British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Union leaders signed the post-Brexit 1246 pages agreement on Wednesday, December 30, which text could start being enforced from Friday, January 1, at 12 a.m. London time, but midnight in Paris. The time will end Britain’s 47 years marriage with the European Union.
“This is not the end”, but “the beginning of a wonderful relationship between the United Kingdom and our friends and partners in the European Union”, said Boris Johnson after signing the document, raising both thumbs in the air in celebration.
The text was officially signed in the morning by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and her counterpart of the European Council (institution representing the Member States) Charles Michel.
“It has been a long road. Now is the time to put Brexit behind us. Our future is being built in Europe”, the head of the European executive said on Twitter.
L’UE a le plus grand marché unique au monde.
Nous sommes ouverts aux affaires mais attachés à la réciprocité, la concurrence équitable et à nos valeurs.
🇪🇺et 🇨🇳 ont conclu un accord de principe sur les investissements, pour des échanges et des opportunités plus équilibrés. pic.twitter.com/mDZvLFgKYG
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 30, 2020
Charles Michel hailed “a fair and balanced agreement” and welcomed the “unprecedented unity” demonstrated by the Twenty-Seven in the negotiations.
The implementation of the free trade agreement which is the result of difficult negotiations between the EU and the UK remains provisional, pending the vote of MEPs whose approval is required for ratification and this will happen at the first quarter of 2021.
Britain has completed everything this Wednesday, December 30. Clearing the field, the deputies overwhelmingly approved it by 521 votes and 73 against. It is then the turn of the Lords, in the upper house of Parliament, to examine it before the end of the day and then to Queen Elizabeth II to promulgate the law on its entry into force.
Welcoming the opening of a “new chapter”, Boris Johnson assured MPs that the United Kingdom would remain “the best friend and ally” of the European Union, after having been an “unconvinced member”.
The deal is done. pic.twitter.com/zzhvxOSeWz
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 24, 2020
The Conservative leader also hoped that the deal would “put an end to some of the grudge and recriminations” and allow the British to “move on” after the four and a half years of heartbreak following the June 2016 referendum which voted Brexit with 51.9% of the vote.