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Emotions run high as the U.K. finally heads for the Brexit

London — Almost four years after Britain voted in a public referendum to "Brexit," the U.K. was finally set to leave the European Union on Friday. The historic day has been greeted with some triumphant headlines in Britain, but not everyone was celebrating.

As the U.K. ends its 47-year membership of the union it helped create, CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips said Britain's future remained uncertain.

There were emotional scenes in Brussels this week as members of the EU parliament bid goodbye to their British compatriots by joining hands and singing Auld Lang Syne after the final Brexit vote in the chamber. 

Some of Britain's departing Members of the European Parliament were happier than others.

"I know you want to ban our national flags, but we're going to wave you good-bye," the U.K.'s Nigel Farage gloated. He had made it his life's work to get the United Kingdom out of the EU, and on his last day there he teased the chamber with a small Union Jack flag.

He was immediately chastised by presiding speaker Mairead McGuinness, who told him and other British MEPs to put their flags away, and take them when they left the chamber.

But the long goodbye is not yet over. After a 47-year membership in the European Union, the U.K. will still continue to pay membership dues and follow EU rules for the next year, while a new trade deal is worked out — if it can be in that time.

Back at 10 Downing Street, Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson was surrounded by his children as he promised that Brexit would unleash Britain's potential.

Some, who would likely disagree with Johnson's sentiment, hung a "We love EU" banner on the white cliffs of Dover, facing out across the English Channel in France's direction. 

The U.K.'s membership in the EU is officially set to expire on Friday evening, at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

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