The road to Brexit : Britain is leaving the European Union
Britain will officially depart from the European Union, 1,317 days after voting in favor of leaving the bloc in a referendum that plunged the country into a three-year-long debate over its future. While this will be the official end of 47 years of Britain’s membership in what became the European Union, very little is set to change immediately. It’s the beginning of a transition period, scheduled to end on Dec. 31, during which London and Brussels must hash out the details of Britain’s future relationship with its European neighbors. Still, the moment carries enormous legal and symbolic weight. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet began their day with a meeting in Sunderland, the city in northern England that was the first to announce it had voted in favor of leaving the European Union on the night of the 2016 referendum. It was the first of a handful of celebratory, but noticeably muted, official events to mark the day, suggesting that a pro-Brexit government is seeking to avoid the appearance of gloating. In the referendum, 48 percent of voters wanted to remain part of the European Union, and later polls suggest that number may have grown since.
Flags will line Parliament Square and The Mall, the ceremonial avenue leading to Buckingham Palace, and government buildings will be lit up in the red, white and blue of the Union Jack. A countdown clock will be projected onto the front of 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s official residence, along with a commemorative light display to “symbolize the strength and unity” of the four nations of the United Kingdom, the government said.
Courtesy : NY Times