Press Send for Brexit: E.U. Seals U.K. Withdrawal by Email

The European Union’s 27 remaining member nations signed off on Britain’s departure in a typically low-key and bureaucratic style.

Comments: 281

  1. There's a term they use in soccer to describe what the U.K. have achieved here. It's called an "own goal".

  2. The beginning of the end for the UK. I saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union as a unique event in my lifetime, but I was wrong. I'll be around to see the UK dissolved into three or four smaller countries, but such is the fate of empires, eventually they come to an end. What the English don't yet know is that they'll get a lot less respect than before, as a small island with no strategic or market value. Only after their privileges are gone they'll notice.

  3. @Josephus Plenty of us here in the UK fully understand that this willful act of self harm will very much remove us from the corridors of power and diminish our respect and relevance on the world stage. Since sometime in 2017 polls have shown consistently that the majority of the country no longer supported Brexit. This being well known was one of the chief reasons for those that won the original referendum fighting so vehemently (and successfully) to prevent a second one (despite so much more information subsequently being understood about the enormous impacts). The embarrassing inability of the forces of Remain to coalesce into a suitably united force and the woeful leadership of Her Majesty's Opposition (Corbyn) have ultimately led us to where we are now: ruled by a cabal of under-qualified chancers who have 'failed upwards' all their lives due to the benefits of their privilege. Well, you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you ca... etc.

  4. @Mat Very well said Mat. Joan, South Coast of England, in the EU for 1 more day.

  5. All true. And this does not bode well for the USA getting rid of Trump!

  6. The start of the breakup of the UK, Ireland will join the Republic of Ireland, Scotland will join the EU and the island of England will go into deep recession.

  7. @Thomas K Nagano All the economists' predictions concerning Brexit have been woefully inaccurate. I see no reason to value yours any more than theirs.

  8. @Joe It hasn’t happened yet. Be patient. Give it time.

  9. @Joe : Aren't you premature on your claim that Brexit has not damaged England's economy since you haven't yet officially left the EU?

  10. I cannot believe it has actually come to that. I'm just so sad.

  11. The Britons may not be celebrating yet because, I quote the bible, (Proverb 27.1) Boast not thyself of to morrow; For thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

  12. Consider it a pat on the head and peck on the cheek from the EU. Best of luck UK! Hope it works out for you!

  13. @Hootin Annie Finally, some words of kindness.

  14. @Hootin Annie Cheers mate!

  15. What did one expect? A parade? Bye bye Britain.

  16. @miller - they ARE having a celebration, according to the article. Light show, etc. Why?

  17. All members of the European Parliament have sung "Auld Lang Syne" to honor our British friends who are leaving our European family. Answering questions quickly by email is a sign of good management. None of this is "low-key" or "bureaucratic". You may want to revise the subtitle.

  18. Will Britain's renewal of its tryst with destiny make Britain great again? When Brexit first was voted upon, I did not think it will be the end of the world and glad to see that the world is doing just fine other than the wild fires and the adverse effects of pollution and the excessive use of fossil fuels about which we all can do our part to reduce pollution.

  19. It may look bureaucratic and low key, but at least the EU is respecting the laws and rules. And using emails is more efficient that having everything written by hand. So much for the people describing the EU as undemocratic: the EU is respecting the will of the British people: they got what they wanted, and nobody tried to influence them in one direction or the other. Now, they will have to live with the consequences, on both sides of the Channel.

  20. Not united, and not a kingdom.

  21. @Martin and not lead by the fascist Viktor Orban. When governments like Hungary and Poland can curtail freedoms unchecked by the protections that the EU SHOULD enforce, I say bravo to Britain for standing on its own and answering to the majority of The British and not the European bureaucracy.

  22. @ManhattanWilliam “ When governments like Hungary and Poland can curtail freedoms unchecked by the protections that the EU SHOULD enforce . . . .” That’s exactly what’s going to happen in the UK. A loss of freedoms, worker protections, etc. And I thought the main argument for Brexit was “sovereignty.” That the UK should be able to make its own rules, and not be governed by EU bureaucrats. But here you are saying the EU should have interfered in the internal politics of Hungary and Poland.

  23. Goodbye U.K. Hello to the nations of Wales, Scotland and a United Ireland.

  24. I am curious. What happens when Scotland and Ireland decide to leave the United Kingdom and join the E. U.?

  25. @Harry Ireland is not part of the United Kingdom.

  26. @Jordan Likely Harry was referring to Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK.

  27. The EU has already agreed that in the event of N.Ireland reuniting with the Irish Republic it will automatically become part of the EU. Scotland will likely need to go through the application process as an independent country. I would imagine this process would be fast tracked!

  28. There is no reward in emulating Donald Trump.

  29. Goodbye to the exit of the British!!

  30. I wonder why Steve Erlanger constantly emphasizes in his two most recent stories that Brexit is a failure for the European Union, while there is no mention of how Brexit will negatively impact the UK. The fact that Brexit is uniting the other 27 EU member countries only deserved a kind of foot note.

  31. @Adriana Gómez Because right now the UK economy is seeing a marked upturn. The pound is up. business activity is up. Housing activity and prices are up. To the point where an expected rate cut was cancelled. None of this was expected so its hard to predict what will come now.

  32. @Adriana Gómez Agreed.

  33. As was said, all of the people (or a majority at least) can be fooled some of the time. When that moment is ill-timed fools rush in and vote feelings of frustration, not with any balanced rationale. Such was the Brexit vote, and seemingly ratified by the choice of a demagogue and anti-Semitic fool chosen by antiquated party politics method of survival ratber than enlightenment. Most unfortunately, our American of power collection overriding national interests is no better. Putin has reason to think he is much smarter than Trump and Senate stoogez.

  34. At some point Europe needs to say "good riddance". A cranky, demanding, unhappy, unwilling partner is not an asset, and its departure is cause for celebration. So yes, soraidh slàn and thanks for all the entertainment.

  35. Good, finally this drama is over and the EU can move on to solve some real problems.

  36. @Stefan Fritsch Why would they start now?

  37. @Janet Simple. The British have made legislation over Europe a difficult task, acting petulant at every turn. The European partners have had to put up with an island that has tried to be the ring leader of the EU, not an equal partner. The last demonstration of Farage and his thuggish team is a daunting one. Now, Europe can do things without a thorn at the side, a nation that refused to change its currency, and has been down right insulting to the members. This is like removing a cyst on the system. Here is a fresh new start, without an ugly barrier slowing the system down.

  38. @Janet The EU, for all its faults, has already solved some real problems. The biggest one is simply this: When was the last time the various European nations took up arms against each other?

  39. If the choice were to Remain, this story would be frontage above every story above the fold (As opposed to A7, where it was yesterday.). Whereby it would express the sentiment of a vote triumphant for big government. An indisputable irrefutable official launching of the anything-goes climate war to save planet earth. Funneling $trillions to big Dem's; not minions, their assignment has been the trenches. Where after they might find a job assembling a solar panel -- where they would compete with undocumented labor; thereby leaving more $ for the masterminds. Of course, the assembly plants would have little heat or cooling -- minimizing carbon footprints; thereby leaving more $ for the masterminds.

  40. I clearly remember while stationed in France as young U.S. Army soldier, there were only about six countries in what was called the common market. The UK was not a part of it and perhaps should have never been when it expanded into the European Union. The UK got many benefits but as I see it they do not want any immigrants in their country but wanted the benefits of the European Union. Hopefully there is some sort of payback the UK should have to pay for all the benefits they received while a member of the EU.

  41. @Tonjo Your vindictive comment reflects the general ignorance one comes across too often on this site as to the precise nature of the EU and how it works. Since membership in 1973, Britain has consistently paid into the EU far more than she has benefited, being one of the longtime net contributors, along with Germany and France and more recently, Holland. All the other member states, with outstretched hands, have seen their economies grow thanks to the funds donated to improve their basic infrastructure. Yet despite this continual support, many are still in the doldrums with 25-35% youth unemployment. That aside, it's more than disappointing that the role ordinary Brits played in WW2 in fighting the Nazis and helping to liberate Europe, is so easily overlooked.

