BRUSSELS — In a bittersweet landmark, European Union leaders on Sunday approved an agreement on Britain’s departure next year – the first time a member country will have left the 28-nation bloc.

It took leaders a matter of minutes at a summit in Brussels to endorse a withdrawal agreement that settles Britain’s divorce bill, protects the rights of U.K. and EU citizens hit by Brexit and keeps the Irish border open. They also rubber-stamped a 26-page document laying out their aims for future relations after Britain leaves in March.

Barely half an hour after leaders sat down, European President Donald Tusk tweeted: “EU27 has endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration on the future EU-UK relations.”

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