UK to join European Union, visa requirements rise

By: Emily Skelton, USA Today News Staff Writers, USA NewsThe United Kingdom has joined the European Union for the first time since Brexit, setting a precedent for other member states that may have been reluctant to embrace a new global economic system.

The move, announced Wednesday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, marks the end of more than a decade of negotiations and a key milestone in the Brexit process.

The U.K. is a member of the European Economic Area, which was established in 1993 and includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

The EEA countries are not members of the bloc.

The announcement is the culmination of years of negotiations over the U.S. withdrawal from the European Community and a two-year exit process that began after Britain left the bloc in March 2019.

It was designed to give the U