Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said closing the accident and emergency unit at Trafford General Hospital is "necessary to provide safe and sustainable healthcare in the North West".
Campaigners have fiercely opposed the closure of the A&E unit at the hospital in Manchester, which is widely regarded as the birthplace of the NHS.
Following a review of the plan by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, Mr Hunt told MPs that the closure can go ahead - provided that nearby A&E departments consistently meet national waiting time targets.
More top news
NHS standards body cites "serious" safety concerns over the procedure, saying it should only be used in research contexts.
The decision by the EU27 to progress to trade talks is expected to be little more than a formality.
The brisk northerly wind will make it feel rather cold.