Sunday, the 25 November 2018 – a day that will go down in EU history as the day EU heads of state and governments joined the UK premier Theresa May in Brussels to sign off on the official divorce papers that would allow the UK to have an orderly withdrawal from the club. EU negotiators breathed a huge sigh of relief to bring 18 months of complex negotiations to and end, but in reality, the mood in Brussels was solemn as the EU gets ready to lose a powerful, wealthy country of over 66 million people.
For the head of the EU Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, Brexit is a tragedy but he believes it would be more tragic if the UK were to crash out without a deal. At the summit in Brussels, he insisted that the deal on the table was the only possible deal and encouraged the House of Commons to back it.
"This is the deal, it's the best deal possible and the EU will not change its fundamental position when it comes to these issues.", he said. His counterpart from the EU Council Donald Tusk said the same but added that the two sides would remain friends.
"Ahead of us is the difficult process of ratification as well as further negotiations. But regardless of how it will all end, one thing is certain: we will remain friends until the end of days, and one day longer", said EU Council President Donald Tusk.
Meanwhile, anti-Brexit activists were gathering outside the meeting calling for a peoples vote. They dislike the withdrawal agreement so much they ripped it up and threw it in a gigantic bin. Many had travelled through the night from London to Brussels via bus to their message heard.
"Even the people that people who voted for Brexit they are not happy with this deal, Femi Oluwole, an anti-Brexit activist told me. This is a betrayal of not just the people who voted for Brexit, not just the young people, but the entire country for generations to come.", he said.
However, Adrian and Ian, two Brits in their forties who drove the activists to Brussels actually voted to leave the EU back in 2016. When I asked them if they would like a peoples vote and what would they vote this time, they said they didn't know and found the Brexit debate highly confusing.
"At first, I was for it, now I am against and now I am somewhere in the middle,", Ian told me. Like most people in the UK who voted in June 2016, him and his colleague Adrian knew what they were voting against, but not what they were voting for.