After a tiring three and a half years, three prime ministers and endless votes in parliament since the 2016 Brexit referendum, the UK has finally left the European Union.
Britain is now the first-ever country to leave the European Union and despite this major event, any immediate changes will likely not be visible to the public.
For the next 11 months, the United Kingdom will be under a transition period that was agreed by the British government and the EU, meaning that the UK will remain as an EU member state in all but name.
Whilst many Brexiteers have been out celebrating in grand style in parties across the country, many who voted remain have been seen protesting.
In Brussels, the mood is sure to be a sombre one. The Union flag is to be removed from all EU institutions (which will now be placed in museums in Brussels).
As of now, the UK is still expected to obey all EU laws and European courts. In the upcoming months, the EU budget will still be paid and we will comply with any changes to EU law – although the UK will not be attending any further meetings of the EU leaders.
So for now, the change is rather a symbolic one.
During this transition period, people travelling to Europe will not be affected and EU citizens will still be able to move around freely.
Businesses will operate as normal, meaning that customers will also not be affected.
On December 31 of this year, the Brexit transition period is due to end, which means that the UK has to negotiate its future relationship with Europe in 11 months. Failure to do this will mean a much harsher Brexit and could potentially cause economic damage for both sides, and possibly even the wider world.
Formal negotiations are expected to begin on March 3, which means for the meantime both sides will outline their priorities until they can come to some type of agreement.
Many celebrities and politicians have taken to Twitter to express their feelings on this monumental day.
"I will celebrate. I will allow myself a smile, I’ll allow myself that glass of champagne, I will enjoy myself. But I’ll celebrate discreetly, and I will celebrate in a way which is respectful of the genuine sorrow that others are feeling at the same time" #BrexitEve pic.twitter.com/E0yAr7dtct
— Steve Baker MP (@SteveBakerHW) January 30, 2020
Warming up for later. Cheers! pic.twitter.com/hN1zGHzL5R
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 31, 2020
In 2016 I flew out to the US to wrestle, for the first time. Whilst I was gone, enough people in the UK said Yes to Brexit to make the return home a bit bizarre.
And now, as today is officially #BrexitDay, I'm happy to report I qualify for Irish citizenship.
See ya' suckers! 🇮🇪
— Gentleman Jack Gallagher (@GentlemanJackG) January 31, 2020
— Paul Johnson (@paul__johnson) January 31, 2020
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