Brexit is now official: On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union. But not completely yet. The U.K. has entered into an 11-month transition period which will last till at least December 31, 2020. During this time, the U.K. and the EU will hold discussions and decide what their future relationship will be like.

The term is an portmanteau of the words ‘Britain’ and ‘exit.’ Britain had been a member of the EU since 1973 (The Union was then called the European Economic Community). But on June 23, 2016, the U.K. made a historic decision to withdraw its membership following a referendum. Of the total 33 million votes, 52% chose to leave the EU, while 48% wanted to stay on. (The U.K. Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is to be noted that the majority of the voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland chose to remain. However the whole of U.K. has left the EU.)

The exit did not happen immediately after the voting. It was a long journey from there – it took three-and-a-half years, three prime ministers and endless votes in Parliament before Britain finally became the first-ever country to leave the EU last month.


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