Prime minister Boris Johnson is out of EU(Photo: Gov. UK)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Friday will mark a truly historic moment, but almost nothing will happen. A few Union Jack flags will be lowered from European Union buildings in Brussels, more will be waved in jubilation by Brexiteers in London at the moment of Britain’s departure — at 11 p.m. in the U.K., midnight in much of the EU (2300 GMT).

Even British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, an energetic champion of Brexit, promised a “dignified exit” that is “mindful of everybody’s feelings.» Arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage and his band of devotees will gather for patriotic songs and speeches in London’s Parliament Square. But Johnson is staying away from triumphalism and won’t be gloating, at least in public . Union Jacks will flutter in the streets around Parliament and buildings will be lit up in red, white and blue. But there won’t be fireworks, writes Associated Press..

In the years since, it has pitted a divided Britain against the EU’s united 27 remaining nations. British politicians struggled to agree on what they wanted from Brexit and what it looked like — as was made clear by Britain’s previous prime minister, Theresa May, who coined and endlessly repeated the empty phrase “Brexit means Brexit.”

The EU’s 27 other nations, in contrast, knew what they wanted and stuck together, led by the formidable negotiator Michel Barnier. While Britain cycled through several Brexit ministers and negotiators, Barnier remained — and the EU is keeping the silver-haired diplomat on to lead the talks on its future trade and security deals with Britain Barnier’s steadfastness in preserving the EU’s single market and core principles meant that when the two sides finally struck a deal on Britain’s departure terms in late 2018, it contained little of the cherry-picking of membership perks that Britain had sought. And it included a major concession by the U.K. to maintain an open border between the EU’s Republic of Ireland and the U.K.’s Northern Ireland.

On Saturday the EU will be smaller — a failure for which the bloc’s leaders know they are partly to blame. The United Kingdom will no longer be part of EU summits and ministerial meetings. Its 73 EU parliamentarians have lost their jobs and cleared out their offices. And Britain’s dreaded cliff-edge economic split is still very much on the cards at the end of 2020, writes Associated Press.

Union Jack lowered on EU-buildings in Brussels(Photo: Ap)

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