The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the United Kingdom and the European Union came into effect on January 1, 2021, capping a tumultuous four-and-a-half-year period since the shocking result of the July 2016 Brexit referendum, in which 51.9% of the British voters voted in favor of leaving the EU.
The gesture makes Maradona the latest in a long list of global celebrities and political figures to be honored with an obituary in the Balkans, following the likes of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, pop star Michael Jackson and actor James Gandolfini, late star of the popular US crime drama Sopranos.
Britain on Jan. 1 began a new year and life outside Europe, after leaving the bloc's single market trading rules to go it alone for the first time in nearly half a century.
Brexit, which has dominated politics on both sides of the Channel since 2016, became reality an hour before midnight, ending the U.K.'s 48-year obligation to follow Brussels' rules.
Like a separated couple still living together, Britain and the European Union spent 2020 wrangling and wondering whether they can still be friends.
On Thursday, the UK is finally moving out. At 11 p.m. London time — midnight in Brussels — Britain will economically and practically leave the the 27-nation bloc, 11 months after its formal political departure.