  42. @Tonjo UK was a net contributor in the EU. Now only two countries -- Germany and France -- remain as net contributors with all others being recipients.

  43. Congratulations to the United Kingdom as it frees itself from the restraints imposed upon by countries such as Hungary, Poland and other anti-democratic places that should find themselves made to tow the line within the EU but instead are allowed to curtail freedom of the judiciary and suppression of the press, unencumbered. The destiny of the British people belongs to them alone and, as I am not a fan of globalization and the destruction of national identities, I think Brexit represents a new beginning that could well usher in a new age of “Cool Britannia”.

  44. @ManhattanWilliam “ I think Brexit represents a new beginning that could well usher in a new age of ‘Cool Britannia’.” Somewhere over the rainbow . . . Hungary and Poland are turning into ethno nationalist states that are anti globalist. You are not a fan of globalization and the destruction of national identities. But you want the EU to intervene to stop Hungary and Poland expressing their ethno nationalism. And the suppression of the press and the curtailing of the independence of the judiciary is far more likely to happen now in the UK under an unchecked, right wing Tory government led by a mendacious opportunist.

  45. Never make a subject as complicated as, “should we stay or should we go”, the subject of a referendum! If the government doesn’t understand the issue, why should they assume the voting public does?

  46. Germany's economy has stagnated and Merkel is withdrawing; her coalition is shreds. Macron faces waves of protests that seem to get more agitated and is polling behind LePen. And those are the two greatest net contributors to the union now. Most of the remaining countries are recipients. Seems like the Brits made the right decision to jump ship.

  47. @CNNNNC Contributors: Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland (Cyprus and Spain break even). You see, with a better information UK would have remained.

  48. @CNNNNC "Seems like the Brits made the right decision to jump ship." Tosh!

  49. The overwhelmingly negative and in fact nakedly hostile comments on the achievement of Brexit (Part I at least, Parts II and III likely to run through to at least late 2021) are interesting and saddening in equal measure. Britain, the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, the source of the world's first language, a stable and consistent democracy, an Empire within living memory that fashioned other notable democracies including Australia, New Zealand, Canada (and many others, ahem), midwifed the gestation of India, achieved a mostly-peaceful transition for most of its former Imperial possessions, the 18th century progenitor of the anti-slavery movement, a UN Security Council permanent member and a nuclear power, achieves independence from control by EU institutions that failed to develop the type and depth of democratic accountability that Britons require of the powers that control their fates. Cause for celebration? Perhaps not. Mostly a source of sadness that the European project has not lived up to the ambitions of its founders. Still, there has not been a significant war involving France, Germany and Russia since 1945 and smaller formerly-communist European countries have been mostly peacefully transformed to pluralist democratic capitalism. Britain has always been "of Europe" but not European. It's a shame that the EU could not accommodate British exceptionalism, but the EU and an independent Britain may still prosper, separately. That remains most Britons' hope.

  50. @longsummer EU has been lucky: she could not accommodate British bullying but the bully out-accomodated itself.

  51. @longsummer English exceptionalism, just like US exceptionalism, is pretty much in their own minds these days. Putin managed to destroy the Anglo-American sphere of influence using only misinformation.

  52. @longsummer those are some pretty rosy ways to describe imperialism

  53. So now Western Europe has four countries that are not part of the European Union: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Eventually the UK will settle into a relationship with the EU similar to that enjoyed by the other three countries and history will look back on this era as one in which the hysteria over Brexit was exaggerated.

  54. You forgot Lichtenstein.

  55. @Metaphor They all had their unique reasons to keep the EU at arm's length, Norway is extraordinarily rich from oil ($1 trillion state oil fund), Switzerland has its history of total neutrality (e.g. not in NATO, the UN only in 2002) and banks with criminal clients, Iceland has its fishing territories it doesn't want to share. Britain has no reason not to be in the EU.

  56. @Liz "Britain has no reason not to be in the EU." A view clearly not shared by 17.4 million Brits, though you appear to believe you know best.

  57. What I'm realizing, in this time of big, spectacular personalities destroying great democratic nations in big ways... is that "low-key, bureaucratic and undramatic" is exactly what you want. How I long for the days of measured, rational, sober consideration of issues, and a measure of (sometimes strained) politeness (at least in public) between opposing lawmakers.

  58. @RGT Government is one of those things that done properly is extremely boring. That's one reason why I'm so thoroughly against the modern trend of people trying to treat it like it's a reality show with all the sense and sobriety of My Super Sweet 16.

  59. Unelected bureaucrats in Brussels dictating how loud a vacuum cleaner can be. Imagine living under that kind of insane regime. Good for England.

  60. @JDK How is it not a good thing if vacuums are quieter? As a result, soon vacuums sold in the US are going to be quieter too, because it'll be easier to make them all the same if sold worldwide. Look how cheap LED lightbulbs have become thanks to this sort of regulatory mandating, and as a result my electricity bill has been cut by 75%. I know the EU has gone too far (regulating the shape of bananas for example), but vacuums are not a good example of this.

  61. @JDK It's not vacuum cleaners that people are fretting over - it's racist anti-immigrant sentiments.

  62. "Unelected"? You do realize that you get to vote who of your own countrymen get to sit in the European Parliament every five years?

  63. The USA will join this UK madness by re-electing Trump. Two, once great nation's choosing their own destruction..for what exactly?

  64. Fear and bigotry.

  65. Good riddance to bad rubbish. I feel bad for the more enlightened citizens of the U.K. know that many of us here in the US are basically in the same boat. Who will lead the world now that the US and U.K. have shown themselves incapable and then uninterested? I fear the only other answer is a China/Russia alliance which will be good for no one.

  66. I love Britain But I am sure there are many like me who say good riddance. As for Boris Johnson's Delusional beliefs that the UK will : Stay united the E.U. Will want a trade deal aka “ EU lite” , dream on. You’re on your own young asked for it Boris. Now Get used to it. And don’t expect your buddy DJT will offer any help

  67. Putin is grinning ear-to-ear. No need to spend on big military budgets, just make a society go crazy and self-immolate. My prediction: within two years Scotland will exit the UK.

  68. Harry and Meghan got out just in time.

  69. Finally it is over. Kudos to those Brits who finally tired of domination by European politicians. Onward & upward Britannia!

  70. "I’m convinced this is a disaster for Britain so I put everything I had into it, so you can imagine I feel pretty defeated now and quite anxious for the future of the country, as well." "It’s just a terrible waste, it’s like throwing away power, it’s like being part of the most socially benign, environmentally benign power bloc in the world and saying, 'no, I think I’ll just go off and ask Trump for favors, instead.'" "It’s absolutely ridiculous." ~ Molly Scott Cato (anti-Brexit British MEP) Yep.

  71. One step closer to a united Republic of Ireland! Erin go Bragh!

  72. @Tally ho Oh yeah. I'm sure Ireland is anxious and thrilled to take on the welfare state that is N. Ireland and the orangemen to boot.

  73. Ireland was Free only a short time before they voluntarily gave up their independence and freedom in exchange for the E.U.’s promises of “ free-stuff” from birth to grave. Foolish and sad as well!

  74. Scotland is a Country, not a 'county', or 'region' of England. It entered a 'Union' with England in 1707. Our elected parliament now have to request of the other country (multiple times) a referendum to dissolve that Union.... and accept the multiple refusals of the other (larger) 'partner'. Doubt Texans would put up with that! Is there any other country ruled by another lawfully under UN law?

  75. Brexit is a great chance for Europe. During almost half a century the english troy horse has hampered an association that gave Europe something never seen before in history: 75 years of peace. Thanks to David Cameron, the clumsy politician that provoked this mess (lying to his people, as all his predecessors had done), Europe can try to start again towards a real, profitable union of 500 hundred milllion people. Why do you think that Trump hate it so much? Farewell, England, you'll miss us, we'll miss the many britons who are sincerely europeans.

  76. Oh please, spare the drama. The UK was fine before the EU and it will be even better after leaving. All this talk of doom and gloom, people forget that the EU came about in 1993.

