We still want your cheese, your cars and your prosecco... but you can stuff that €60bn exit bill
And we're off! Despite the best efforts of the Negative Nellies, the hour has come.
Just over nine months since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, we triggered Article 50. A letter from the government was delivered in person by Tim Barrow, the UK's permanent representative in Brussels, to the European Council president. A strangely old-fashioned touch, but one that reflects the historic nature of the occasion. It wouldn't do to send a text saying: "So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu." Tempting though that might be, especially if we could get Julie Andrews to sing it.
But what can you possibly say at the end of a 44-year relationship? There were 28 of us in this marriage; 27 will now be feeling upset, annoyed and even jealous. Some will look at our divorce to see if they, too, can resume life as an independent nation, while getting custody of the cat.