Britain officially exits the European Union at midnight Central European Time today, after three and a half years of negotiations with the bloc. The U.K. withdrawal agreement was quietly finalized in Brussels on Thursday. In London, few changes will be immediately apparent, though Brexit supporters, including Nigel Farage, have planned a celebration in Parliament Square.
During the transition period—until Britain leaves the EU customs union at the end of the year—the change will be felt in Brussels. There are still more negotiations ahead, as officials hash out the future of EU-U.K. relations. And the EU Parliament will no longer have U.K. voting members, with 73 British lawmakers returning home. France and Germany could struggle to lead the bloc without Britain
On Thursday, the Bank of England decided not to cut interest rates, amid signs that the economy was improving ahead of the Brexit deadline. The move was a bit of a surprise, and the value of the British pound rose on the news. Economists suggest that Britain’s economy grew by 1 percent at most last year.
Scottish lawmakers voted on Wednesday in favor of a second independence referendum, and a poll published Thursday revealed that a slim majority of people in Scotland now support independence .With increasing popular support, the Scottish National Party isn’t likely to give up its push for another referendum despite facing obstacles, Jamie Maxwell reports for FP.
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