  77. Hmm , no people don’t forget, I lived in England in the 70’s, and 90’s , in the former years the Brits were miserable, no central heating, taking a shower was anything but an enjoyable experience, the water was either warm or cold but never at the right temperature, the food was disgusting. After joining the EU, everything changed for the best excepted for the insular attitude of the old white blue collar population. I even saw a woman cry when they completed the tunnel between the UK and the continent. I say good riddance.

  78. Good riddance. They were never completely part of the European Community anyhow. Britain has shown other countries that had considered withdrawing what a disaster it is and soon Scotland will be leaving their ever shrinking empire. It’s been great for the Netherlands and Germany as companies relocate their headquarters out of London.

  79. The Chumography met its Waterloo. Finally "There are two popular explanations for this mayhem. One is that Europe was always destined to tear Britain apart, since too many Britons loathe the evolution of the common market into a European Union. A second is that Brexit has provided a catalyst for a long-simmering civil war between successful Britain (which is metropolitan and liberal) and left-behind Britain (which is provincial and conservative). Both explanations have merit. But there is also a third: that the country’s model of leadership is disintegrating. Britain is governed by a self-involved clique that rewards group membership above competence and self-confidence above expertise. This chumocracy has finally met its Waterloo" The Economist 12/22/2018 - 2 yrs 1 month ago

  80. Brexit has proven that the EU is not "Hotel California" but quite the reverse: you can check out any time you want - but checking back in is not a realistic option. The dangerous narrative that UK has been forcefully occupied by an evil empire is dead and Brexit has instead made the EU more united than ever before. EU will no longer be sabotaged from within as the UK has been doing and promising to continue to do. This is over. British behavior during the Brexit period has only solidified the resolve to keep the two parties apart for the benefit of them both. Let's just be friends.

  81. It’s about time. Stay strong britons. Many of the comments here, showing contempt for those who voted to leave, vindicate brexit.

  82. That would be Britons with a capital B. You’ve been grammatically corrected by a Cuban, with pleasure.

  83. @R.P. Being the recipient of contempt does not vindicate Brexit -- or anything else, for that matter. It's the equivalent of schoolyard children deflecting criticism by saying "you're just jealous".

  84. @R.P. Hate to tell you, but no one outside of the UK really cares anymore. With the exception of all the companies that are now going to leave for the EU/mainland.

  85. As an American, I look across the pond and wonder. "Are these people that dense?" As a guy who lives in Pennsylvania, I've never thought of how much more or less our state added to the US economy than North Dakota or Utah. We're united states (hence our snappy name). And we've done pretty good sticking together (I guess that can be debated, too, as of late.) What if New Jersey decided to peel off and do their own thing? It would be silly.

  86. Agreed. But the European Union isn't the same as the United States of America. The states have come together as a nation where the economy and productivity is but one part. On the other hand, the European Union is first and last an entity for economic co-operation and no wonder they are judged based on the per capita contribution. In short, the European Union is not a 'nation' which could be held together by other sentiments.

  87. @Yoganandh That is not complete accurate. While UE isn't a single nation like US Europeans take a lot of pride in shared culture, history and heritage. There is quite a lot of sense of community across of the consistent. That is why people do often refer to themselves as "Europeans". But British because of it's wast empire that lasted quite long and geographic locations does fell more distance to the "guys on the other side o channel". The funny part is that Scots and Irish adopted much more "Europeans" identify because it was not forced like the British one and with less baggage. So the end of UK in UE can mean the end ok UK as a country.

  88. "Are these people that dense" is exactly what the rest of the world had been asking about us for the past three years.

  89. Hasta la vista baby. We will check back with you in a couple of years.

  90. @Steve Washington state is not in the EU, Steve.

  91. Its a shame to see some of the comments on here lapsing into crude nationalistic stereotypes. As a proud Remainer I can understand the tendancy to want to paint 'English' people as frustrated colonialists baying for Brexit and a return to pre war imperialism, and the other nationals of the UK as their unwilling victims, but I'm affraid the reality on the ground is a bit more complicated. Analysis of the Brexit vote points most convincingly to deep seated cultural divisions that defy lazy, and ironically prejudiced, characterisation like that. Instead they reveal a segment of the UK population that are profoundly uncomfortable with the progressive social institutions that have emerged over several decades and, through skillful populist politicking, have been persuaded that Europe is the source of the problem. Similar populations exist across Europe and, dare I say it, in the US too, although obviously with a different focus. If we're going to tackle this sort of populist nationalism across as it exists the west we need to delve deeper into its core assumptions and ideas. How have identities been constructed in this way, and what's really threatening them? Finding a way to bridge the divide must surely be a priority everywhere, and I fear simply marking out an opposing territory and lobbing biggotry back over the fence won't get us very far.

  92. @Sam A very commendable comment. It is indeed complex. I'm a - marginal, on balance - Leaver, who feels himself a European before having any British identity, but based on a European cultural and enlightenment tradition that now runs the risk of being broken by an overly centralised, integrationist, EU project, the often progressive politics of which have been rather hijacked in recent years in an effort to salvage the (singularly ill-thought-through) single currency. I had hoped for Europe.2 (a reformed alliance) and ironically that may now come about (listening to Guy Verhofstadt today) as Europe reflects on the future of the European project in the wake of Brexit (and, for sure, disenchantment elsewhere in the EU). So I'm still European - of course - just not part of an integrationist project. I'm relaxed about that, if not with some of the company I'm, alas, keeping by default. As you said, it's complex.

  93. Amazing how many Brexit and EU experts we have in the U.S.

  94. @Peter Rasmussen Who is an expert in something that's never happened before? If the UK focuses on free trade and free markets, it'll be fine.

  95. It won't be. There are very little in the way of true free markets. and to be competitive you have to have something other countries want. I imagine Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have things to say about it since they never agreed to it. What kind of market does England alone have? Tourism of its once vast and oppressive empire? Big picture. England is playing a dangerous game with a tiny net. I hope it plays out the way it has been sold to the British people. I doubt it. but I hope.

  96. Ironic. It’s a little like adult twins mysteriously dying on the same day, so close in time the self demolition of both the US and Britain. And both were assisted in that demise by the massive, yet highly cost effective, cyber invasion of Russian disinformation. Looks like Putin won without firing a shot. And all that time we were worried about nukes.

  97. Empty hysteria over Brexit comes only from millennials and egalitarian elite who belittles everyone else in the country.

  98. @Alex , why are you belittling millenials and egalitarian elites?

  99. @Alex Wait...wait..yes there it is! Hear that?! The snorring of the masses?

  100. It’s insane for a country like the UK to leave the EU, it’s not Brexit it’s the insanity project

  101. Why do I feel this is just one more event furthering the end of the world as we have known it. And it is happening because we let it.

  102. England cannot feed it's population with local produce. They have to import food from the continent or there will be famine. It's that simple. Brexit guarantees that importing food from the EU will cost more. The cost of living for Britons is about to go up exponentially, while wages will not follow. It doesn't take an economics genius to see this. Brexit is driven by racism and xenophobia and England will regret this for a long time to come, nut hey...white supremacists love to "win" even when they lose.

  103. @Baruch Japan and Hong Kong can't feed itself, but because they believe in free trade, they are just fine. Only fools believe food comes from governments far away.

  104. @Baruch The biggest 'food' import from EU to UK is by far wine. Then cheese from Ireland. Bacon and ham they should be giving up for their own health and the planet's is a distant third. Not exactly the makings of a famine. and they have had three years to find other sources.

  105. @Baruch Very few countries tax exports. Said differently, sellers don’t put tariffs on goods; buyers do. If the UK wishes to continue to enjoy duty-free imports of food from the EU, all they have to do is not tax them..

  106. So much for Brexit. Too bad the British have forgotten, after so many armed conflicts within European countries (and beyond), all the benefits the European Union conferred on them (and viceversa of course), most importantly the climate of peace their inter-dependence created. That's gone now. I guess that stupidity has always been in great supply. This was just the cherry in a cold departure. And it confirms that we may not have learned we humans are social animals that depend on each other; for that however, some humility, and common sense, are required. Who are, lost in space, lost in a whiff of arrogance and selfishness...instead of the prudence to do what's right?

  107. @manfred marcus No, dependence is the sign of a child. Adults rely on free trade and free association and free markets to progress, not central planners.

