Published: 12:52, 31 January 2020
| Updated: 12:45, 03 February 2020
Big Ben may not be bonging when the clock strikes 11pm tonight and the White Cliffs of Dover may not be illuminated with pro Brexit slogans. But make no mistake: today marks a hugely significant moment in politics, with contrasting reaction across the county.
So how did we get here and what were the key moments in Kent? Our political editor Paul Francis reviews the bumpy path towards the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
The 2015 General Election
Arguably this was the election that gave a turbo-charge to those clamouring for a referendum on leaving the EU.
The then Ukip leader Nigel Farage failed in his attempt to win the South Thanet seat and the party failed to win elsewhere, despite gaining nearly four million votes at the ballot box.
Why was it significant?
The Conservative victory meant that it had to deliver on a manifesto promise to hold a referendum on staying or leaving the EU.
June 2016 - UK votes to leave
After a referendum campaign dominated by claim and counterclaim and "fake news"about the consequences of leaving and staying - the Brexiteers prevailed by the narrowest of margins and confounded most of the experts.
In Kent, all bar one area - Tunbridge Wells - voted out.
July 2016: Theresa May becomes PM
David Cameron quit, saying the country needed a different leader who was committed to delivering Brexit.
May was seen by some as a closet Brexiteer and coined the soundbite "no deal is better than a bad deal".
March 2017: May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty
The government formally kick-starts a two-year countdown to the UK exiting the EU.
The Sun projected the words "Dover and out" across the White Cliffs of Dover.
June 2017: Theresa May calls a snap election
It surprised many. But it proved a spectacular miscalculation and she lost a working majority - a precursor to a torrid period in which she struggled to command support for a deal both in the EU and among her rebellious MPs.
July 2018: The PM announces cabinet support for her deal
The cabinet swings behind Theresa May and her Brexit deal but almost immediately suffers setbacks with key cabinet ministers quitting including Brexit Secretary David Davis and then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.
KMTV report on reaction in Kent after key resignations
December 2018: PM survives confidence vote
The Conservative Party holds a secret confidence ballot in May’s leadership. She won the vote by 200 to 117, allowing her to remain in post.
January 2019: Parliament inflicts humiliating defeat on May's deal
Theresa May suffers an ignominious defeat in the Commons - a record-breaking number of MPs - including several of the county's - rebel over the Withdrawal Bill.
It marked the beginning of the unravelling of her premiership.
Operation Brock contingency plans, involving lorries being parked at the Manston airport site, are tested but are ridiculed after just 90 lorries turn up for the trial.
A report leaked to Kent Online reveals organisations in Kent preparing contingency plans for Brexit were advised by the government on how to resist releasing information about their work to avoid causing public concern.
March 2019: Another defeat on Brexit deal for Theresa May
Theresa May brings back her deal to parliament in an attempt to get it passed before the deadline for leaving is reached but suffers yet another defeat.
April 2019: The EU grants another extension to government
The UK's deadline for leaving the UK is pushed back to 31 October - with or without a deal.
June 2019: Theresa May succumbs
After her failures to get an agreement deal backed by parliament, Theresa May bows to the inevitable and amid intense pressure from her own party, agrees to stand aside as Prime Minister to a mixed reaction.
July 2019: Bojo wins big in party leadership battle
Boris Johnson wins the Conservative leadership battle, defeating his rival Jeremy Hunt and moves into Downing Street.
September 2019: The Farage Brexit Party tour hits Maidstone
The former Maidstone and Weald MP Ann Widdecombe joined him after her decision to leave the Conservative Party.
October 2019: Finally: Brexit deal gets the backing of MPs
Boris Johnson is forced to request another Brexit extension until 31 January.
November 2019: A general election is called
The prime minister insists the only way to "get Brexit done" and break the deadlock is to hold a general election.
Kent MP and the former business minister Greg Clark has the Conservative whip restored.
December 2019: Boris triumphs in poll
The Conservatives win the election with a comfortable majority and in Kent sweep up all the seats with the exception of Canterbury, which Labour holds.
January 2020: Signed, sealed and eventually delivered
After his decisive election victory, Boris Johnson's Brexit withdrawal agreement cleared all its parliamentary hurdles in both the Commons and the Lords, becoming law.
The European parliament ratified the deal on January 29.
More by this authorPaul Francis