The historic event follows 3.5 years of negotiations, led mostly by then-UK Prime Minister Theresa May. On 17 October, London and Brussels finally reached a new Brexit deal after protracted negotiations. The new draft has dropped the controversial Irish backstop that was the main source of concern for opponents of the previous agreement.
Britain sails off from the European continent at 23:00 GMT on 31 January 2020 – almost exactly 47 years after the UK, Ireland and Denmark became EU members on 1 January 1973.
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