  108. No they do not. Adults rely on the market working as it is supposed to, and they never put much thought into any of it. They assume it is all sorted out because they haven't been affected. When they are they will have to decide if it's worth it. And to deny that your bills will increase due to the free market you now have to participate in is folly. Here's hoping it will be as fine as the bill of goods your politicians have sold you.

  109. Who cares? The UK lost its empire a long time ago and they are going to quickly find out they need the rest of the world and the EU a lot more than we need them. I think most of us are just plain tired of all the shenanigans and even Harry and Megan knew it was time to get out. My bet is Scotland is going to jump ship as soon as they can and the UK is going to turn into a third rate country pretty fast.

  110. Now Europe can do whatever it wants and the UK has NO SAY in it at all. If I were the EU, I would use this undesirable exit as an example and turn the screws very tight on the UK as a lesson any country thinking of leaving will never forget.

  111. @Mr. Point Well that sounds a bit vindictive. I think the EU should be fair to the UK but it should look after its own interests first.

  112. @Mr. Point The EU has less leverage and needs the UK more than has been admitted. Particularly Germany and its waning car industry.

  113. @Mr. Point Spite is no way to lead, and is sure to harm those in the EU. But you do have a point, if the Brexit works out okay, other nations are sure to follow and decide that self-determination is better than adding another sovereign to tell you how to live.

  114. What. A. Mess.

  115. Freedom finally. Only took 4 years.

  116. @Pilot And what’s next?

  117. A great victory for the people of the UK, who voted for Brexit and managed to stymie those who tried unsuccessfully to overturn the will of the people.

  118. @Mon Ray , a "great victory"? What? Only if you mean undermining their economy is a great victory. If Scotland leaves the UK, this will be a disaster for them. England's power has just been eroded considerably now as they have less sway over the consequential EU.

  119. @Mon Ray A 50.8% result for leave, in a referendum vote that did not come close to normal turnout, is not "the will of the people".

  120. @jonathan Dear jonathon, If Scotland were to leave the UK it would be an economic boon to England. All the expenditures for national health care, pensions, armed forces, etc. would have to be shouldered by Scotland. England has all their infrastructure in place. Scotland may inherit the physical government property located there but they will not get any money from England to maintain it. Scotland has a dying oil industry, some agriculture, tourism and the whiskey. That is about it. Not going to be easy if they go it alone.

  121. Finally! Thank God! Go go go go! Won’t be going to visit you nor your inflated pound for years. I once loved England. But this process and their isolationist, delusional ideas about their calcified empire are simply antiquated. Stay behind. I am in Europe and one of my favourite recent hotels was in Barcelona; their staff was a composite of Germans, Italians, Portuguese, Dutch. It’s a great thing to see young people not hogtied to a flag and a medieval idea of kingdoms and moats. I definitely can do without the English “empire” of arrogance and nonsense for a good time to come. I will miss the Savoy, The West End, and a few other things. But most done with the rest of it.

  122. @René Pedraza Del Prado I completely understand your sentiments. But don't forget that about half the people in the UK feel that same way about fusty empires and the value of EU freedom of movement. Especially the young people who voted remain and are who are losing out.

  123. @René Pedraza Del Prado The people of London (mostly) voted to remain in the EU, plus not all 'leavers' think the way that you describe, TBH I have never met any like that.

  124. @René Pedraza Del Prado Dear René, Oh gosh, I am sure the Brits will miss you so much! Well, probably not.

  125. Let this be a hard learned lesson for our (USA) voters who may be swayed into voting for the “New Social Democrats “who promise them plenty of “ free-stuff” without raising their taxes,..Or maybe just a tad, or so for their “birth to grave socialism.” The English know better now that they have tried the European Unions Socialist governance with its ever spreading web of edicts, demands, increasingly suffocating tax structure and increasing numbers of deadbeat freeloaders...(Be Free Again!)

  126. @Moe "Be free again" is indeed the goal of many young citizens of the UK: Being back in the EU would give them again the right to study at the local costs in the EU country of their choice and in many cases in English. My guess is that a few US students would appreciate the treat and the opportunity to start a good career without debts. Be free again!

  127. @Moe can you specify some of the ever-spreading web of Socialist governance that has crippled the UK? It's a tired old myth that has little basis in reality. What we know is that we will no longer be part of the single market. As for suffocating tax structure and deadbeat freeloaders, I'm sure the UK is little different from anywhere else.

  128. @Moe eh? What socialist governance?

  129. Time will tell whether this was indeed a good move economically for Britain - however in the long run likely not. Scotland will push for a new referendum on independence. The people who voted for this were I think voting for nostalgia, and they also were persuaded that someone being in the EU was diluting Britain's culture. For many people there was economic insecurity due to relentless "austerity" that really only impacted working and middle class people. Those at the top benefited, and benefited from being in the EU whereas those suffering did not. The actual impact of this isn't going to manifest itself for a number of years, but the more immediate result if a continued diminution of the role "Great Britain" plays in world affairs, both politically and economically, especially if Scotland gains independence.

  130. Britain has to experience being a mid-sized country first, before it is ready to enter into a union between equals. Whereas the younger people in the UK saw the EU as offering them lots of opportunities i.e. the right to study, work, find love and friends in 28 countries, the older pro-Brexit generation never really considered other EU countries as their equal. They used "Brussels" as a scapegoat for just about everything that went wrong in the UK, from the loss of manufacturing in favor of a service economy to a unique intra-European racism against the people from former Warsaw countries working in their country, a result of the EU expansion ironically pushed most by their own government (on behalf of the US). There is no substitute in trade for proximity, Britain's trade with Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland alone by far eclipses all of their trade with the US, which has 10x the population. This will be the first lesson they learn.

  131. @Liz Only if those other countries deny their interest in continuing to trade freely just because the UK is sovereign once again.

  132. @David The UK will be as sovereign as it always has been. Fact of the matter is that the UK has very little to offer the continent cannot get from it's own ranks, much cheaper. I honestly cannot think of a single export article from the UK has that may be in demand. Fish, maybe?

  133. @Liz "Whereas the younger people in the UK saw the EU as offering them lots of opportunities i.e. the right to study, work, find love and friends in 28 countries..." As a member of that older generation you clearly despise, may I point out that I lived, worked and loved in several European countries long before Britain joined what was originally called The Common Market. Apart from having to show one's passport, travel was easy. The delights of those diverse countries at the time were in fact their sheer diversity, as opposed to the EU's aim to meld them together as one entity. As for trade, EU states sell more to the UK than the other way around; therefore it's surely in their own interests to ensure this continues. However, you omit the crucial point about Brexit - which is that the British electorate can now have a say in who governs them AND get rid of them at the next election - a right undoubtedly appreciated by most Americans, many of whom seem to have some difficulty understanding just how undemocratic the EU has become.

  134. The E.U. experiment might be best perceived as a work in progress, something to be modified and improved over time with the expectation that a union of countries has the potential to be greater than the sum of it's parts. The Brexit advocates were right, I believe, in much of their criticism but in the long-term would they have not been better off to use their position, their relative size in the union, to have led the union to make needed adjustments that would have benefited all the members. Perhaps a long-term opportunity sacrificed for short-term political comfort. On the other hand maybe the U.K. exit will be just the stimulus needed to force the adjustments needed. Clearly it's quite complicated. Time will tell. Likewise, here in the U.S. maybe a west coast states exit (Wexit) from the American union could wake Washington up and instigate the many changes so urgently needed here. At the very least it might be productive to establish the process by which states can extricate themselves from the Washington dysfunction without the risk of civil war. I'd vote for that.

  135. Don't worry. By the end of the year, you will have your disruption.

  136. If Brexit doesn't create major problems for the UK, look for others to leave the EU too. If succession were legal -- it's odd that it's not since you can voluntarily join, but can't ever leave is the thought process of tyrants -- the US wouldn't have those southern states.

