January 31, 2020 / 5:23 PM / a month ago

UK's Brussels embassy takes down EU flag as sun sets on Brexit day

An official removes the European Union flag from Britain's Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium January 31, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via Reuters

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union’s flag was removed from outside the British embassy to the EU in Brussels on Friday, hours before the United Kingdom was set to formally leave the EU after 47 years of membership.

A man reached out of a window on the first floor of the building and pulled in the official symbol of the EU, a circle of 12 stars on a blue background, leaving only Britain’s Union Jack flying on the flagpole.

With Britain’s exit at midnight Brussels time (2300 GMT), it will be considered by the remaining 27 member states as a third country and its Permanent Representation to the EU will become a foreign mission.

On Saturday the name plate outside the building will be replaced, and it will now be known as the UK Mission to the European Union, which some have already dubbed “UKmissEU’.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Gareth Jones

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