On Britain's last day as the member of the European Union, passengers on the last train to Europe from London on the evening of January 31, expressed sorrow, optimism and anger. The UK took a huge leap into the unknown at 11:00 pm (local time) on Friday as it bid goodbye to nearly half-a-century old membership of the 27-nation-bloc it had joined in 1973.
According to international media reports, one passenger contemplated UK's uncertain future in its journey as a new country and called it 'saddest day ever'. However, another person, a dentist told a media outlet that there is too much pessimism about Brexit and rather its should be celebrated as the country can 'stand on its two feet'.
On Friday, before the Brexit Eve, the last Eurostar left London's St Pancras station at 8:10 GMT. There were no extra checks at customs and it will remain the same until Britain finishes its transition period with the EU in December, this year.
Reportedly, not only where there were no protests or celebrations on the journey, but any special announcement on the intercom was also not made. Therefore, even though most passengers felt like it was a normal train ride, it was not. As the future of the Eurostar remains uncertain. The train service was reportedly seen as a symbol of Europe without borders but the quick immigration of passports is expected to change after Brexit.
Furthermore, both the British and French government have warned the European Union that if it fails to negotiate a functional trade deal at the end of the transition period, Eurostar may be brought to an end. The idea of the tunnel between the UK and France was floating around for centuries until in 1802, a French engineer envisaged a tunnel. However, it was dismissed by Victorian-era UK PM John Palmerston because it would shorten an already short distance.
Meanwhile, after the historic countdown at the British Parliament, Johnson declared that 'tonight we have left the EU' which is an 'extraordinary turning point' in the UK's history. While many Britons also mourned the loss of their EU identity, UK PM asked the citizens of his country to 'make the most of opportunities' after Brexit and 'unleash the potential'. However, the exit only marks the first stage of the entire saga as Britain has now entered the transition period with the EU.
(With Agency Inputs)