  137. @David "If Brexit doesn't create major problems for the UK, look for others to leave the EU too." The question is if they decide to leave, how will they leave? The question has some serious implications especially for countries with smaller weaker economies. Some of these countries have substantial benefits from being in the E.U. For example, Italy, if it decides to leave the E.U. does it return to the Lira as its currency? The implication of that decision is if it does the Lira will be significantly devalued compared to the dollar versus the Euro. Italians will end up paying more of their currency for imported goods and will get less of it for its exports. The same holds true for Spain, Portugal, and other countries with smaller weaker economies.

  138. @David When you throw a rock into the water and the ripples expand in size they diminish in magnitude. The size of the rock affects the size and the magnitude of the ripples. Brexit is a small pebble compared to the the giant boulder of isolation of the USA. Here in Canada it it is much easier to leave than to join because we need our economically powerful province to celebrate being part of our confederation. Liberal democracies understand equilibrium. I can't understand unregulated markets where the markets make their own rules. When we most feared our country being divided we offered Quebec a deal they couldn't refuse where they got virtually everything they wanted and benefits they couldn't refuse. It worked out well for Canada and for the regions it was a win/win. Keeping the Southern States was a loss both for the citizens of the Southern States and the rest of America.

  139. Indeed. Lincoln had no use for Blacks. He was a white separatist and white supremacist. He used slavery as a rallying point to whip up support for a war to bring states whose resources his corporate backers could exploit back into the union.

  140. Over the long term, especially if a very favorable trade deal can't be reached, I don't see this as being good for the U.K. But it's clear the voting bloc of the UK wanted this and asked for it not once, but twice. I wish the UK the best but, like many, I have my doubts.

  141. @Eric W Sadly nobody could explain to the great unwashed that globalism was not a zero sum game and every nation benefitted. The people of the world are healthier, wealthier and better educated than they have ever been. Unfortunately they are still none the wiser.

  142. @Eric W The second vote was a way to end the impasse. Uncertainty is stressful in it's own right.

  143. I wish this article would have included a least a brief mention about what will happen with respect to Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic on Friday, or even just a link to same.

  144. @Steve Eaton I'll tell you. The Republic of Ireland will stay in the EU, we did not vote to leave. The Withdrawal Agreement has recognized that a "hard' border will not be resurrected between the Republic and the 6 out of the 9 Counties that comprise Ulster and form the political province of Northern Ireland. There will be a border down the Irish Sea and quite a rigorous bureaucratic regime to regulate trade between the island of Ireland and the UK.

  145. @Deirdre So Nothern Ireland will be in a free trade area with Europe, but not the rest of the UK?!

  146. Harry and Meghan bailed out just in time. Oh Canada!

  147. This is great news. I always hope that people get what they vote for and deserve. They will get that now. Congratulations must, of course, go out to Vlad Putin for a job well done. I can't wait until Boris has to explain all the "winning". Seriously though, all the masochists in Britain, and the US, should learn to hit themselves in the face with a hammer when they want pain, because not everyone is into it. By simply using a hammer, they would then not punish the rest of us just because they want it.

  148. Thank goodness! talk about a messy divorce. All brought about by Britain, so any subsequent pain it will experience will be self-inflicted. No more Continent/foreigners/bureaucrats to blame!

  149. Looks like Harry and Meghan didn't leave a moment too soon.

  150. Europeans in theory consider themselves liberals, but in theory Europeans are incredibly tribal constantly criticizing and picking on each other and everyone else.

  151. @Hobo That's another misconception. Conflict is built into the EU's system of governing, as countries try to shape policy as much as possible to their own benefit. Apart from Britain, no one wants to leave the EU. That includes Hungary, Poland and others. It's safe to say that the remaining Europeans have not gotten along better in any point of their long history than today.

  152. @Hobo Yeah, and Americans aren't tribal or partisan.

  153. Smart of the EU not to make a big production out of the vote. There's too much melodrama in politics already. Hopefully the US finds a return to sober sensibility someday.

  154. @Roarke Don't count on it, especially in a presidential election year.

  155. Finally, despite the efforts of lifelong bureaucrats in Parliament, the will of the British people will be carried out. Democracy does not permit the elected to deny the rights of the electorate simply because they believe they know better than the voters.

  156. It does actually. Its why there was so many votes. Personally I can't wait to see how this goes. The final whimper of the once great British Empire. Gonna be an interesting time.

  157. I guess you guys just can’t help but make claims about unanimity because you don’t have anything close to it: in fact, the decibel level seems inversely proportional to the level of agreement with you.

  158. @paul The EU is more democratic than the US (see my comment above) which struggles with checks and balances. Britain wanting to decide everything for themselves implicitly means they value the co-judgement of other Europeans as less than their own. Ironically, someone like the EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen is magnitudes smarter than Boris Johnson.

  159. As a person of Indian nationality, I read this with a bit of Schadenfreude. They are on their path to be a waning economic and political power from now on. Scotland will break out of the UK and thrive. So will Ireland and Wales. All the English will have in return are expensive homes owned by oligarchs and the EPL. Adieu!

  160. @NSL FYI... Ireland is not part of the UK. A small part of the island of Ireland is, ie Northern Ireland.

  161. @NSL Republic of Ireland is not part of Britain, we are an independent democracy and already part of the EU.

  162. Good luck to Britain. Many of the Brexit supporters resented being ruled by those they never elected. I hope this goes well for them.

  163. Except they weren’t ruled by the EU.

  164. @Emily S I don't know where this canard keeps coming from. Lies by the Murdoch press? The EU parliament is directly elected by EU citizens, in turn it vets and approves all EU commission candidate members, they can also bring down the commission at any time with a no-confidence vote. In fact the MEPs even voted down France's first commission pick Sylvie Goulard a few months ago. It's much more democratic than today's US government. Facts matter.

  165. @Emily S I think you are describing the Trump administration...ruling in spite of losing the popular vote by more than 3 million votes.

  166. See ya, U.K. It was nice knowing you. There's still a bright side: I'm still a huge British music lover -- so when the value of the pound drops like a rock through the floor of your economy, I'll be able to visit on the cheap!

  167. Soon to follow: EU welcomes Scotland, Wales, and a united Ireland into the union. Not a bad trade, if you ask me.

  168. But since de Pfeffel and the vile tories won't even let Scotland ask for the right to vote for independence again, it'll be an uphill fight—perhaps an actual one too.

  169. @Mary The Republic of Ireland is a stalwart member of the EU. We'll be welcoming Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

  170. @Mary — The whole commonwealth plus America could extend them an offer they can’t refuse —so to speak, one reason the EU needs to remain nice and friendly.

  171. Finally, now go back to your little island and start saving up money to apply for a visa rverytime you want to go on vacation.

  172. Finally gone, please do not come back and now stop blaming the EU for all that goes wrong on your "Paradise" Island.

  173. I'm looking forward to the novel ways your immigrants and brown citizens will take the blame when Brexit fails. Poor saps.

  174. The Tories won't stop until the UK is reduced to the island of Gugh which has a population of three. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gugh) "Doug, we're applying to join the EU as a member city-state. Or Scotland. Or France. Or Ireland. Or really anyone else. We ain't going down with the ship. We're willing to au pair for Megan and Harry. We'll do PR for Prince Andrew. Anything...just get us out from under the aegis of a Tory-led UK. Don't tell them I talked to you, OK?"

  175. Good luck, Good Britain.

  176. @Cindy L Thanks.

  177. I hope the invitation for Ukraine to join the EU comes in days not years. The world needs a strong alternative to Pax Americana, China and Russia.

  178. @Montreal Moe Until the EU decides to take responsibility for its own military security, they'll never be an alternative to anyone.

  179. Montreal Moe, for a variety of reasons, Ukraine will not be joining the European Union in years, let alone days. Decades, or centuries? Who knows. Certainly not in the forseeable future.

  180. @John Smithson I miss Frank Zappa but, Necessity is the Mother of Invention. The China , US and Russia along with their allies are the axis of evil.

