The United Kingdom officially left the European Union at 11pm local time ending 47 years of political and economic ties with the EU.

Just before the Brexit deadline, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it is “the dawn of a new era”.

“Our job as the government, my job, is to bring this country together and take us forward. And the most important thing to say tonight is that this is not an end but a beginning,” Johnson said.

“This is the dawn of a new era in which we no longer accept that your life chances, your family’s life chances, should depend on which part of the country you grow up in. This is the moment when we begin to unite and level up.”

However, very little will change during an 11-month transition period during which both sides will have to negotiate a trade deal, with a deadline of the end of the year.

Brexit supporters gathered at Parliament Square to mark the occasion, while earlier in the day, EU supporters held a procession through Whitehall to “bid of fond farewell” to membership of the union.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the sadness of leaving the EU will be “tinged with anger” because “this is happening to my country completely against our will”.

Sturgeon said Scotland must take future into their own hands and the only route back to the EU is through independence.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on social media: “The challenges that Europe faces, and the opportunities that it can grasp, have not changed because of Brexit. As part of this, we want to have the best possible relationship with the UK. But it will never be as good as membership.”

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