Johnson hails ‘new beginning’ as Brexit arrives at UK

Britain's divorce from the European Union was finalized Friday, with Brexit supporters celebrating outside Parliament in London.

By

World News

January 31, 2020 - 5:34 PM

Anti-Brexit protester Steve Bray, right, speaks to Mark Francois in Westminster, London, on Jan. 29, 2020, ahead of the UK's exit from the European Union on Friday. Photo by (Kirsty O'Connor/PA Photos/Abaca Press/TNS)

LONDON (AP) — Britons counted down the hours Friday to their country’s departure from the European Union — some joyous, some sad, many just hopeful the divorce would mark the end of an anguished chapter in their country’s history.

The U.K. officially departed the EU at 11 p.m. local time, (5 p.m. CST). The move comes 3½ years after the country voted by a margin of 52%-48% to walk away from the club that it had joined in 1973.

Throughout the day, bands of ardent Brexit backers draped in Union Jack flags gathered outside Parliament in London to celebrate, their numbers growing and volume increasing as the time grew closer. Nearby, pro-Europeans waving the bloc’s blue and yellow flag came to commiserate.

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