  181. "The European Union’s 27 remaining member nations signed off on Britain’s departure in a typically low-key and bureaucratic style." Email is "bureaucratic"? Should they go back to snail mail delivered by stagecoach? If you want some symbolism as to the way in which the two institutions, the UK Parliament and the European Parliament, function, look at the voting procedure. UK: Party MPs on opposing benches shout and bray at each other, finally the Speaker calls a voice vote, if it is not absolutely clear who wins the Speaker shouts "DIVISION! CLEAR THE LOBBY!" The doors are locked and the MPs cast their votes by physically walking through a Yes lobby or a No lobby. The results are announced by two MPs chosen to tally the results. Takes about a half hour or so depending. EU Parliament: vote announced after orderly debate (leaving aside Farage and co Brexit Party antics, now demob), MEPs push a button, vote result is displayed on computer screens. Time: seconds. So which is old and fusty and bureaucratic, and which is modern and makes use of technology?

  182. @Joan Agree. The Times could do a better job covering the EU.

  183. @Joan — Even Farage adheres to parliamentary procedure. When he gets his turn, he states his position quite strongly and directly. His “disruption” is that he does not lockstep with others who desire no counterpoint.

  184. @William Perrigo (U.S. Citizen) William, you need to watch his final speech in the EU Parliament where he and his fellow Brexit Party MEPs waved flags in deliberate violation of procedure and was quite rightly cut off. His "counterpoint" is "I hate the EU". I am a dual US and British citizen. Farage is a demagogue and a national embarassment for the UK.

  185. It's a common misconception in the US that the EU is not democratic. The people in the EU directly choose the European Parliament (called MEPs) in European elections. In turn, the European commission candidates proposed by the member countries are vetted and approved or voted down by this Parliament. The parliament can bring down the commission by a vote of no confidence at any time. In the process of making the most recent commission, with Ursula von der Leyen as president, three candidate commissioners were voted down by the MEPs including one from France.

  186. Liz, the powers wielded by the European Commission and the European Council, headed respectively by Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, are much greater than any appointed official has in any normal democratic government. The powers of the elected members of the European Parliament are, by contrast, very limited. It is true that the heads of each member state have a great deal of power acting as a body as well. They vote on all major issues, and have the last word. But of course participation in the European Union is not the day job of these national politicians nor the main focus of their concern or influence. As a result, voters have only an attenuated, indirect influence on European Union government, and in practical terms it is largely, perhaps even exclusively, government of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, and for the bureaucrats.

  187. @Liz @Liz And the Commission can stymie the European Parliament. And nobody directly elects the Commission. The bloc is undemocratic. It's wonderful a democratic country decided to escape it.

  188. @Liz — In other words, the people do not directly vote for their top representatives. They are detached from the final process. Good to know.

  189. Short term gain, if any, will prove to be just that. Cutting off one’s own nose to spite one’s face has never proved to be successful.

  190. Well that is that. The UK population will now find out if smaller is really better. The question asking ‘if isolation from their neighboring nations makes good sense’ will be answered for all to see. If it does, then we here in the USA can build those grand walls along both the our Canadian and Mexican borders happy knowing that building them will ensure our nation will be forever wealthy, healthy and wise under one deity or another, securely run by the wealthy. Just one last question we need to ask the UK, “Where do you want your coffin buried?”

  191. The U.K was always an uneasy partner in the EU, as uneasy as the union of four nations it had grown into. If the Brits think they can hang onto Scotland and Northern Ireland, when big majorities there voted to remain and economic opportunities will come from the EU, they're deluded. It will be interesting to visit England in 5-10 years when it's a small, sovereign nation on its own. I'll bet the pound will be cheap!

  192. A nation of shopkeepers just made it more difficult to sell their goods.

  193. I can't wait to watch it blow up in their faces.

  194. @Napoleon Bonaparte A country is a lot more than a place to shop and sell. Things like national sovereignty, control over immigration policy and local decision making mean a lot. Good for the UK. I wish them all the best.

  195. The U.K was always an uneasy partner in the EU, as uneasy as the union of four nations it had grown into. If the Brits think they can hang onto Scotland and Northern Ireland, when big majorities there voted to remain and economic opportunities will come from the EU, they're deluded. It will be interesting to visit England in 5-10 years when it's a small, sovereign nation on its own. I'll bet the pound will be cheap!

  196. MSB, the economic relationship between England and Scotland is much more important than between Scotland and the European Union. Do you seriously think the European Union is going to let Scotland join when that would require a hard border between Scotland and England? And Northern Ireland would, I think, be welcome to leave and join Ireland (if Ireland even allowed it to). Northern Ireland's just a drain on the British treasury and more a burden than benefit. If Northern Ireland does indeed want to leave, that's just 3% of the population that would probably not be missed. But to Ireland that's a new 30% of the population that is poorer and more troublesome. Who needs that?

  197. @MSB Population of Scotland? About 5 million. Northern Ireland? Less than 1.5 million. Both are subsidized financially by almost 70 million English and Welsh. Let the EU take on the burden of NI and Scotland. They have already demonstrated their skill at propping up unproductive welfare states.

  198. A great deal of analysis seems to make the assumption that the success or failure of Brexit is out of the hands of the U.K. But Britain has agency, and will do whatever is necessary to ensure that it prospers outside the EU. Of course, this is exactly what the EU fears most. Nothing has quite the survival instinct of an entrenched bureaucracy.

  199. @David G - Bureaucracies make a country work. When they become corrupt or rife with nepotism or favoritism a country becomes dysfunctional and either a dictator takes over or there is a people’s revolt. Politicians are in it in their own self interest. I not aware of a bureaucracy starting a war, but a lot of dictators and politicians sure have. To sum up, without a well run, fair and effective bureaucracy a democracy will either fail or fail to thrive.

  200. Finally, the UK is out. Now, the EU can concentrate on more pressing matters and stop wasting its resources on endless arguments how and when. By the way, Scotland is in pretty good position to leave the UK next. Question remains what Northern Ireland is gonna do at this point.

  201. Darius, I don't see Scotland leaving the United Kingdom soon, if ever. As to Northern Ireland, if they left the United Kingdom they would certainly not do so to become independent. But would Ireland have them?

  202. @John Smithson John, read the Good Friday Agreement. NI would rejoin the Republic after a border poll, and automatically be back in the EU. Scotland needs permission from Westminster for another indyref. Boris is likely to allow that if it looks like independence would win; there are very few Tories in Scotland. The outcome may very well depend on what the post-brexit economy looks like.

  203. @Joan Boris might be happy to get the SNP out of the House of Commons.

  204. This is the end of Utopia. Very sad news!!

  205. @Diana Dear Diana, Are you being ironic? : )

  206. Good luck to all you Brexit supporters. Now what?

  207. Saw the movie The Gentlemen last night. It's a broad brush stroke of Brit life, but I left the theatre thinking the EU is lucky with the departure of this little Island. Good luck on your own.

  208. I always felt if the Brit were really serious about being in the EU, they would have gave up their local currency. Glad to see them standing on their own vs being bogged down with the rest of the European socialists and failed states.

  209. @AntiDoxDak: The GDP per capita of my country, Austria, is $51,936. New Mexico's is $39,811. We have universal health insurance, and a university education is covered mostly by tax revenues. Still think we're a failed state?

  210. @Heike Korošec Heike, As an american so sick of the ignorance of so many of my fellow countryman when it comes to the rest of the world, so glad to hear fro you. Keep on commenting and correcting!

  211. @Heike Korošec Simply an unimportant one who is defended by US tax dollars

  212. "Anticlimactic" Rather something the EU wants to downplay, because never in their wildest dreams could they imagine a real country wanting to leave their confines freely and willingly. After having tortured the UK for 4 years to make exit unpalatable and being met by a Prime Minister who finally called Brussels' bluff, of course they have to be "anticlimactic" about a breath of democracy actually wafting through Brussels. They probably think it's pollution.

  213. Hahahaha. Little Britain. Arrogant fools.

  214. You got what you wanted Brexiteers. When things go wrong, be sure to blame it somehow on socialism and black people.

  215. The stupidity of nationalism

  216. Good luck Britan you are now the Canada of Europe...

  217. @Donald Not even close. Canada has its own resources, and as far as I can tell doesn't deliberately educate and otherwise force a large portion of the population to be plebs for life. the UK is a parasite nation whose only redeeming quality was its membership in the EU.

  218. England should be so lucky and I say that as a British born Canadian.

  219. Brexit was based on the decision of the British people. Whether it proves to be a wise decision remains to be seen. But this action is Democracy in action...Good luck to the UK!

