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After 47 years of membership, the UK finally exits the EU

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THE United Kingdom (UK) has officially exited the European Union after 47 years of membership and three years after voting to leave in a referendum. 

This happened during the final hour of Friday, launching the UK into its transition period and making it the first ever country to exit the EU.

In a broadcast shared on his Twitter page, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced his commitment to move the nation forward, stating that Brexit was a new beginning and it is time to unleash the potential of the UK.

“For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come.

“And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss.

“And then of course there is a third group – perhaps the biggest – who had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end.

“I understand all those feelings and our job as the government – my job – is to bring this country together now and take us forward,” Johnson said in his broadcast.

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Brexit has met mixed emotions. According to BBC, while supporters of Brexit celebrated at the London Parliament Square, anti-brexiteers and pro-EU supporters staged a march in Whitehall to bid a “fond farewell” to the union.

It was also gathered that anti-brexit rallies and candlelit vigils were held in Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU.

As for moving forward, the UK is reported to have a 11-month period transition in which most things remain the same, including; the UK continuous payment into the EU budget for the transition period.

Also, UK citizens will still be able to move, live and work freely in other European countries throughout the transition period.

However, certain changes are immediate and expected. BBC reports that the UK passports are set to change colour from burgundy to blue.

UK citizens have used the burgundy-coloured passports for three decades and that is about to change.

The burgundy passports are to still remain valid and new ones will be issued as the months unfold.

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Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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