Investing.com investing.com 01 Jan, 2021 02:45 am

With little ado, a divided United Kingdom casts off into the Brexit unknown By Reuters

With little ado, a divided United Kingdom casts off into the Brexit unknown By Reuters
With little ado, a divided United Kingdom casts off into the Brexit unknown

FILE PHOTO: The hat of anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray is pictured outside the gates of Downing Street in London p By Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) -The United Kingdom left the European Union's orbit on Thursday, turning its back on a tempestuous 48-year liaison with the European project for an uncertain post-Brexit future in its most significant geopolitical shift since the loss of empire.Brexit, in essence, took place at the strike of midnight in Brussels, or 2300 London time (GMT), when the United Kingdom ended the de facto membership, known as the transition period, which lasted 11 months after it formally left on Jan.For five years, the frenzied gyrations of the Brexit crisis dominated European affairs, haunted the sterling markets and tarnished the United Kingdom's reputation as a confident pillar of Western economic and political stability.After years of Brexit vitriol, one of the most significant events in European history since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union passed with little fanfare: The United Kingdom slipped away, serenaded by the silence of the COVID-19 crisis.

The referendum showed a United Kingdom divided about much more than the European Union, and fuelled soul searching about everything from secession and immigration to capitalism, the legacy of empire and what it now means to be British.After the United Kingdom leaves the Single Market or the Customs Union, there is almost certain to be some disruption at borders.

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