  220. @WS Nope like Trump it is another Putin production.

  221. @magicisnotreal How did Russia control the vote of the British people? Were they bribed with money?

  222. @WS No, its based on a series of lies and disinformation. 'Leave' vote won by less than 2% - wow democracy in action! Most leave voters (and now Conservative voters) believe in fairies, not politics. Just look at Farage today!

  223. I don't know why but this makes me sad. Instead of coming closer together, it feels like people and nations are going further apart, in almost constant conflict. When I was a boy, I thought it would be different by now. We, as a species, learn nothing really from our own history.

  224. I think you have perfectly described why it is so sad.

  225. The European Union has indeed a bureaucratic style. The powers wielded by the European Commission and the European Council -- headed respectively by Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel -- are much greater than any appointed official has in any normal democratic government. The powers wielded by the elected members of the European Parliament are, by contrast, very limited. It is true that the heads of each member state have a great deal of power acting as a body as well. They vote on all major issues, and have the last word. But of course participation in the European Union is not the day job of these national politicians nor the main focus of their concern or influence. As a result, voters have only an attenuated, indirect influence on European Union government, and in practice it is largely, perhaps even exclusively, government of the bureaucrats, by the bureaucrats, and for the bureaucrats.

  226. @John Smithson, as an employee in a governmental agency I just want to add that most of us except some janitors actually are bureaucrats. As a bureaucrat I've been in the EU commission to talk about bureaucratic subject. Maybe, just maybe we can send a janitor there next time. Strange part, he will represent the agency as a bureaucrat. Catch 22 moment. What kind of powers do Ursula von der Leyen wield that are that great? I think people in general overrate the powers of EU versus our domestic governments. The debate in UK is not a good reflection of the powers people think EU wields. Bureaucracy is a very slow process and that is because it need to be slow. Democracy is slow. And it need to be.

  227. @John Smithson California seems to like Brexit just like it likes Trump?

  228. @Mojo So slow you have never got round to signing off the audits?

  229. These stories phrasing it like this are so annoying because it implies so much more will happen on Friday than it will. They actually still haven't settled the most contentious issues. They could still 'crash out' without a customs agreement because what this really is, is a way for them to say they are out while leaving most thing in place other than taking flags off of the buildlings. They actually have even less control for a year having no representatives in the EU but still existing in those custom and trade agreements for that year. As of right now N Ireland is essentially in the EU though the full meaning of that won't be evident until all the negotiations fail for the next year and they crash out OR they continue indefinitely pushing timelines back...exactly as they have been. So maybe try some different and less misleading headlines.

  230. @Erin Barnes Is that like Prince Harry being a "half Royal"? Sort of in sort of out?

  231. Good I hope they fail

  232. @Pat Dear Pat, Why do you hope they fail? Sounds rather hateful and vindictive to me.

  233. I don’t hope, I’m afraid. But they’ll fail and will blame the EU for not.... obeying.

  234. Our departure from the EU marks the moment that the United Kingdom truly becomes Little England; insular, unaware of post-war history and not giving a damn about the constituent parts of the Union, meaning Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. A referendum, based on lies, has led to this. Tomorrow will be a day of national shame.

  235. @kiwicanuck Absolutely

  236. Though I suspect it may not be long before Northern Ireland and, especially, Scotland leave the "union."

  237. I'll give it a year before Britons realize the gravity of their mistake and want back in. This is almost as ludicrous as the fake Republican arguments against Trump's Impeachment - both are insane and driven by ignorance, hyper-nationalism, xenophobia and an endemic inability to process critical thought.

  238. @RealTRUTH agreed.

  239. @Jackson The only whips that are afraid of Trump, hence TDS, are his own sycophants - those who call themselves Republicans. The rest of us will send him where he belongs, and it won't be back into the WH. Try Guantanamo!

  240. Proving that the Brits are as daft as their American cousins. It seems as if both are determined to reach their twilight as soon as possible. I for one, as an expat living in Europe relish the thought of both the States and the UK becoming far less influential in the world. Besides, there isn't a Brit that I know who considers him/herself "european." Arrivederci!!!!

  241. @mrfreeze6 A common thread that links both Brexit and Trump’s presidency, is the pervasive influence of the Murdoch media, which seems to be intent on undermining democracy in the US and UK.

  242. And all for money & tax havens.

  243. And so it ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.

  244. Yup, they're leaving, and like the Republican party, British conservatives are regretting all the decades of lies they told about the EU. They had it so good, had they been half as demagogic they'd still be in power, but now their party has been taken over by a clown. US Republicans/UK Conservatives RIP.

  245. @Robert As pointed out by more than one EU leader, especially the very intelligent M. Macron!

  246. Godspeed and good luck to the people of Britain.

  247. @ArthurinCali We are going to need a lot more than luck.

  248. It's keeping illegal, disruptive migrants out of Britain which is at the heart of Brexit and the ascendency of Boris Johnson. I would imagine that if Britain could avail itself of the economic benefits of EU membership, without getting stuck with EU rules as to immigrants and border control, that they'd enthusiastically go along with that. I don't blame a country for wanting to exercise border and immigration control so as to preserve its national identity and not have to deal with incompatible migrants that Germany, mostly, let into the continent, and who would dilute the prevailing culture.

  249. @MIKEinNYC The heart of Brexit is that many in the 1% saw that they could make big bucks by leaving; so they embarked on a campaign to indoctrinate the 'little people' how much better off they'd be without those darn 'forriners' here. Further, they were told that Britain could become 'great' again. Most people don't know that the term 'Great Britain' has nothing to do with Britain's past greatness as an Empire; rather, it is a geographical term. But who wants to be confused by the facts? By the way, the only people running to the bank after this Brexit débâcle will be the 1%. The 'little people' will have it tougher than ever.

  250. @Mark Alexander The 1% overwhelmingly voted Remain. They are firmly in favor of globalism and the EU. That's what has benefited them. London was wholly Remain. Leave was the working and middle class being left behind. Look at the regional vote. Look at the areas that have never voted Tory that did in this election. Seriously, even from the U.S that's obvious.

  251. @Mark Alexander You could not be more right !

  252. We are part of the EU but not a full voting member. Canada is Globalist and a member of many trading partnerships. There will always be those who lose markets and jobs in a trade deal. Membership does have its rewards but those rewards come at a cost of membership. America is a failed liberal democracy because too many of its citizens will not pay for membership. An educated, secure and healthy citizenry is a burden liberal democracies are willing to pay for. Funny that since Adams was President his Federalists worried so much about the concentration of power they gave us what Alan Dershowitz so aptly described as an all powerful executive. What Dershowitz said is true in your nation of laws. I watch the deliberations of my Canadian Supreme Court. We are a nation of justice and the laws are always on trial. If a law creates injustice it is struck down. That was Dershowitz's defense in a nation of law even when the law is obscene in its moral consequences it is still the law. I suspect much of the negative consequences of Brexit will be ameliorated because Britain is still a liberal democracy as I mourn the loss of the USA

  253. As humanity faces increasingly daunting international challenges - viruses, climate change - Brexit was the first domino in dismantling the post WW II order. Brexit made hate and bigotry expressly part of political discourse. And then the English reaffirmed it by giving the Conservatives a landslide. So to the Brits, I say - good riddance. As you turn inward, we will vote Trump out and do our best to save the planet without you.

  254. @Publius This is so very optimistic. I have seen little in the US to make me think we will vote Trump out or have the political will to take real action to combat climate change, rising authoritarianism, inequality, crumbling infrastructure, crumbling institutions, . Our system is increasingly ineffectual and trending towards stagnation and/or collapse.

  255. @Publius - your comment about "voting Trump out" is pre-mature. There is little evidence that this is a foregone conclusion, nor that he would leave office willingly if he didn't win the election. We in the US are in our own self-made disaster, and the outcome of our national tragedy is far from known. I fear that, like the Brits, we are facing many years, perhaps a generation or more, of hardship, oppression, bloodshed, regression, and perhaps authoritarianism.

  256. @Steph , it will be collapse. First slowly and then fast.

