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Brussels bids the UK farewell/au revoir/auf Wiedersehen after rubber stamping British exit from the EU

Brussels bids the UK farewell/au revoir/auf Wiedersehen after rubber stamping British exit from the EU
Lawmakers in the European Parliament have officially sealed the UK’s exit from the EU, after voting through the withdrawal agreement, in a final act that sees the bloc terminate Britain’s 47-year long membership.

MEPs in Brussels ratified the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU on Wednesday evening. It comes after a rather tortuous, and at times fractious, process between the two sides, more than three-and-a-half-years since Britain voted to leave the EU.

Also on rt.com Farewell Friday: EU won't miss the British MEPs who shamed their nation with their greed, corruption and brawling

Key Brexit moments

In January 2019, May’s Brexit deal is overwhelmingly defeated in the UK Parliament by 432 votes to 202. It’s rejected for a second and third time in March 2019. A beleaguered May steps down as prime minister in June the same year having failed to get the backing of UK MPs for her Brexit deal.

After being elected as the new Tory PM, Boris Johnson defies all the odds to get the critical changes on the withdrawal agreement from Brussels, such as the contentious Irish ‘backstop,’ paving the way for a UK parliamentary majority on the deal.

In December 2019, Johnson calls a snap general election to guarantee the smooth process of his Brexit deal through the various stages in parliament. It pays off, and his Tory Party secures a landslide 80 seat majority victory. 

Despite seeing his withdrawal agreement sail through the lower and upper chambers, Johnson is now seeking to unify a heavily divided country with Brexiteers and EU remainers showing no signs of halting the hostility to one another.

Also on rt.com Report says UK govt’s ‘Get ready for Brexit’ campaign didn’t really help anyone get ready for Brexit, triggers social media

Next steps

The UK officially leaves the EU on Friday at 11pm GMT. The bloc will now officially start negotiations on a future trading arrangement with London on February 1. Johnson’s administration have insisted that talks should not extend beyond December 31, 2020, when the transition period, which will see the UK follow EU rules, comes to an end.

For all of the comments by EU officials about being sorry to see the UK leave, it seems that some British politicians will not be missed in Brussels. Vice President of the European Parliament and Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness showed a moment of exasperation with Brexit Party members as they prepared to exit the chamber for the last time on Wednesday, telling them to “put your flags away, you’re leaving - and take them with you if you’re leaving now.”

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