IT'S taken more than 1,300 days, but we're almost there, with just 12 hours until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union.

The referendum on June 23, 2016, when the nation voted to jump ship seems an age away now, but from 11pm tonight we're out.

Following a string of torturous negotiations, the UK will finally go its own way and leave the 27 other nations to their own devices.

We're not going to notice any difference until the end of the year, with a transition period in place to enable both sides to conduct even more negotiations.

So it will be getting on for five years since 51.9 per cent of voters chose for this country to go it alone.

Here's some of the reaction to what's going to happen on this momentous night:

Bridgwater and West Somerset MP and Brexiteer Ian Liddell-Grainger: “Readers with long memories will recall dire predictions of doom about what would occur if people were foolish enough to vote 'Leave' in the referendum.

“We were threatened with the total collapse of the British economy by the Governor of the Bank of England, and there were promises of starvation, riots and plagues thrown in.

“But it did not happen in 2016. Nor will it happen now.

“At 11pm on Friday we will cease to be members of the European Union. Our elected members of the European Parliament have already packed their bags and left.

“Soon we will get blue British passports and a commemorative 50p piece. How appropriate – small change to celebrate very small changes in an ongoing relationship with our closest neighbours.

“Apart from some raucous partying outside Parliament by hardened Brexiteers and manic EU banner-waving by determined Remainers on the White Cliffs of Dover, the rest of us may prefer to shrug our shoulders and opt for an early night.”

Mr Liddell-Grainger is a member of the Council of Europe, and says he knows our European counterparts want a sensible trade deal and a strong relationship with the UK going forward.

He added: “Europe will still be there tomorrow. We can travel and do business there without restriction at least until the end of the year and probably far beyond. Rumours of the decline and fall of the United Kingdom were, it seems, greatly exaggerated!

“There is too much at stake for us and for those with whom we trade. Both sides know this. The EU may prefer to negotiate hard. But two can play at that game!”

Gideon Amos, Taunton Deane parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats, said for the millions who opposed Brexit, "Friday will be a moment of profound sadness for our reduced influence over the global challenges we face".

Mr Amos added: “However, what’s more important is to remember that both before and after Friday we will still have every opportunity to fight for decent liberal values like internationalism, caring about every individual, basic fairness and preserving the natural order of the planet.

“Indeed, it is even more important to fight for them after the event.”

Paul Adams, chairman of Somerset Loves Europe, who organised several protests against the way Brexit was handled, said: “We lost. We lost the fight against a well-funded information war.

“We lost against fake news and a narrative against the EU built up over decades.

“But most importantly, we all have lost our access to study, work, live and love in another 27 countries, we have lost the protection for our environment and our workers’ rights, and so much more.”

Meanwhile, at Monday evening’s meeting of Wiveliscombe Town Council a motion was passed stating that “the council appreciates the contribution of all EU citizens to the life of the town and wishes to assure them that they will always be welcome here”.

The NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group said that health and care services in Somerset are working together to make sure they are as prepared as possible for the impact of Brexit.

A spokesman said: “We all have resilience and business-continuity plans in place to support us to make sure that health and care services in Somerset continue to run effectively and safely.

“NHS England have published a wide range of helpful information for patients and the public on their website at”

EDF said it had been working hard to prepare for Brexit and had no immediate concerns over the impact on Hinkley C.

Elsewhere Somerset businesses have been taking detailed risk analysis ahead of Brexit.

A spokesman for Bakkavor, which produces fresh desserts at a factory in Highbridge, said: “A number of our employees are EU citizens. In the UK, we have seen little change in our annual employee turnover rates and continue to support our employees through the Brexit process with an active engagement and support programme including help with li EU settlement scheme applications.”