A week before the 31 January deadline, the agreement is now finalised and discussions on the future relationship between the UK and Brussels are to begin. Von der Leyen tweeted: ”Charles Michel and I have just signed the agreement on the UK`s withdrawal from the EU, which paved the way for its ratification by the European Parliament.” The copy of the signed agreement was sent in a diplomatic bag for the Prime Minister`s signature in Downing Street. On Thursday, the withdrawal agreement received royal approval from the Queen. Boris Johnson has officially signed the EU withdrawal agreement and smiles, as he described it as a ”fantastic moment” for the country. On 15 November 2018, the day after the agreement and the support of the British government were presented, several members of the government resigned, including Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for leaving the European Union.  The images of the signing of Johnson`s official agreement after more than two years of negotiations came after a more sober photographic moment for Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, respectively leaders of the European Commission and the Council. The withdrawal agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom sets out the conditions for the UK`s orderly exit from the EU, in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on european Union. Earlier, the document had crossed the canal on Friday on a Eurostar train, after being signed in Brussels by European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The European Parliament`s Constitutional Affairs Committee backed the agreement on Thursday by 23 votes to 3 and launched the final act next week in a plenary session of the European Parliament on ratification of the agreement. The 599-page withdrawal agreement covers the following main areas: The UK has launched the formal process of withdrawal negotiations by formally informing the European Council of its intention to leave the EU. The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political declaration and replaced the word ”appropriate” with ”appropriate” with respect to labour standards. According to Sam Lowe, a trade fellow at the Centre for European Reform, the amendment excludes labour standards from dispute resolution mechanisms.
 In addition, the Equal Competition Mechanism has been postponed from the legally binding withdrawal agreement to the political declaration, and the line of the political statement that ”the United Kingdom will consider taking into account alignment with trade union rules in the relevant areas” has been removed.  The EU negotiating position, known as the mandate, is expected to be adopted on 25 February by EU ministers participating in a General Affairs Council and formal negotiations on future relations will begin. Today I signed the UK`s withdrawal agreement from the EU on 31 January, which respects the democratic mandate of the British people.