EU leaders prepare to sign-off on Withdrawal Agreement as Brexit day approaches

Sean Morrison
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel: AP

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal will today be signed off by EU leaders as the UK’s divorce from Brussels is finalised before next week’s deadline.

The European Commission and European Council presidents are due to sign the Withdrawal Agreement later after it was given royal assent on Thursday.

The Queen rubber stamped the legislation, paving the way for the UK to leave the European Union with an agreement on January 31. It comes almost four years after 2016's Leave vote.

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and council president Charles Michel are on Friday expected to sign-off on the document.

But the agreement still needs to be approved by the European Parliament before Brexit day, with a vote expected on January 29.

Prime Minister Mr Johnson hailed the crossing of the "Brexit finish line" after the EU Withdrawal Agreement Act passed into law.

The UK is set to enter a transition period in February, during which the relationship with Brussels will remain the same while trade talks are finalised.

The Government's withdrawal legislation cleared Parliament on Wednesday after peers bowed to the will of MPs once the elected chamber overturned their demands.

Mr Johnson said the nation would "move forwards as one United Kingdom".

He added: "At times it felt like we would never cross the Brexit finish line, but we've done it.

"Now we can put the rancour and division of the past three years behind us and focus on delivering a bright, exciting future - with better hospitals and schools, safer streets and opportunity spread to every corner of our country."

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