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. -- 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.