Brexit begins: Britain gives formal notice that it's leaving the European Union

The move is a victory for May, who stepped into the vacuum left last summer when her predecessor, David Cameron, abruptly resigned after the public disregarded his call for the country to stay in the E.U.

Although May was herself quietly in favor of ‘remain’ during the campaign, she pivoted quickly in the aftermath of the vote and adamantly maintained that she would make good on the public will. “Brexit means Brexit,” she repeatedly declared.

It was not until January, however, that May gave true shape to what Brexit might mean. In a speech at London’s Lancaster House — the opulent, park-side mansion that doubles as Buckingham Palace in the Netflix drama The Crown — May made the case for a clean break from the European Union.

The country, she said, would not try to remain a full member of either Europe’s common market or its customs union. Instead, she said, the country would prioritize regaining control over immigration and taking itself out of the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.