After 47 years of European Union membership, Britain has finally left the 27-nation bloc on January 31 at 11:00 pm (local time). Most European leaders have mixed emotions about the UK's leap into political and trade uncertainty.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Britain's departure as a 'moment of real national renewal and change' while thousands of supporters gathered outside the British Parliament. Most Britons were seen welcoming the moment they longed for since the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union which was joined back in 1973.
Tonight we have left the EU - an extraordinary turning point in the life of this country. Let us come together now to make the most of all the opportunities Brexit will bring - and let’s unleash the potential of the whole UK. 🇬🇧— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) January 31, 2020
Theresa May, former Prime Minister of Britain said on Brexit Day that after nearly more than three years after the Referendum, Conservatives have 'delivered the result'. In 2016, 52 per cent Britons backed the decision of Brexit while 48 per cent wanted to be a part of the European Union, Splitting the country between 'Leavers' and 'Remainers'. However, this political chaos in London came to end with the snap December 12 general elections.
At 11pm tonight, Britain will leave the European Union. After more than three years, we can finally say that we have delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum and have kept faith with the British people.— Theresa May (@theresa_may) January 31, 2020
As Britain moves into an 11-month transition period with the EU, Michel Barnier, the European Union's head of negotiations with the UK called the Brexit day as 'emotional'. However, Nigel Farage, the leader of Brexit Party in the UK called it the last day before Britons 'break free'. Farage also acknowledged the historic day as a 'victory for people'.
An emotional day.— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) January 31, 2020
Unity. Transparency. Respect.
Our work continues 🇪🇺🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/JlioJG820a
At last the day comes when we break free. A massive victory for the people against the establishment.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 31, 2020
The President of European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen bid farewell to the long membership of the UK and said even though both sides share 'best possible relationship', it will 'never' be as good as membership in the European Union. Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, took pride in being the biggest single market even after losing its biggest military spender, and the world's international financial capital of London.
The challenges that Europe faces, and the opportunities that it can grasp, have not changed because of #Brexit. As part of this, we want to have the best possible relationship with the UK. But it will never be as good as membership. #NewBeginnings 🇪🇺🇬🇧— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) January 31, 2020
It's never a happy moment when someone leaves but we are opening a new chapter.— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) January 31, 2020
We will devote all our energy to building a stronger, more ambitious #EU.
With 27 strong democracies, strong values, freedoms, 22 million businesses, and the biggest single market. #FutureofEurope pic.twitter.com/qEZRkLSgfj
The Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he 'profoundly regrets UK leaving the EU'. Varadkar also told an Irish newspaper that in the past few years which witnessed countless debates and discussions, he saw friendship with EU 'in action'.
French President Emmanuel Macron also called it a 'sad day' but gave an optimistic spin to his message and added that Brexit will 'lead the union to proceed differently'. He further called EU as 'irreplaceable adventure'.