The European Parliament is today expected to approve the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, marking the final stage of the ratification process ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU on Friday.
And for the UK’s representatives in Brussels it will be one of their last acts as MEPs.
As they begin packing their bags, we’ve asked a Remainer and a Brexiteer what they will and won’t miss.
Rupert Lowe, Brexit Party MEP
During my seven months as an MEP, I have seen the mood towards Brexiteers shift in the European Parliament from smug disdain to fear and loathing.
In July last year, the People’s Vote campaign was on the march and a second referendum looked inevitable.
Remainer MEPs were eyeing up the full five-year term, but the arrival of the Brexit Party in the European Parliament changed the political landscape, forcing the Conservatives to adapt or die.
By them morphing into the Brexit Party, we have achieved our goal.
There is a strange mix of denial, anger and acceptance in Brussels.
For many, the answer to losing one of their biggest member states has been more Europe – more money, more power, and more control.
On the European Parliament Budget Committee, I listen with incredulity as federalists list off a huge range of potential taxes to fill the budgetary black hole left by Brexit.
Despite losing one of the biggest contributors, they refuse to make cuts.
As a businessman, I simply bury my head in my hands and breathe a sigh of relief we are leaving.
For some, the reaction has been to insult and deride Brexiteers.
On several occasions, I have heard British Remainer MEPs make speeches patronising and abusing the British people’s decision to leave – fortunately for them no-one is listening!
Some will refuse to share a parliament car with Brexit Party MEPs. It is childish and Brits expect more from their elected politicians.
There are a growing number of Eurosceptics in the parliament who are delighted that we are leaving and I’ve had a number come to me from various countries – France, Italy, Germany – wishing us luck.
Make no mistake – if the EU continues on its current trajectory, others will follow.
I’ve greatly enjoyed my time in the parliament and will miss it.
The parliament will also dearly miss the British humour and pragmatism that we have tried to bring, although many won’t admit it.
Of course, we are only leaving the political project of the EU; we will remain good friends and neighbours on the European continent.
Alexandra Phillips, Green Party MEP
This Friday will be my last day representing my region as an MEP in the European Parliament.
When I was first elected back in May, I had hoped that we’d have five years to make a real positive difference here, so it’s devastating to be leaving so soon.
Brussels has become a second home and the parliament has provided me with a kind of second family.
More than that though, the Greens have had a series of important wins in the past few months – we’re going out with a bang.
But one wonders how much more good we could have done had we had more time.
Of course, there are some things that I’m looking forward to, post-Brexit day.
As well as being an MEP, I’m also the mayor of Brighton, which means that for the past seven months, I’ve barely had a day off.
I’ve got a little boy and a husband who I need to spend more time with and I can’t remember the last time I cooked a meal in my own kitchen.
It’s the simple, everyday things that we take for granted that you end up missing the most.
Things I’ll miss:
1. My staff. It’s taken a few months but I’ve finally got the dream team and I’m heartbroken for us all to part ways. They’re all young and dynamic so I have no doubt that they’ll go on to have amazing careers elsewhere but it’s hard thinking of them without jobs from next week and I wish we had longer to spend together.
2. My colleagues. Within the Greens/EFA group, there are so many incredible, inspirational MEPs, many of whom have become great friends of mine. I often go for dinner in Brussels with my colleague Magid Magid, for example, and I’ll definitely miss that.
3. All the different languages and cultures. I love walking down the corridors or waiting in line for coffee and hearing all the different languages. It really makes you feel connected to something bigger.
4. Speaking French every day. I went to university in Paris and am bringing up my son to speak French, but I love working in a place where I can expand my vocabulary every day.
5. Making a difference to ordinary people’s lives. Before I became an MEP, I was a Green councillor (I still am one) and I always loved the fact that I could make real change on a local level.
As an MEP though, I’ve worked on issues and pieces of legislation that will affect millions of people and have set up a cross-party group to work on the Green New Deal.
Things I won’t miss:
1. Travelling to and from Brussels every week. Sometimes all you want to do is sleep in your own bed.
2. Being away from my son and husband. Undoubtedly the hardest thing about this job has been working away from my little boy for half of the week so I’m looking forward to being able to spend some proper time with him.
3. Being vegan in the European Parliament. While Brussels has some lovely vegan cafes, I’ve struggled to find much I can eat during a busy work day and there have been times that I’ve gone for a salad only to find it has cubes of cheese or chunks of salami in it. I love cooking at home and I just don’t get the chance to do it at the moment.
4. Not having a social life. I’m looking forward to being able to do simple things like going shopping or meeting up with friends for dinners that aren’t actually low-key political meetings.
5. Not being able to watch BBC or Channel 4. I have been known to come into the office at night so that I can watch Question Time!
Brexit Night Live: Watch and follow the moment Britain exits the EU with a special programme from 9pm on Friday 31 January