  257. Most of those who voted for Brexit voted because of eastern European immigration. They were shocked by the amount of immigrants from the EU-8, the eastern European countries who joined the EU in 2004. In a gesture of friendship, the UK had admitted EU-8 citizens right away, while Germany, and others, delayed their admission for 7 years. At the same time, Poland had a youth bulge due to a high birth rate when it was under martial law between 1981-85. All these hard working immigrants benefited the UK, but Little Englanders cried that they couldn't understand signs in Polish or Czech. Now, immigration to the UK from elsewhere in the EU is drying up due to demographics, convergence in economies, incentives given by home countries to returnees, and the draw of other EU countries as a destination. Basically, leaving the EU is shutting the barn door after the horse left.

  258. @EJ Immigration from central and eastern Europe is not that big an issue. These people are generally looked upon as hard-working, educated and decent who are a net benefit to British society. Certainly Merkel's acceptance of non-European migrants played a role just as the sclerotic anti-American club that the EU elites represent did. The whole little Englander trope has always been a lie. The UK is and always has been a nation that looked out to the rest of the world and evidence for that is undeniable.

  259. And I can't help but wonder how they will react when they cannot find caregivers for their parents or, worse, themselves.

  260. @EJ using your terminology, its closing the barn door before more skunks get in.

  261. I’ll say it even if others won’t. This was a win for democracy. This is what the majority of the British voted for both during the Brexit referendum and the last national elections. This is the will of the people, whether you agree with it or not.

  262. @John Time will tell whether or not this is truly a "win". Britain may have made a serious mistake. Democracy only works if the population is educated and informed.

  263. @John I guess you can make that argument, but then you also have to accept the fact that it was a monumental win for Supreme Leader Putin, among other bad faith actors, who wish to damage western democracy. The Brexit campaign was waged using massive disinformation campaigns, and it took advantage of a large group of uninformed people, who will, in the end, in no way whatsoever, benefit from leaving the EU.

  264. The big winner here is not Britons but Putin. The Kremlin is in seventh heaven today.

  265. Here are two simple facts about Brexit that are rarely mentioned: 1. January 1st, 2020 new EU laws came into force stopping EU citizens from holding funds in offshore tax havens. 2. Many of the backers of Brexit from the top end of town (i.e. from the wealthy and elite class) have high net worth interests with billions offshore. Put them together, it's simple to understand. Issues such as sovereignty, globalisation, border control, immigration are simply convenient smoke and mirrors, exploited to stoke the raw emotions in the population. The simple truth is these smoke and mirrors pale into insignificance, compared to the enormous costs from both World Wars. Tens of millions of deaths, millions more injured, homeless people, churches and schools collapsed, road and infrastructures destroyed, economies ruined, etc. It led to what has become as European Union today. But as usual, the young, working class and people from lower socioeconomic background will give up A LOT MORE from Brexit, for the benefits of tax avoidance by the wealthy and elite class. The English masses, by and large, are decent and compassionate, but they remain very much a favourite and easy target of manipulation by their successive rulers, backed by the wealthy and elite class, over the ages. It's little different in the US. Vested interests have their agendas made into laws in Congress rather than wishes of ordinary Americans. That's the irony.

  266. ^^^This. It's been all about the richest shielding their wealth from the EU tax authorities in light of these new laws.

  267. @Life Traveller The you working class you refer did not turn out in the referendum. The champion of the working class, Labour, botched the last election is not manipulation but incompetence. The fact that people didn't vote the way you wanted is not manipulation but the outcome of a long process.

  268. @Sendero Caribe My point about manipulation is based on the following facts: - The UK government. under Therese May, acknowledges that Russian interfered in the Brexit campain. - Cambridge Analytica was actively involved in helping the Brexit camp for payments. - Democracy works efectively as intended if every voter casts his/her own vote. The IMPLIED obgligation to exercise one's vote at election is the PRICE one pays to live in a democratic society. The 'desire' not to vote works against that implied obligation, i.e. common sense. In other words, imagine not having the right to vove for something that affecst your future. So, it's open for manipulation by partisan politic. As simple as that. It's kinda saying there is no such thing as a free lunch.

  269. Wow so much hate on here and dare I say it, ignorant comments. As a Brit who voted for and is passionate about Brexit please let me explain my personal views I don’t hate Europe, I don’t long for the old British Empire, I don’t hate foreigners, I am not a little Englander. What I am against is being ruled by an undemocratic, bureaucratic organisation called the EU who’s long term aim I disagree with Imagine the USA, Canada and all the South American countries were grouped together. Each had an equal vote. They chose a President for this group and powerful Vice President Behind closed doors You did not get a vote in choosing them A new parliament is created which is populated by law makers voted for by all the countries . Sounds Democratic but this Parliament cannot propose new laws, they can only vote on proposals from the unelected leaders The majority of the countries in this new parliament are far more left wing than even your left wing parties Many of the countries have only recently become democracies The Supreme Court comprises of 1 member from each of these countries, many who have no history of independent judiciary Would you honesty be ruled by them?

  270. @Barry Can we please stop calling the EU undemocratic? Just because its democracy functions *differently* to the UK makes it no less democratic. In the US, citizens directly elect the president (okay, not directly, but through the electoral college). But in the UK, no citizen gets to vote for the Prime Minster directly. Only the party. Is either more or less democratic? Or are they simply *different* means? As for other countries being more left or right to the UK, what bearing does that on making the entirety of the EU undemocratic? For example, London is a very left-leaning city. Yet the rest of the country has voted in a very right-wing government. Does that mean Londoners should disobey or leave the UK because we don’t align with the politics of the rest of the nation?

  271. @DS yes valid points, but as I said these are my personal views. Also using London as an example is questionable as the latest estimates indicate that 37% of Londoners today were born outside of the U.K., therefore it’s no surprise that their viewpoints and politics differ from the rest of the U.K.

  272. @Barry You've no problem living in a country where we can't elect our head of state, can't elect anyone to our second chamber and with only 43% of the vote find ourselves governed by the Tories with an 80 seat majority.

  273. In the European Parliament, today, a noble and elderly woman recounted her imprisonment in Auschwitz Concentration Camp. It was in 1945, after the horrors of the 'Holocaust', the massive aerial bombing and the welter of cruelty that engulfed the whole Continent up to that date, was banished forever by the courageous action of the first 6 members of what is now the EU. The people of Europe decided, collectively, that there would be no more Concentration Camps, no more Dictators and no more wars. This speech was NOT A WIMPER, it was a clarion statement from a Continent of Nations that had decided to drive humanity FORWARD. The Administration of the EU may have its shortcomings, but these are nothing compared with the benefit it brings, and will continue to bring, in the future. What a contrast to the imbecilic behaviour of Farage in the Chamber. No this event speaks volumes for what is truly wrong with our Nation. Brexit is based on lies pedaled to the ignorant.

  274. @Alex "You think Britain should be castrated to atone for continental European mistakes born out of continental ideologies that have never gained traction in the capitalist UK." This is the most ridiculous expression of this argument I have seen to date. Gardiner (from the UK not LA) is absolutely correct that one of the foundations the European Project stands on is that peace is more likely to persist among nations which have joined together in a union to promote trade, travel and culture. To quote Isaiah, "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

  275. "Trump is not going to be doing Johnson any favors," said Amanda Sloat, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington. "He's not going to give him a trade deal without major concessions." https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1ZQ115 The bulldog is, now, in the proverbial pot that will go to boil; and the eagle waits for -- WHEN, NOT IF -- it will jump out and into an America First entree. Johnson's "friend" is singing Jagger's "Time is on My Side".

  276. they'll be back...

  277. Lets see if I have this right. According to many here, the 1% (corporations) wanted to leave the EU and the 99% plebeians wanted to remain. Yet here we are? Actually it was the heavy-handed authoritarian dictates by Brussels that finally killed the goose. Foolish unelected snobs.

  278. Such a bad idea. Russia strikes again. When are we, the West, striking back?

  279. Grave concern about a headline referring to “27 remaining“ countries in the European Union. There are 27 countries who continue to make up the union, a headline like that is a subtle magnification of one member out of proportion to the larger union.