• The United Kingdom will leave the European Union at midnight
  • British MEPs will leave the European Parliament for the last time
  • European leaders warn the UK cannot expect unfettered access to the European market

All updates in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT)

07:55 How did we actually get to this point? Spoilers, you can partially thank David Cameron. Watch here:

07:50 Are you wondering what will actually change tonight? We’ve got you covered. I recommend Rob Mudge’s piece here  that spells out exactly what to expect.

An extract: 

Britain will remain in the single market, the customs union and will continue paying into the EU budget. British citizens can continue to move freely, work and study in the EU while EU nationals in the UK have the same rights.

Read more: Brexit day: All change on January 31?

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and the President of the European meet in France

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and the President of the European say Brexit has unified the remaining states

07:45 There will be volumes of commentary coming out today. But we lead with a joint statement from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung today. They write of their sadness at the departure of the UK, but warn that they cannot expect unfettered access to the European market. 

In the weeks, months and years ahead, we will have no choice but to loosen some of the ties that the EU and the UK have so carefully woven over five decades. At the same time, we will have to fight hard to find new ways of working together for our future as allies, partners and friends.

Even though the United Kingdom is no longer a member of the EU, it remains part of Europe. Our common geography, our history and our connections in so many areas inevitably bind us together and make us natural allies. In foreign policy, security, and defence, we will continue to work together with common goals and common interests.

But the way we work together will change. We do not underestimate the task ahead, but we are confident that with goodwill and determination we can build a lasting, positive and meaningful partnership.

But tomorrow will also mark the dawn of a new era for Europe. In recent years we have grown closer – as nations, as institutions and as people. In this time we have all been reminded that the European Union is more than a market or an economic power; that it stands for values that are common to us all and that we stand for. How much stronger we are when we stand together.

07:40 Good morning and welcome to our Brexit day live blog. I (Alistair Walsh) will be leading this blog for the next six hours.

The day has finally come. No more delays, no more extensions. Brexit happens tonight. The UK has been a part of this extraordinary peace project for more than 47 years. But three and half years ago it voted to remove itself. The decision has torn the country apart, and compromised the unity of the EU. 

Join us today as we follow the final moments of the UK’s membership in the EU.


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