Feb 01, 2020 00:51 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Feb 01, 2020 07:43 Asia/Tehran]

The British flag was removed from lines of EU member state flags at the European Council and European Parliament buildings in Brussels hours before the UK officially leaves the EU.

Iran Press/Europe: Britain's Union Flag was removed from lines of EU member state flags at the European Parliament building in Brussels on Friday (January 31) evening ahead of the United Kingdom's exit from the bloc at midnight (2300 GMT).

The red, white and blue flag was lowered - with some difficulty - by officials outside the European Parliament, whose 73 British lawmakers will no longer be members of the assembly after Friday, Reuters reported.

In its place on the pole, they raised the EU flag, a circle of 12 yellow stars on a blue background.

Britain will become the first country to quit the European Union after 47 years in the club, leaving 27 member states that will now regard it as a third country.

The British flag was also removed from the European Council.

The UK is set to leave the EU at 23:00 GMT on Friday, ending its 47-year membership, and enter a transition period.

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