Divided UK casts off into Brexit unknown

Britons woke up to a life outside the European Union's orbit on New Year's Day - marking the end of a tempestuous 48-year liaison with the bloc.

Lorries disembarked seamlessly from early ferries arriving in the French port of Calais, and Eurostars arrived at their destinations.

Eurotunnel's director of public affairs, John Keefe, believes the roll out of new post-Brexit procedures have so far, been a success.

"It's gone really well, we expected the traffic to carry on flowing as it had yesterday and every other day and in fact that's exactly what happened. At 11 o'clock last night, the first truck rolled through the new procedures just as quickly as the truck in front of it had rolled through."

Some residents of England's town of Dover, a major port for ferries to Calais, welcomed the United Kingdom's departure.

"I'm really happy. Brexit's been a long time coming. We've been seeing too much of it on the news. It's been so political when Boris has just done it. He's nailed it. We're in a much better place."

But others are far more skeptical.

Brexit is the UK's most significant geopolitical shift since the loss of the empire - and it's unlikely to be an entirely smooth ride.

With the United Kingdom now out of the Single Market and European Customs Union, there will almost certainly be some disruption at borders.

And more red tape means more cost for those importing and exporting goods.

The drama has also weakened the bonds that bind England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson branded the exit as an "amazing moment for this country" and spoke of "freedom" in the UK's hands.

But Johnson, the face of the Brexit campaign, has been short on detail about what he wants to build with Britain's new "independence" - or how to do it while borrowing record amounts.