And so, culminating a seemingly interminable two year period of back and forth negotiations, on Sunday the European Union, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and the leaders of the remaining EU members finally approved a deal on the UK's departure from the EU during an emergency summit in Brussels.
The agreement, which was earlier approved earlier by the UK government, consists of two key documents. The first, a 585-page withdrawal paper, will guide both sides all the way up to Britain's departure from the bloc, which is set for March 29, 2019. This legally binding text covers the UK's "divorce bill," citizens' rights, and various measures ensuring there is no hard border between Northern Ireland and EU member state Ireland. Starting from March 2019, Britain will enter a transition period set to last until December 2020.