That is it, the UK will align with the USA.
The European Union let go of the United Kingdom with a final vote Wednesday at the E.U.’s Parliament that ended the BREXIT battle and set the scene for tough trade negotiations in the year ahead.
In a session in Brussels, lawmakers from all 28 EU countries expressed their love and sadness, while some, notably from Britain’s BREXIT Party, their joy.
“We will always love you and we will never be far,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Britain will leave the EU, and for many in Europe its official departure at 11:00p London time on Friday is a moment of sadness and reduces the number in the bloc to 27.
The deal’s passage follows last week’s backing by the UK’s Parliament.
Though the deal on Britain’s terms has cleared its hurdles, there are still huge uncertainties around the future relationship. After Britain’s departure Friday, a transition period will begin during which the UK will remain within the EU’s economic arrangements until the end of the year though it will not have a say in policy as it will not be a member of the EU anymore.
“That’s it. It’s all over,” said Nigel Farage, who has campaigned for BREXIT for 20 yrs. On departing the scene, the man who arguably did more than anyone else in the country’s decision to vote for BREXIT in the June 2016 referendum, waved Britain’s Union Flag.
Britain is seeking to thrash out a comprehensive trade deal within 11 months, a timetable viewed as ambitious by many observers of trade discussions, which can often drag on for years.
“We will not yield to any pressure nor any haste,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in Paris. “The priority is to define, in the short, medium and long term the interests of the European Union and to preserve them.”
The EU has said such a timespan is far too short and fears remain that a chaotic exit, averted this week, might still happen at the end of the year if the transition ends without any agreement in place.
The US has its trade agreement polished and in the wings.