LONDON, January 23. /TASS/. The Brexit withdrawal agreement outlining conditions of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union drafted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has become a law after Queen Elizabeth II signed it on Thursday.
The British House of Commons’ Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans informed MPs that the bill was officially signed.
The UK will leave the EU on January 31. However, for that to happen the European Parliament needs to ratify the agreement but the EU legislature is not expected to block the process.
Earlier, parliaments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland refused to approve the Brexit bill. All three regional legislatures opposed the divorce between the UK and the EU. Nevertheless, their opposition did not influence the eventual outcome.
The United Kingdom was initially supposed to exit the union on March 29, 2019, however, the departure date was postponed a few times as British MPs could not agree the conditions of the exit. Theresa May, former Prime Minister, had to resign in the face of this unbreakable deadlock, while her successor Boris Johnson managed to win over support of the House of Commons and get his bill through. To achieve that, he called a snap parliamentary election in December and secured an overwhelming majority in the house which practically rendered all other steps in the process a formality.
After January 31, the UK will enter a transition period ending on December 31 without any meaningful changes taking place in the relations between the UK and the EU. However, before that date comes, London and Brussels are supposed to agree a new trade agreement to guide their future relations.