UK officially exits EU tonight after 47 years of membership

31st January 2020

In London, permits have been granted for a rally to support Brexit and a protest against the move.

At 11pm tonight, the United Kingdom will officially end almost half a century of membership of the European Union (EU) and will start the next chapter of its uncertain future.

As the clock strikes midnight in Brussels, and 11pm in the UK, it will be the first nation out of the 28-country bloc to exit the partnership. It joined the EU, then known as the European Communities (EC), on 1st January 1973 along with Denmark and Ireland.

Events are taking place throughout the day however celebrations have been muted out of respect to half the population who wished to remain in the EU.

The Leave Men Leave campaign have been granted permission to hold a rally in support of Brexit between 9pm and 11.30pm in London, while demonstrators will be protesting the move at the London Eye.

"Our job as the government, my job, is to bring this country together and take us forward," Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

He added: "This is not an end but a beginning. This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act."

What will change?

The EU and the UK have a transition period in order to iron out a trade agreement. The transition period was granted through the withdrawal agreement which many believed would never pass through British Parliament due deadlock.

UK residents will be able to work in and trade with EU countries until 31st December 2020, while the UK will no longer be represented in the EU’s institutions, such as the European Parliament or the European Commission.

Prime Minister Johnson will broadcast an address to the nation at 10pm tonight, following which he will host a reception for staff at no.10 Downing Street.

Millions of commemorative 50 pence coins are being minted to mark the historic occasion, engraved with the message: “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations.”

Long-time campaigner for Brexit, Nigel Farage, is planning a large rally in nearby Parliament Square.

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UK officially exits EU tonight after 47 years of membership