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Last Updated : Feb 01, 2020 07:25 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Brexit: United Kingdom formally leaves the European Union

Britain's Union Jack was removed from lines of EU member state flags at the European Council and European Parliament buildings in Brussels

A pro-Brexit demonstrator protests outside the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster, London. (Image: Reuters)
A pro-Brexit demonstrator protests outside the Houses of Parliament, in Westminster, London. (Image: Reuters)

More than three years after a referendum, that saw United Kingdom (UK) voting to leave the European Union (EU), Britain on February 1 formally exited the bloc, becoming the first country to do so after 47 years in the club.

This now leaves EU with 27 member states. However, the UK will continue to follow EU rules and procedures until the end of a pre-agreed transition period, which runs until December end 2020.

During that period, both sides are bound by a Political Declaration, signed alongside the EU Withdrawal Bill, to strike a new agreement for their future trading relationship.

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Hours before UK's exit, Britain's Union Jack was removed from lines of EU member state flags at the European Council and European Parliament buildings in Brussels.

In its place on the pole they raised the EU flag, a circle of 12 yellow stars on a blue background.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had earlier said that Britain's exit from EU is not an end but a new beginning.

In a video message recorded in Downing Street on January 31 and to be aired at 2200 GMT, an hour ahead of the UK's scheduled exit time, the Conservative Party leader who took charge as UK prime minister last year with a "do or die" Brexit pledge characterised the historic moment as a new beginning for the country.

"This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act. It is a moment of real national renewal and change," Downing Street said in a read-out of Johnson's address to the nation.
First Published on Feb 1, 2020 07:25 am
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