Britain has left the European Union, bringing the curtain down on 47 years of membership
Almost four years on from the 2016 referendum, the UK ceased to be a member of the bloc at 11pm on Friday. Sky News marked the moment by projecting a Brexit countdown clock on the White Cliffs of Dover, which ended in the historic announcement, “The UK has left the EU.” A light show illuminated Downing Street when the clock struck 11pm, with a mixture of celebration and regret across Britain on a landmark day. In a video message released to mark Brexit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson referenced the divisions that have been caused by the Leave vote. He said that while Brexit represented an “astonishing moment of hope” for many, there will be others who “feel a sense of anxiety and loss”. But he predicted that the “opportunity” of Brexit can be turned into a “stunning success”.
The PM hosted a reception in Number 10 for cabinet ministers, advisers and civil servants, officials who were involved in the negotiations, and supporters of the Leave campaign to leave. Supporters and opponents of Brexit made their views known throughout Britain, with Westminster a particular focus for events. A music system was set up on the back of a lorry, with people dancing to music by Sir Tom Jones and Queen. Dozens gathered around the statue of Sir Winston Churchill, with some ringing bells and banging a drum attached to a modified cart dubbed Little Ben. The Union flag colours projected onto 10 Downing Street, London, after the UK left the European… Earlier, pro-EU demonstrators took part in a procession through Whitehall. A crowd also gathered across the road from Number 10, waving EU flags and anti-Brexit placards. The message “we still love EU” was beamed onto the White Cliffs of Dover.
Celebrations and regret as Britain quits EU after 47 years
As the country breaks ties with the EU bloc, Boris Johnson says he wants to “unleash the potential of the whole UK”. Sky’s Alexi Rossi, reporting from a Brexit party outside Westminster, wrote: “There was no shortage of spirit – in Parliament Square – despite the booze ban. “Several thousand Brexiteers gathered to celebrate the UK’s departure from the European Union. Many of them thought this day would never come after delays and arguments in the House of Commons. “Most were happy and in celebratory mood but under the surface, the toxic legacy of Brexit and the culture wars ravaging the nation were all too clear. “As journalists did their broadcasts shouts of ‘Fake News’ could be heard in the background. A protest group of cyclists rode past early on shouting out ‘Nazi scum’ at the Brexiteers. For many tonight wasn’t about celebrating, it was instead an evening of sorrow.”