The post-Brexit trade agreement with Britain has been officially signed by top European Union officials.
During a brief signing ceremony in Brussels on Wednesday morning, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel put pen to paper.
The documents will be flown across the Channel on an RAF flight to London, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson will sign them.
Politics LIVE: MPs to vote on the Brexit trade agreement between the EU and the UK.
The United Kingdom Parliament will begin discussing the agreement later, which establishes new trade standards between the bloc of 27 nations and the former member.
The agreement needs the consent of the Parliament and the EU legislature, which is not expected to take several weeks to consider the offer.
“The agreement we have signed today is the result of months of intense negotiations in which the European Union has shown an unprecedented level of unity,” said Michel. It is a fair and balanced agreement that completely respects the fundamental interests of the European Union and creates stability and predictability for people and enterprises.’
On Christmas Eve, just a week before the year-end deadline, the 1,240-page post-Brexit deal was signed by the EU and the UK.
Nicola Sturgeon urges MPs to withhold their consent to the “damaging” Brexit agreement
“On important issues, the European Union is ready to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the United Kingdom,” Michel said.
“This will be the case on climate change, in the run-up to the Cop26 in Glasgow, and on the global response to pandemics, in particular a possible treaty on pandemics. In foreign policy, we will seek cooperation on specific issues based on shared values and interests.”