UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday signed the historic withdrawal agreement for the United Kingdom to leave European Union on January 31. According to media reports, the Prime Minister hailed the signing of the agreement as 'fantastic moment' and said that he hoped it would end the years of division and arguments. The document was first signed by the European Union officials Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, which was then brought to London by a train from Brussels.
Media reports suggest that Boris Johnson used the Parker fountain pen to sign the agreement, as is a tradition for all ceremonial signings at 10 Downing Street. Prime Minister's chief negotiator David Frost was present at the ceremony, while EU and other Foreign Office officials were also present. According to the international press, it was witnessed that European Union officials were sombre while signing the document in contrast to Boris Johnson, who was looking more enthusiastic than ever.
Today I have signed the Withdrawal Agreement for the UK to leave the EU on January 31st, honouring the democratic mandate of the British people.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 24, 2020
This signature heralds a new chapter in our nation’s history. pic.twitter.com/IaGTeeL2is
In Brussels, European Council's president Charles Michel and the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen signed the agreement in presence of the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. The document was sent across the channel via a Eurostar train and after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed the agreement, the original copy of it was brought back to the Brussels and reportedly, it will be kept in the archive along with other historic international agreements.
According to few media reports, the historic document runs nearly 600 pages that include citizens' rights, United Kingdom's £33 billion financial obligations to the bloc and arrangements established for maintaining an open border on the island of Ireland, which comes under the Northern Ireland protocol. The historic agreement received royal assent from the Queen on Thursday and under the agreement the United Kingdom will leave the EU on the midnight of January 31. After leaving the EU officially, the transition period will begin and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to negotiate a deal with the bloc before it ends in late 2020.