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MEPs express concern EU Parliament will be left with no time to ratify Brexit deal if one is reached

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By Euronews
European Parliament
European Parliament   -   Copyright  AP Photo

Lawmakers in the European Parliament have expressed concern they could be asked to approve a post-Brexit trade deal with little scrutiny.

Only two weeks remain until the end of the Brexit transition period, at which point, without an agreement, trade barriers will come into force between the EU and the UK for the first time in over 40 years.

The two sides are still negotiating at pace after blowing through another deadline on December 13. Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said then that "it is responsible, at this point in time, to go the extra mile."

But even if a deal is struck before December 31, parliaments in the EU and the UK will have little time to examine and ratify it in time to avoid the trade tariffs.

Philip Lamberts, a Green MEP from Belgium told Euronews that "if there is a deal, that means the atmosphere between the two negotiating parties is positive, and so I'm sure that they can find a way to prolong the status quo until we ratify."

"Part of democracy is due process and the Brits know that better than anyone else. Therefore, well, we are going to do the due process. Frankly speaking, on average, this parliament has had more than 130 days to examine any treaty in the past ... even if we do that over three weeks, I think it's an extraordinary effort.

"This is a matter of respect of the democratic institution," he added.

Watch the full interview with MEP Lamberts in the video player above.