and finally …
The UK left the European Union at 11:00 pm GMT on 31 January 2020.
The UK has now entered a Transition Period with the European Union during which the UK will no longer be a member of the European Union but will continue to be subject to European Union rules and remain a member of its single market and customs union.
UK MEPs have left the European Union Parliament, and the UK will no longer attend European Union Council meetings. During the transition period, freedom of movement will remain in place and citizens’ rights will continue unaffected until the end of the period. In addition, the UK will still be subject to European Union law and the rulings of the European Union Court of Justice throughout the period.
The transition period will last until 31 December 2020 and allows time for the UK and European Union to determine their on-going future relationship, particularly in respect of Trade and Co-operation.
The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) was a ministerial department from 14 July 2016 to 31 January 2020. It was responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the European Union and has now been closed.
In leaving the European Union, the Prime Minister made the following statement to the nation:
Tonight we are leaving the European Union.
For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come
And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss
And then of course there is a third group – perhaps the biggest – who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end
I understand all those feelings, and our job as the government – my job – is to bring this country together now and take us forward
And the most important thing to say tonight is that 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 in our great national drama
And yes it is partly about using these new powers – this recaptured sovereignty – to deliver the changes people voted for
Whether that is by controlling immigration or creating freeports or liberating our fishing industry or doing free trade deals
Or simply making our laws and rules for the benefit of the people of this country
And of course I think that is the right and healthy and democratic thing to do
Because for all its strengths and for all its admirable qualities, the EU has evolved over 50 years in a direction that no longer suits this country
And that is a judgment that you, the people, have now confirmed at the polls
Not once but twice
And yet this moment is far bigger than that
It is not just about some legal extrication
It is potentially a moment of real national renewal and change
This is the dawn of a new era in which we no longer accept that your life chances – your family’s life chances – should depend on which part of the country you grow up in
This is the moment when we really begin to unite and level up
Defeating crime, transforming our NHS, and with better education, with superb technology
And with the biggest revival of our infrastructure since the Victorians
We will spread hope and opportunity to every part of the UK
And if we can get this right I believe that with every month that goes by we will grow in confidence not just at home but abroad
And in our diplomacy, in our fight against climate change,
In our campaigns for human rights or female education or free trade we will rediscover muscles that we have not used for decades
The power of independent thought and action
Not because we want to detract from anything done by our EU friends – of course not
We want this to be the beginning of a new era of friendly cooperation
Between the EU and an energetic Britain.
A Britain that is simultaneously a great European power
And truly global in our range and ambitions
And when I look at this country’s incredible assets
Our scientists, our engineers, our world-leading universities, our armed forces
When I look at the potential of this country waiting to be unleashed
I know that we can turn this opportunity into a stunning success
And whatever the bumps in the road ahead
I know that we will succeed
We have obeyed the people
We have taken back the tools of self-government
Now is the time to use those tools to unleash the full potential of this brilliant country and to make better the lives of everyone in every corner of our United Kingdom.