The European Union (EU) leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel signed on Wednesday the post-Brexit trade deal with Britain, AFP reported.
“It has been a long road. It’s time now to put Brexit behind us. Our future is made in Europe,” von der Leyen said, in a brief televised ceremony to put their names to the 1,246-page Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
Britain will leave the European single market and customs union at 11 pm (2300 GMT) on Thursday, at the end of 2020, a year of a post-Brexit transition period that has been marked by intense trade negotiations.
The documents, signed by EU chiefs, will now be flown to London in an RAF jet for the signature of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on the eve of Britain’s departure from the EU single market.
The agreement heralds “a new relationship between Britain and the EU as sovereign equals, joined by friendship, commerce, history, interests, and values,” PM Boris Johnson will tell UK MPs, as per Downing Street.
“On major issues, the European Union stands ready to work shoulder to shoulder with the United Kingdom,” Michel said in Brussels, agreeing with Johnson.
“This will be the case on climate change, ahead of the COP 26 in Glasgow, and on the global response to pandemics, in particular with a possible treaty on pandemics.”