Charles Michel, President of the European Council, has addressed the inking of the UK Withdrawal Agreement in a recent tweet, noting that irrespective of things that "will inevitably change, "friendship will remain" between the European bloc and Britain.
"We start a new chapter as partners and allies," Michel remarked.
Today I signed the UK Withdrawal Agreement for the EU together with @vonderleyen— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) January 24, 2020
Things will inevitably change but our friendship will remain. We start a new chapter as partners and allies.
Hâte d’écrire ensemble cette nouvelle page. pic.twitter.com/a7zmGeBwZS
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the EU Commission, tweeted likewise, noting the bill now awaits rafiication by the EU's lawmakers:
.@eucopresident 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. pic.twitter.com/rEqnUnJA2E— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 24, 2020
Earlier, the Withdrawal Bill cleared the UK parliament, after the Lords's five amendments had been rejected by the Commons, and received consent from the Queen, thereby arriving on the fast track to become a law. It stipulates that Britain will indeed finalise its exit from the EU on 31 January and oulines the necessary conditions for it.
The deadline will then usher in a transition period that is scheduled to envision negotiations on the post-Brexit trade cooperation and is to span 11 months.
The UK had missed the earlier deadlines - in March and in October, which led to snap parliamentary elections in December in which the Conservatives gained a sweeping majority, securing their firm positions in the Commons and thereby promising to end the Brexit deadlock.