Britain is now out of the EU. But this is a day of sadness, not of glory, for we shall always be part of Europe

“And the answer is – we’re out.” Four and a half years have passed since the BBC’s David Dimbleby pronounced the result of Britain’s EU referendum. At 11pm on 31 December, his words became finally and fatefully true. The United Kingdom is now no longer part of the European Union or subject to its rules. We have closed the door and walked away. We are on our own. We’re out.

For many in Britain, it is a glorious day. Departure from the EU, for those who wanted it, is a moment of independence regained, sovereignty reclaimed, and of taking back control. They hope it will sweep the European argument out of British life. They want it to be, in the prime minister’s words, “a new chapter in our national story”, the fulfilment of “the sovereign wish of the British people to live under their own laws, made by their own elected parliament”.

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