UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The British Prime Minister praised Friday what he described as a “new chapter” in his country’s history when he signed the London withdrawal agreement from the European Union.
The agreement allows Britain to close the contracts for its decades-long membership in the European Union from January 31 and to separate from its closest neighbors and trading partners after several years of internal disputes and delays.
Johnson said in a statement that “the signing of the withdrawal agreement is a wonderful moment, in which the outcome of the 2016 referendum is implemented and many years of debate and division are ended.”
“This signature marks a new chapter in the history of our nation,” he added in a post on Twitter, accompanying him with a photo.
Johnson signed the agreement at Government House in Downing Street, where he sat in front of two British flags, in the presence of British and European officials, who brought the text of the agreement with them from Brussels.
The European Commission and Council Presidents Ursula von der Diein and Charles Michel, Prime Minister of Britain, had previously signed the agreement at a ceremony that journalists were not allowed to attend.
The text will now be returned to Brussels, where the original copy will be placed in the archives of the European Union along with other international treaties, while three copies will be sent to London.
The text is scheduled to be presented next Wednesday to the European Parliament for approval, while diplomats from European Union member states will write it in writing on Thursday.
On Friday, Britain will spend its last day as a member of the European Union before it officially separates at 23:00 GMT, that is, midnight Brussels time.
The signing ceremony in London was attended by the chief delegate of the Prime Minister to negotiate the Brexit David Frost.
British voters supported withdrawing from the European Union in the June 2016 referendum, and after lengthy negotiations and repeated delays, the new Johnson government will “break” Brexit finally next week.
Britain will leave the bloc’s institutions, reducing the number of its members to 27 countries, but the withdrawal agreement provides for a transitional period of 11 months that will last until the end of this year.
During this period, Britain and the rest of the bloc countries will continue to implement the current trade rules, to prevent any economic shocks while officials try to negotiate a broader trade agreement.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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