EXPLAINER: Brexit ends Britons' right to live and work in EU

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FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, a British flag waves atop of Houses of Parliament as an aircraft approaches the airport in London. After nearly five decades of economic and social integration, from the start of 2021 Britain will embark on a more-distant relationship with the European Union, and freedom of movement seems set to dramatically change for people wanting to cross the English Channel. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, FILE)

LONDON – So far, the large majority of British and EU citizens have not felt the realities of Brexit. Though the U.K. left the European Union on Jan. 31, it follows the bloc’s rules until the end of this year as part of a transition period to the new economic relationship.

That's all set to change.

On Jan. 1, Britain embarks on its new, more distant relationship with the EU after nearly five decades of closer economic, cultural and social integration.

The change for Britain's economy and people is the most dramatic since World War II, certainly more so than when the country joined what was then the European Economic Community in 1973.

“It’s a far bigger shock to our economic system and it’s going to happen instantaneously,” said Anand Menon, director of The U.K. in a Changing Europe think tank and a professor of European politics and foreign affairs at King’s College London.

“All of a sudden you wake up in a new world at the start of January.”

Here are some of the changes to movement that people will start to feel almost overnight.

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