The flag of the United Kingdom - the Union Jack - was taken down from the European Council building Brussel hours before Britain officially left the European Union. Britain left the European Union on Friday, January 31 after 47 years of membership in a historic blow to the bloc.
The U.K.s departure became official at 2300 GMT, midnight in Brussels, where the EU is headquartered. Thousands of enthusiastic Brexit supporters gathered outside Britain’s Parliament cheered as the hour struck. They had been hoping for this moment since Britain’s 52 per cent Leave vote to 48 per cent Remain vote in June 2016 to walk away from the bloc, which it had joined in 1973.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Britain’s departure “a moment of real national renewal and change.”
The Brexit deal now enters an 11-month transition window in which the U.K. will continue to follow the bloc’s rules — to strike new agreements on trade, security, and a host of other areas.
(With Agency Inputs)