Brexit Day celebrations: Photos capture joy and sadness as Britain remains divided

These photographs capture both the joy and sadness of a nation still divided as the UK finally left the EU.

Last night Britain become the first nation ever to exit the European Union, four years after the referendum that polarised communities across the country.

There were jubilant scenes as Leavers celebrated finally getting what they wanted, as many sported Union Jack colours and waved flags at independence parties. 

But elsewhere there more melancholic moments as Remainers mourned the loss of Britain’s EU membership.

Crowds waved goodbye to the European Union as the clock turned 11pm in Parliament Square

While in Brighton, Remainers held a Shine a Light For Europe rally

At a rally in Parliament Square Nigel Farage told ecstatic Brexiteers: “We did it. We transformed the landscape of our country.”

Champagne corks were popped at Brexit parties, many held at huge sports clubs, bars and community centres.

People partied in the streets and at some events EU flags were burned with glee.

Revellers celebrate the moment the UK leaves the EU during the Brexit party at Woolston Social Club in Warrington

Other Leavers were more hopeful that the two sides can reconcile after years of angry debate and delays. 

Ray Singleton, 72, held a Brexit celebration event at his men’s club in Stapleford, Nottingham.

He said: “The reason we are celebrating is because it’s a piece of British History.

“It is not a celebration to say we won, you lost, its about bringing people together and to go forward together.”

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The UK left the EU some 188 weeks after the referendum

But not everyone is happy about it, including Katja, 7, and Elisa, 5

Around 200 Remainers marched from Downing Street to the London offices of the European commission last night, to say their regretful farewells.

Clad in blue and gold, the organiser of this rally said it was “to say goodbye to our old friend”.

In Frome, Somerset, people gathered for a late-night vigil at an installation known as the European Community of Stones, a semi-circular henge of 12 boulders.

Despite the rain, keen Brexiteers cheer their success in London

Declan Fearon from the campaign group Border Communities Against Brexit, during a demonstration in Carrickcarnon on the Irish border

Local Green party councillor Martin Dimery said the mates sang the EU anthem, Ode to Joy, in recognition of the “sense of excitement, of opportunity, the EU represented”.

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In Glasgow, scores of Remainers gathered for a vigil, as the question of Scottish independence still hangs in the air. 

They weren’t disheartened by the driving rain in the large Scottish city, singing Auld Lang Syne as Britain left the EU.

Pro-Brexit supporters gather to celebrate in Belfast as the UK leaves the EU

Some mixed the red, white and blue with blue and yellow

“It’s absolutely devastating being ripped out of the EU,” said one 38-year-old woman, who did not want to be named.

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“It’s so important to come out and show support.

“The only way forward is independence. Even if you were No in 2014, Brexit has been a complete disaster and a total waste of taxpayers’ money.”



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