(London) – Britain began an uncertain future outside the European Union, hours after the historic end to almost half a century of EU membership was greeted with a mixture of joy and sadness.
There were celebrations and tears across the country as the EU´s often reluctant member became the first to leave an organisation set up to forge unity among nations after the horrors of World War II.
Almost nothing will change straight away, because of an 11-month transition period negotiated as part of the exit deal.
Britons will be able to work in and trade freely with EU nations until December 31, and vice versa, although the UK will no longer be represented in the bloc´s institutions.
But legally, Britain is out.
Thousands of people waving Union Jack flags packed London´s Parliament Square and sang the national anthem to mark that reality at the moment of Brexit at 11 pm (2300 GMT) Friday — midnight in Brussels.