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Britain officially leaves the EU

People celebrate in Parliament Square on Thursday as Britain formally exits the European Union. Associated Press photo by Matt Dunham

Britain officially leaves the EU

People spread out across Parliament Square in London clinked champagne glasses and cheered as Big Ben struck 11 pm on New Year’s Eve. It marks Britain’s official exit from the European Union. After a turbulent 11-month transition period, the two sides concluded a trade deal on Christmas Eve that will ensure Britain and the bloc would continue to buy and sell goods without quotas or tariffs.

What changes do we expect? Despite the free trade deal, companies are bracing for new export processes, including border checks and customs declarations. Over the weekend, British Airways and Iberia refused British citizens with permanent residency documents for Spain to board for up to two days. Travelers to Italy, Pisa, and Berlin reported similar delays in boarding Ryanair and Lufthansa with previously accepted travel documents for Italy and Germany.

Dig deeper: Read my World Tour report on the religious roots of the conflict over Brexit.

Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria.



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Wow! There is some history I was never taught. 

Thanks Steve.

Steve Shive

To some extent, I guess because I'm currently reading Ron Chernow's, "Alexander Hamilton" this reminds me of 1795. Trade and taxes were a major concern at the time after we won the war against Great Britain. John Jay (previously Chief Justice of the Supreme Court)  negotiated the "Jay Treaty" between the fledgling USA and Great Britain finally settling and ending the Revolutionary War. Britain was defeated yet was still the world's strongest nation. This treaty inflamed the two major factions in the USA to such a great extent that there were fights and protests all through the country, not the least in the Capital (then in Philadelphia).

"The popular fury that swept city after city again disclosed the chasm separating the two main political factions. On the Fourth of July (1795), Jay was burned in effigy in so many cities that he said he could have walked the length of America by the glow from his own flaming figure... On July 14, Charleston (SC) citizens celebrated Bastille Day by dragging the Union Jack (the British flag) through the streets then setting it ablaze in front of the British consul's house."