European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. [File Photo: AP/Geert Vanden Wijngaert]
The leaders of the 27 other European Union members states on Sunday approved the terms of a historic Brexit deal with Britain, at a special summit in Brussels.
"EU27 has endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relations," EU Council President Donald Tusk announced on Twitter.
The formal conclusions state that the Council of EU leaders "endorses the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community."
It invites all EU institutions "to take the necessary steps to ensure that the agreement can enter into force on 30 March 2019, so as to provide for an orderly withdrawal".
Britain will leave the EU on March 29.
The statement also gives formal approval to the political declaration on future ties between Britain and the bloc, which covers issues including trade, security and the environment.
"The European Council restates the union's determination to have as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom in the future in line with the political declaration," it said.
They thanked chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier for "his tireless efforts".
A man adjusts European Union flags prior a special meeting of the European Council to endorse the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement and to approve the draft political declaration on future EU-UK relations on Sunday 25 November 2018 in Brussels. / VCG