On Wednesday, Britain got formal approval from tearful European Union members who overwhelmingly backed the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU by the end of this week.
The European Parliament voted 621 to 49 to approve the Withdrawal Agreement, allowing the UK to depart this Friday. The withdrawal is the result of a bitter four-year battle to get a divorce deal that started with a 2016 referendum. Many European Members made it clear that they were voting for the withdrawal deal not out of any support for Brexit, but to avoid the disruption of a chaotic no deal divorce, The New York Post reports.
President of the EU Parliament David Sassoli held a farewell ceremony for the UK’s departing politicians, allowing them to make one last farewell speech in a reception space in the parliamentary building.
“We will always love you and you will never be far,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on a day that left many EU legislators hugging each other in tears.
Nigel Farage, Britain’s Brexit Party leader, waved a Union Jack flag as he left, promising that Britain was “never coming back.”
European politicians linked hands and tearfully sang a final chorus of Auld Lang Syne. German parliamentarian Terry Reintke called it “a symbol of hope, friendship and solidarity,” according to The Telegraph.