The presidents of the European Commission and the European Council signed, without media presence, an agreement on the European Union’s split with the UK, which is due to leave the European bloc next week.
European Council President Charles Michel posted on Twitter a photo of his signing with Ursula von der Leyen, in the presence of European Bargain negotiator Michel Barnier.
The media was forbidden from attending this allegedly small but significant step to first confirm a country’s exit from the EU, AP reports.
“Charles Michel and I have just signed the EU’s Accession Treaty and thus pave the way for its ratification by the European Parliament,” Ursula von der Layen wrote on Twitter six hours after it was signed.
“Things will inevitably change, but our friendship remains. We are beginning a new chapter as partners and allies,” Micheel reportedly also said hours after the signing ceremony.
The EU Parliament is expected to ratify the Brexit deal next Wednesday, just days before the deadline.
The UK exit law came into force after it was signed by Queen Elizabeth the Second, and before that passed by the British Parliament.
The lower house of parliament passed the bill in its unaltered form, though the House of Lords called for changes, including a clause on the protection of refugee children after Brexit and Prime Minister Johnson has rejected any changes to the agreement.