On January 31, at eleven o’clock in the evening British time (or midnight Continental Europe time), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland left the European Union after 47 years of membership.
On the front of the building at #10 Downing Street, where the UK Prime Minister lives, they first projected a clip of the famous Big Ben counting down the minutes to Brexit, and then the lyrics of the national anthem, God Save the Queen.
This historic moment was celebrated by some Britons, by others regretted.
»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 anxiety and loss,« as these mixed feeling were summed up by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In the referendum of three and a half years ago, only a narrow majority voted for Brexit, or for their country to withdraw from the European Union. And that moment has only just begun.
And what has changed since the first of February?
Nothing for now. For example, Slovenians can still travel to the UK with only their ID card, and using a mobile phone will cost us the same as at home.
Even the British will for some time not feel the consequences of the fact that in Brussels, the seat of the European Union, the European Parliament and other institutions of the European Union, they will no longer have their representatives.
But by the end of 2020, London and Brussels will have to agree on what kind of relations the UK will have with the European Union, which now has only 27 members.
Points to Consider
- What would it mean for Slovenia to leave EU?
- What are the topics that people vote about on a referendum?
- Do you think British children are for or against brexit?
The original version of this article was published on February 3rd.