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Brexit is actually happening. Now what?

Brexit. General view of the House of Lords in London as the European Withdrawal Agreement Bill is debated. Picture date: Tuesday January 21, 2020. See PA story LORDS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA Wire URN:49738447 (Press Association via AP Images)

After more than three years of back and forth, the day for Brexit is finally here: On Jan. 31, the United Kingdom will officially leave the European Union. But what the future will bring for trade relations between the two is still anyone’s guess, says Mai’a Cross, an associate professor of political science and international affairs at Northeastern.

According to the withdrawal agreement signed by EU leaders on Friday, the U.K. will be stripped of its position in decision-making bodies on Friday, Jan. 31 at midnight central European time, but will remain in the EU’s single market and customs union through the end of 2020. This window was designed to be a transition time, wherein EU and U.K. officials can hash out the details of their trade relationship.

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