EU leaders sign the Brexit agreement: 'things are inevitably going to change'

EU leaders sign the Brexit agreement: 'things are inevitably going to change'
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The respective presidents of the European Commission and Council, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, on Friday signed the agreement marking the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union.

The European Parliament must ratify the deal on 29 January.

"With Charles Michel, we have signed the agreement for the United Kingdom's exit, clearing the way for its ratification by the European Parliament," the president of the European Commission announced in a Tweet.

"Things are inevitably going to change but our friendship will endure. We are beginning a new chapter as partners and allies," Charles Michel declared on the same social network. "Looking forward to writing this new page together."

On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II promulgated the draft law of withdrawal from the European Union following the British parliament's green light.

The European Parliament has yet to ratify the agreement. On Thursday and as expected, the European Parliament's constitutional affairs committee reluctantly recommended the plenary to adopt the withdrawal agreement.

The twenty-seven EU member countries gave their green light to the deal last October 17, more than three years after the referendum that saw the advocates of "Leave" win the day with nearly 52% of the votes.

Brexit on January 31, putting an end to 47 years of an often demanding marriage, will mark the start of a transition period lasting at least until the end of this year, during the course of which the UK must continue to conform to the rules of the EU's internal market and customs union. Negotiations will take place over this time on the future relationship between the two parties and essentially focus on trade and security matters.

The Brussels Times

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