOMS border between the EU and the United Kingdom and its impact on the Good Friday agreement that led to the end of the unrest in Northern Ireland, including whether , according to the proposals, the UK would be certain that it would be able to leave the EU in a practical sense.