The signing ceremony was held after the provisional application of the agreement as of Jan. 1, 2021, was approved by the EU member states on Tuesday. The trade deal will need to be scrutinized by the European Parliament early next year before it is formally ratified by the EU Council.
The EU and Britain announced last Thursday that they had reached an agreement that will govern bilateral trade and security. It took four and a half years of tough negotiations for Britain to break away from the European bloc.
"It has been a long road. It's time now to put Brexit behind us," Von der Leyen tweeted, pointing out that "Our future is made in Europe."