Top officials from the European Commission and European Council signed off on the UK Brexit Agreement on Friday, paving the way for Britain’s departure from the European Union at midnight on January 31, according to DW.
Commission head Ursula von der Leyen and Council leader Charles Michel attended Friday’s official signing ceremony at the Council’s headquarters in Brussels, alongside chief EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.
Their signatures act as a formal endorsement and the treaty can now head to the European Parliament on January 29 for a final vote on ratification. The plenary is expected to pass the deal.
“Charles Michel and I have just signed the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU, opening the way for its ratification by the European Parliament,” Commission chief von der Leyen tweeted.
Diplomats from the EU member states must approve the deal in writing next Thursday.
“Things will inevitably change but our friendship will remain. We start a new chapter as partners and allies,” Michel tweeted. “I’m keen to write this new page together.”
Queen Elizabeth II approved Britain’s ratification bill on the Brexit Agreement on Thursday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is yet to sign the deal.