The UK has officially left the European Union membership, more than three years after the referendum in favour of Brexit. The historic moment, which happened at 23:00 GMT last night, was marked by both celebrations and anti-Brexit protests. Candlelit vigils were held in Scotland, which voted to stay in the EU, while Brexiteers partied in London’s Parliament Square.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a new era of friendly cooperation with the European Union yesterday as Britain prepared to leave the bloc. In a public address broadcast one hour before Brexit, Johnson acknowledged there may be bumps in the road ahead but promised the departure was an opportunity for stunning success. He added, that his job is to bring the country together and take everyone forward.
Now that the country is no longer in the European Union, UK citizens will notice few immediate changes. Most EU laws will continue to be in force, including the free movement of people, until 31st December, when the transition period comes to an end. The UK is aiming to sign a permanent free trade agreement with the EU, along the lines of the one the EU has with Canada. But European leaders have warned that the UK faces a tough battle to get a deal by that deadline.