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Boris Johnson signs withdrawal agreement for Brexit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday announced that he had signed a withdrawal agreement for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, paving the way for Brexit.

Johnson tweeted an image of himself signing the agreement, setting up the U.K. to leave the EU by next week’s Jan. 31 deadline.

“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,“ Johnson tweeted. “This signature heralds a new chapter in our nation’s history.”

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European leaders signed the document earlier in the day Friday in Brussels before it was brought to London for Johnson’s signature, the BBC reported.

The move comes after the U.K.’s House of Commons voted 330-231 earlier this month to approve legislation for a Jan. 31 Brexit, following years of talks after 2016’s referendum calling for the U.K. to leave the EU.

The European Parliament is slated to vote on the agreement on Jan. 29, allowing the long-contentious plan for Brexit to be executed starting days later.

“The signing is a fantastic moment, which finally delivers the result of the 2016 referendum and brings to an end far too many years of argument and division,” Johnson said Friday, according to the BBC.

“We can now move forward as one country – with a government focused upon delivering better public services, greater opportunity and unleashing the potential of every corner of our brilliant UK, while building a strong new relationship with the EU as friends and sovereign equals.”

The U.K. is expected to go through a transition period to work with the E.U. on a long-term trade deal.

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