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Britain leaves the European Union, leaps into the unknown

A member of protocol removes the Union flag from the atrium of the Europa building in Brussels, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool Photo via AP)

LONDON (AP) – Britain has left the European Union after 47 years of membership, taking a leap into the unknown in a historic blow to the bloc. Brexit became official Friday at 11 p.m. (2300GMT) — midnight in Brussels, where the EU is headquartered. Thousands of enthusiastic Brexit supporters gathered outside the U.K. Parliament in London cheered as the hour struck. In a recorded message, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Britain’s departure “a moment of real national renewal and change” that would lead to a bolder, more energetic nation. But many Britons mourned the loss of their EU identity. And there was sadness in Brussels, where British flags were quietly removed from the bloc’s many buildings.

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