The U.K. finally left the EU on Friday evening after 47 years of membership, marking one of the biggest political and economic shifts in modern European history.
Brexit brings about the end of a tumultuous three-and-a-half year departure process that has caused turmoil in the U.K.’s political establishment, economic uncertainty and heightened tensions between the U.K. and the EU — its largest single trading partner as a bloc.
The departure on January 31 also marks the start of a “transition period” in which the U.K. remains a member of the single market and customs union and begins negotiations with the EU to strike a free-trade deal. During the transition period, the U.K. will not have voting rights on EU matters but will still be bound by EU rules.
The U.K. government has set an ambitious (and some say, unviable) deadline of the end of 2020 in which a deal must be reached, otherwise it will leave the single market with “no deal” and will have to revert to World Trade Organization rules.
Leave a Reply