British MEPs in tears, sing Auld Lang Syne in final EU debate ahead of Brexit
British members of the European Parliament were seen in tears as the chamber broke into a rendition of Auld Lang Syne in their final debate which sealed the United Kingdom’s divorce from the European Union after 47 years.
The European Parliament on Wednesday gave final approval to Britain’s exit from the European Union, paving the way for the country to quit the bloc on Friday after nearly half a century and delivering a major setback for European integration.
After an emotional debate during which several speakers shed tears, EU lawmakers voted 621 for and 49 against the Brexit agreement sealed between Britain and the 27 other member states last October, more than three years since Britons voted out.
Thirteen lawmakers abstained and the chamber then broke into a rendition of Auld Lang Syne, a traditional Scottish folk song of farewell. Britain’s 73 departing EU lawmakers headed for an “Au Revoir” party in the EU chamber after the vote.
After protracted divorce talks, Britain will leave the club it joined in 1973 at midnight Brussels time (2300 GMT) on Friday, when British flags will be removed from EU offices and the EU flag lowered on the British premises there.