LONDON (Reuters) - The United Kingdom left the European Union’s orbit on Thursday, turning its back on a tempestuous 48-year liaison with the European project for an uncertain post-Brexit future in its most significant geopolitical shift since the loss of empire.
At 2300 GMT, the Brexit transition period - which preserved de-facto EU membership after the UK formally left the EU on Jan. 31 - expired.
The United Kingdom joined the precursor to the EU on Jan. 1, 1973.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton
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