UK officially leaves EU after 47 years of European membership – World – TASS

, February 1. /TASS/. After 47 years of European , the officially withdrew from the at 23:00 GMT (2:00 on Saturday).

The withdrawal, known as , was initiated after Britons voted to quit the European Union during the 2016 referendum. The margin was 1.3 million votes (52% versus 48%).

Thousands of Brexit supporters celebrated the withdrawal by gathering in downtown London. Brexiteers have gathered in to celebrate the , chanting and waving flags. Governmental buildings were illuminated with national flag colors – blue, and white.

An hour before this turning point in the ’s political , Boris , an ardent Brexit supporter, delivered his address to the nation.

Flag removed

in the day, the flag of the United Kingdom has been removed from the building of the Council. The of the flag being removed was released via the Council’s shortly before midnight.

“The UK flag is removed from the building in as the country leaves the EU at midnight,” the EU Council said in a Twitter post.

’s speech

After quitting the European Union, the United Kingdom “rediscover muscles that we have not used for decades,” UK said in a televised address to the nation shortly before Brexit.

“For its strengths and for its admirable qualities, the EU has evolved over 50 years in a direction that no longer suits this country. And that is a judgment that , the , have confirmed at the polls,” Johnson said.

“I believe that with every month that goes by we will grow in confidence not just at but abroad,” he continued. “And in our diplomacy, in our fight against , in our campaigns for or or free we will rediscover muscles that we have not used for decades.”

According to the premier, in order to achieve those ambitious tasks, the country needs to overcome the differences, generated by the Brexit issue.

“Tonight we are leaving the European Union. For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they would never come. And are many of course who feel a sense of and loss. And then of course there is a third group – perhaps the biggest – who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end,” he said.

The premier went on to say that finding a common ground for all political and groups was his cabinet’s task.

“I understand all those feelings, and our job as the – my job – is to bring this country together now and take ,” he said. “And the most thing to say tonight is that this is not an end but a beginning. This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a in our national .”

Johnson expressed hope that constructive dialogue with the European Union would continue.

“We want this to be the beginning of a new era of friendly cooperation between the EU and an energetic ,” he said.

After January 31, the UK and the EU enter a transition period meant to maintain the existing state of affairs, particularly on trade and , while the two sides are negotiating a deal on future trading relations. The transition period is scheduled to end on December 31, 2020. London is also obliged to continue paying membership fees to the EU budget until the end of 2020.

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