Brexit is done, paves way for US-UK deeper ties

The U.K. kisses the European Union goodbye

After years of starts and fits, Brexit is official.

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The United Kingdom and its people have returned to their independent roots. The move comes three and a half years after the country voted by a margin of 52 percent to 48 percent to walk away from the club that it had joined in 1973.

"We now go into this next phase with a renewed confidence about who we are, our friends around the world - of course, the U.S.A.- and the globalists,"  "Leave Means Leave" Vice Chairman Nigel Farage told FOX Business' Stuart Varney.

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US Ambassador to the UK Woody Johnson, who is also the owner of the NFL's New York Jets, wished the EU well in a tweet.

The historic political separation paves the way for the United States and the U.K. to now negotiate a new trade relationship and forge deeper ties. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been compared on some levels to President Trump, won the election with a pro-Brexit ballot.

A senior U.S. administration official with knowledge of the trade talks tells FOX Business that “official” trade negotiations with the United Kingdom will begin “soon" after the UK presents its negotiating objectives.

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On the wish list is "fair, balanced, and reciprocal trade" with the focus on areas including agriculture, transparency on import-export licensing procedures, intellectual property protection and digital trade, among other points.

AP Photo/Frank Augstein

Throughout the day, bands of ardent Brexit backers draped in Union Jack flags gathered outside Parliament in London to celebrate, their numbers growing and volume increasing as the time grew closer. Nearby, pro-Europeans waving the bloc’s blue and yellow flag came to commiserate.

Whether Brexit makes Britain a proud nation that has reclaimed its sovereignty or a diminished presence in Europe and the world will be debated for years to come.

The now 27-member EU will have to bounce back from one of the biggest setbacks in its 62-year history to confront an ever more complicated world as its former member becomes a competitor, just across the English Channel.

"This is the greatest day in modern British history, it's that big," Farage noted.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.