Candle-lit vigil on Ipswich Cornhill held to mark Britain’s exit from EU
PUBLISHED: 01:40 01 February 2020 | UPDATED: 02:06 01 February 2020
Some partied into the night waving Union Jack flags in celebration, whereas others sombrely registered their sadness at Britain’s exit from the European Union by placing candles on the steps of Ipswich’s Town Hall.
Whatever your thoughts about Brexit, one thing is for sure - it divided opinion, right up until the moment the UK officially left the EU.
Views in Suffolk have been split since the referendum and beyond, with pro-EU groups holding demonstrations calling for a People's Vote while Leave supporters continued to call the results of the 2016 poll to be respected.
Once the Conservatives won a landslide in the 2019 general election, Britain's withdrawal from more than 40 years of integration with European countries was virtually guaranteed.
Yet while some venues, such as The Kingfisher pub in Chantry, held parties to mark the moment Britain officially left the EU at 11pm on Friday, the mood of those gathered at Ipswich's Cornhill was more sombre.
Dozens assembled at about 10.45pm to light candles which they placed on the steps of Ipswich Town Hall, as organisers urged people to "stand silently together as the moment passes".
They then invited people to "pick up a candle and take it home as a little beacon of light and hope".
Others from Suffolk took to social media to register their views.
Angela Wright, from Ipswich, wrote on Twitter that there would be "a very sad time ahead of us all", while Hayden V Beckett, also from Ipswich, Tweeted: "Finally after so long we are free."
Suffolk Chamber Brexit advisor Mike Chapman, who is working with companies to prepare them to continue to do business with Europe now Britain has left, is urging people and organisations to use the next 11-month implementation period for Brexit to prepare for life outside of the union.
In London, hundreds of people gathered in Parliament Square ito sing the national anthem while waving Union Jack flags as the clock struck 11pm.
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