MEPs will have waited until the very last moment. This Tuesday, they must officially ratify the Brexit agreement, which was signed on Christmas Eve but which is currently only applied on a provisional basis until April 30. Theoretically, a non-ratification would have made it obsolete beyond this date.
If the elected Europeans dragged their feet to the end, it is to protest against London’s attitude on the question of Northern Ireland. The British province of 2 million inhabitants is at the heart of tensions between the European Union and the United Kingdom, with Brussels accusing London of not having put in place the promised controls on goods. The standoff has been unfolding against a backdrop of sporadic violence in the streets of Belfast for a month, recalling how explosive the situation is.