EU set to endorse Brexit deal but hard work lies ahead

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a meeting at EU headquarters i

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a meeting at EU headquarters i

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a meeting at EU headquarters i

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, shakes hands with British Prime Minister Theresa May prior to a meeting at EU headquarters i

A member of protocol carries the Union Flag, right, and EU flag prior to the arrival of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and British

A member of protocol carries the Union Flag, right, and EU flag prior to the arrival of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and British

BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union leaders are gathering to seal an agreement on Britain's departure from the bloc next year, the first time a member country will have left the 28-nation bloc.

At a summit in Brussels Sunday, the leaders are due to endorse a withdrawal agreement, which would settle Britain's divorce bill, protect the rights of citizens hit by Brexit and keep the Irish border open.

They will also rubber stamp a 26-page document laying out their hopes for future relations after Britain leaves at midnight on March 29.

The last big obstacle to a deal was overcome on Saturday, when Spain lifted its objections over Gibraltar.

The deal must still be endorsed by the British parliament and EU parliament.