The United Kingdom has officially left the European Union, three and a half years after a referendum of the British public.
Marking the historic moment Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a rare address to the nation.
The UK’s relationship with the EU will remain virtually the same until 31 December, throughout the ‘transition period’. Talks on future trade, security and other relationships will take place over the coming months.
The UK signed the Treaty of Accession in 1972 and became a member of the European Community on 1 January 1973. A referendum on the UK’s membership was held in 1975, resulting in 67% voting to stay.
The 2016 in-out referendum, pledged by David Cameron in the Conservative’s 2015 election manifesto, resulted in 52% voting to leave the EU.
Brexit claimed the political careers of two Prime Ministers – David Cameron resigned the morning after the 2016 referendum, Theresa May resigned after months of failure to secure agreement for her withdrawal agreement in Parliament.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “As we leave the European Union, whatever side we took in the Brexit debate, we now need to bring the country together to shape our common future, work to rebuild and strengthen our communities, and eliminate poverty and injustice in our society.”