On Wednesday, the European Parliament was the last party required to sign the new trade agreement with the United Kingdom.

The green light from Strasbourg was the last formal step.

This ends five years of bickering, missed deadlines and some extra delay.

In other words: the Brexit process has been definitively completed.

NU.nl takes you one more time through the entire Brexit drama.

How it all begins: a British referendum

The now bulky headache file starts with the chapter Referendum.

British Prime Minister David Cameron promises before the 2015 House of Commons elections that British voters will be able to vote on membership of the European Union if his Conservative Party wins the election.

He is making the promise at a time when the Eurosceptic voice within his party is getting louder and more and more Conservatives are switching to UKIP from Nigel Farage.

In the background is the financial crisis of 2008 and the ensuing wave of severe austerity measures that European governments, including the British, opt for.

This diminishes belief in the 'political establishment'.

Cameron, not a fan of Brexit himself, wins the election and keeps his promise.

The Brexit referendum will follow in June 2016. The results are now known.

"I'm sorry," said Cameron after the results against US President Barack Obama and the 27 EU heads of government.

He resigns that same day.

Eurosceptic British politician Nigel Farage celebrates after hearing the results of the Brexit referendum.

(Photo: ANP)

Eurosceptic British politician Nigel Farage celebrates after hearing the results of the Brexit referendum.

(Photo: ANP)

Photo: ANP

'Tenacious' May pushes and pulls, but gets little done

The energetic Cameron is succeeded by the somewhat dull Minister Theresa May.

It is up to her to rally the divided Britons behind a deal.

The new prime minister is moving quickly and will start the departure procedure on March 29, 2017, which gives the two parties two years to arrive at an orderly departure.

The 'Tories' are in good shape in the polls at that time, so May opts for midterm elections.

If those polls pay off in seats, then her own party is enough to get a Brexit deal through the House of Commons, she reasons.

This time too, the British voter surprises the Conservative Party: the 'Tories' lose their majority and become dependent on other parties in the House of Commons.

May does manage to present an agreement to the House of Commons in November 2018.

This Brexit deal includes the bill for the British departure and what the border on the Irish island will look like after Brexit.

This border issue is becoming the thorn in the Brexit process, leading to May's deal being voted down three times.

The Article 50 deadline will be postponed in March 2019 and May will resign two months later.

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Four years of Brexit summarized in striking moments

From boring to bombastic: Boris Johnson must get Brexit done

From energetic to boring and from boring to bombastic: May is succeeded by Boris Johnson, the beloved former mayor of London. Johnson, who unlike his two predecessors campaigned for a Brexit, manages to reopen negotiations with the EU and reach an agreement on a new border arrangement between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Like May, however, Johnson is unable to get his deal through the House of Commons. And so Johnson, like May, opts for midterm elections.

Three times is a charm for the Conservative Prime Minister: his campaign that revolves entirely around Brexit ("Get Brexit Done") is catching on and leads to a substantial majority in the House of Commons.

A month later, in January 2020, the British House of Commons votes in favor of the new Brexit deal, after which the British will say goodbye to the EU at the stroke of 0.00 a.m. on 31 January.

During the campaign, Boris Johnson drives through a wall with a 'Get Brexit Done' excavator.

(Photo: ANP)

During the campaign, Boris Johnson drives through a wall with a 'Get Brexit Done' excavator.

(Photo: ANP)

Photo: ANP

Arguing about catches of fish

With the end of EU membership, all that remains is the future trade relationship between the two neighbors.

Once again, there is a need for a hurry: the EU and the UK have nine months to reach a trade deal.

If that does not work, a 'no deal' situation threatens, in which the trade situation will revert to WTO standards.

In short: this makes trade more difficult and more expensive.

After nine months of threats and arguments about, among other things, fishing quotas, an agreement will be issued at the end of December, of course at the very last moment.

In addition to tariff-free trade, the parties agree on a special arrangement for the Northern Ireland border: the Northern Irish remain the only part of the UK within the European customs union, eliminating the need to return border posts to the island of Ireland.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes the conclusion of a trade agreement with the EU.

(Photo: Boris Johnson)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomes the conclusion of a trade agreement with the EU.

(Photo: Boris Johnson)

Photo: Twitter / BorisJohnson

Even after Brexit still bickering

Typical of the whole saga, the end of the trial doesn't mean the bickering about Brexit is over.

For example, there is still controversy about the situation in Northern Ireland.

Johnson still wants to end customs checks for products moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while he previously agreed to separate status for the Northern Irish.

The British then decide, on their own initiative, to extend the period in which British companies do not pay import duties on goods entering Northern Ireland.

This is going down the wrong way with the EU and Brussels is taking legal action.

The Brexit headache file could therefore possibly be given an extra chapter.

See also: Brussels starts legal proceedings against the UK for controversy on the Northern Ireland border