BRUSSELS - The European Parliament on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to approve the Brexit deal with London, clearing the final hurdle for Britain's departure from the European Union (EU) at 11:00 p.m. this Friday.
The vote at the parliament in Brussels, which came after an emotional debate, was passed by 621 votes to 49, prompting MEPs to burst into a chorus of "Auld Lang Syne", a traditional Scottish song of farewell.
After the UK's departure from the bloc, the 73 British MEPs will leave the European Parliament, but the UK-EU ties will not be severed altogether.
Brexit will be followed by a transition period, ending December 31, 2020. During the transition, EU laws will still apply to the UK and both sides will have to negotiate a new trade agreement.