The treaty on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is legally complete. In a final written formality, the 27 remaining Member States sent the required signed documents to Brussels, following the approval by the European Parliament on Thursday.
The British had already prepared the paperwork. They leave the union on Friday at midnight after more than 47 years of membership and become a so-called third country.
The agreed transitional period, which will run until the end of this year, will then start immediately. EU legislation remains in force in the UK at that time, while the future relationship is being negotiated.
The withdrawal agreement must guarantee an orderly Brexit.
Issues such as the rights of citizens, financial settlement and the border issue between Member State Ireland and British Northern Ireland are dealt within it.