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24 Jan, 2020 07:45

EU top officials sign Brexit deal ahead of vote in parliament

EU top officials sign Brexit deal ahead of vote in parliament

The presidents of the European Commission and the European Council signed off on Britain’s EU divorce agreement on Friday. After formal endorsement by Brussels’ two top officials, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, the text will now go to the European Parliament on Wednesday, January 29 for ratification, AFP said. “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 Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.

Diplomats from the EU member states will approve the deal in writing on Thursday. Then, on January 31, Britain spends its last day in the EU before leaving the bloc at 2300 GMT as clocks strike midnight in Brussels.

Michel tweeted on Friday that “things will inevitably change but our friendship will remain.” The official added that the two sides are starting “a new chapter as partners and allies.”

Queen Elizabeth II gave her formal assent to the British withdrawal legislation on Thursday and the EU is now expected to complete the final formalities in the coming days.