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 5 p.m. (local time).
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.