Brexit was done and the United Kingdom left the European Union on Friday 12:00 Belgium time more than three years after it voted to do so in a referendum.
The exit movement was controversially welcomed in the United Kingdom, marked both by celebration and anti-Brexit protests, BBC reported.
Candlelit vigils were held in Scotland, which voted to stay in the EU, while Brexiteers partied in London’s Parliament Square.
Boris Johnson has vowed to bring the country together and “take us forward”.
In a message released on social media an hour before the UK’s departure, the prime minister said: “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.”
He said that “for all its strengths and for all its admirable qualities, the EU has evolved over 50 years in a direction that no longer suits this country”.
“The most important thing to say tonight is that this is not an end but a beginning,” he said, and “a moment of real national renewal and change”.
Brexit parties were held in pubs and social clubs across the UK as the country counted down to its official departure.
Hundreds gathered in Parliament Square to celebrate Brexit, singing patriotic songs and cheering speeches from leading Brexiteers, including Nigel Farage.
The Brexit Party leader said: “Let us celebrate tonight as we have never done before.
“This is the greatest moment in the modern history of our great nation.”
Pro-EU demonstrators earlier staged a march in Whitehall to bid a “fond farewell” to the union – and anti-Brexit rallies and candlelit vigils were held in Scotland.
What happens now?
UK citizens will notice a few immediate changes now that the country is no longer in the European Union.
Most EU laws will continue to be in force – including the free movement of people – until 31 December, when the transition period comes to an end.
The UK is aiming to sign a permanent free trade agreement with the EU, along the lines of the one the EU has with Canada.
But European leaders have warned that the UK faces a tough battle to get a deal by that deadline.