In Brief

Today’s main events to mark Brexit Day

Parties, protests and new coins planned as Britain leaves the European Union

British MEPs have bid their farewells, the Union Flags have been hoisted and Nigel Farage is preparing to party in Parliament Square as Brexit Day kicks off.  

Britain’s official departure from the EU dominates this morning’s newspaper headlines, with the Daily Mail heralding this “momentous day” as a “new dawn for Britain”, and the Daily Express cheering “yes, we did it!”, while The Guardian braces for “the biggest gamble in a generation”. 

Whether you’re a Leaver or a Remainer, here is our pick of the events planned nationwide to mark this historic date.

Boris Johnson speech

The prime minister will say that Brexit means “not an end but a beginning” as he addresses the nation in a pre-recorded video to be released at 10pm - an hour before the UK quits the bloc. Johnson will urge the country to “come together and move forward united, unleashing the enormous potential of the British people”.

Countdown clock

As Johnson’s speech is screened nationwide, a clock will be projected onto Downing Street buildings to mark the exact moment of Britain’s departure.

When the clock hands hit 11pm, the black bricks of No. 10 will be illuminated by a light show that is “intended to symbolise the strength and unity of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland”, City A.M. reports.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For a round-up of the most important stories from around the world - and a concise, refreshing and balanced take on the week’s news agenda - try The Week magazine. Start your trial subscription today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Leave Means Leave party

Nigel Farage and the anti-EU Leave Means Leave campaign group are hosting a rally in Parliament Square between 9pm and 11.15pm. The celebrations will include light shows, music and speeches by high-profile Brexiteers including Ann Widdecombe, Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin and broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer.

50p coin rollout 

Around three million commemorative Brexit coins will enter circulation around the UK today, with a further seven million expected to follow later this year.

The 50p coins are inscribed with the exit date and the words “Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations” - though the lack of an Oxford comma in this motto has caused controversy.

Boris Johnson will be the first to receive one of the coins, but The Sun is giving away 100 in a Brexit Day competition for its readers.

London Eye protest

Of course, not everyone is pleased that Britain is leaving the EU. Demonstrators carrying torches will gather on the South Bank in London this evening for a protest headlined “Shine through the darkness”. Similar demos are planned in towns and cities nationwide, including Brighton and Bournemouth.

London Is Open

The capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, is today opening the doors of City Hall to offer European Londoners emotional support and free advice on the EU Settlement Scheme from immigration lawyers.

Recommended

‘Amendments to the government’s policing bill are dictators’ powers’
Kill the Bill protests in London in May 2021
Instant Opinion

‘Amendments to the government’s policing bill are dictators’ powers’

Why is Transport for London facing a financial black hole?
London Underground
Today’s big question

Why is Transport for London facing a financial black hole?

Inside Sandringham: the Royals’ favourite place to celebrate Christmas
Sandringham Estate
In Depth

Inside Sandringham: the Royals’ favourite place to celebrate Christmas

Omicron risk: where Boris Johnson and his advisers disagree
Jenny Harries
Getting to grips with . . .

Omicron risk: where Boris Johnson and his advisers disagree

Popular articles

Woman diagnosed with ‘climate change’
Humber Bay Arch Bridge in Toronto
Stranger than fiction

Woman diagnosed with ‘climate change’

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life
Vladimir Putin and his now ex-wife Lyudmila Putina
Profile

Vladimir Putin and his mysterious love life

Trump ‘upset his son won’t say he loves him’
Donald and Barron Trump
Tall Tales

Trump ‘upset his son won’t say he loves him’

The Week Footer Banner