General Brexit: EU leaders sign UK withdrawal deal

Brexit: EU leaders sign UK withdrawal deal


- Advertisment -

Ursula von der Leyen and Charles MichelImage copyright
PA Media

Image caption

A historic moment for the EU: Signing off on the UK’s exit

The heads of the European Commission and Council – Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel – have signed the Withdrawal Agreement, ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 January.

The Queen approved it on Thursday, and next Wednesday the European Parliament is expected to vote for it too.

The UK has agreed to abide by EU rules during a transition period until the end of the year. By 2021 the UK aims to have agreed a deal on future ties.

Brexit ends 46 years in the EU club.

After the document was signed in Brussels it was taken to Downing Street by EU and UK officials, for signing by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, due later on Friday. The agreement will then travel back to Brussels, and a copy of it will remain in London.

Next week’s European Parliament vote is seen as all but a formality, after it was backed by the parliament’s constitutional affairs committee on Thursday.

Mrs von der Leyen and other senior EU figures are sceptical about the UK government’s plan to negotiate a comprehensive deal on future relations before the end of 2020. They believe the timetable for that is too tight.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson is upbeat, insisting the UK can now move forward after years of wrangling over Brexit.

Charles Michel, the former Belgian Prime Minister who chairs EU summits, said in a tweet “things will inevitably change but our friendship will remain.

“We start a new chapter as partners and allies.”

The EU Commission official who spent more than three years negotiating Brexit – Michel Barnier – stood behind the two EU leaders at the low-key signing ceremony.

Earlier Mr Johnson said “at times it felt like we would never cross the Brexit finish line, but we’ve done it.

“Now we can put the rancour and division of the past three years behind us and focus on delivering a bright, exciting future – with better hospitals and schools, safer streets and opportunity spread to every corner of our country.”

MPs overruled an attempt by the House of Lords to secure additional rights, including for unaccompanied child refugees, in the Withdrawal Agreement. Continue reading…

Latest news

Wonder Woman 1984: See Gal Gadot and Chris Pine in exclusive Images

Gold War Clay Enos/Warner Bros. Wonder Woman 1984 takes Gal Gadot's demigoddess from WWI to totally tubular — and when it comes to armor, she's getting her platinum card. Click through to see more exclusive images from the sequel. Advertisement Advertisement Warner Bros. Pictures Wonder Woman takes her Lasso of Truth to the capital. Warner…

See Nicki Minaj on the RuPaul’s Drag Race judging panel

One look at Mother Minaj on the Drag Race panel, and it’s clear: All of these [drag queens] are her sons. Rap superstar Nicki Minaj will make her RuPaul’s Drag Race guest-judging debut on the upcoming season 12 premiere, and EW has the exclusive first look at the icon seated among the Emmy-winning reality show’s…

Bournemouth: Cherries ask Premier League to investigate alleged comments made by official

Jonathan Moss has refereed Bournemouth on three occasions in the past two seasonsBournemouth have asked the Premier League to "look into" alleged comments made by referee Jonathan Moss during Sunday's defeat at Sheffield United.Cherries midfielder Dan Gosling says Moss showed "zero respect" and was a "disgrace" for making "sarky comments" about their league position. Bournemouth…
- Advertisement -

Ai Wei Wei sculpture celebrates pedal power, as Urban Forum continues in Abu Dhabi

“You can walk down to the sculpture,” said the guide, “or,” and he paused to pique interest, “you can use one of these new public bicycles and follow the bike lane.” He gestured enticingly at a row of brand new, green, semi-electric bicycles. For the group of World Urban Forum (WUF10) delegates looking on, it…

‘A real delight’

Image copyright Paul Cochrane/UAL Image caption Sonia Boyce will fill the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2021 Artist Sonia Boyce is to become the first black woman to represent Great Britain at the prestigious Venice Biennale next year.Boyce will fly the flag with a major new exhibition at the world's most important contemporary art…

Must read

- Advertisement -

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you