- leap into ～
- ～に飛び込む（後出 take a leap into ～も同意）
- European Union
- (EU)欧州連合（後出 bloc と club 〈１９７３年当時は欧州共同体〉もここでは同意）
- （ここでは）離脱（後出 exit も同意、Brexit は英国のＥＵ離脱のこと、walk away はここでは離脱する）
- long for ～
- 投票（する）（後出 referendum は国民投票）
- 10 ... St.
- in earnest
- single market
Leap into the Unknown
With little fanfare, Britain left the European Union (EU) on Jan. 31 after 47 years of membership, taking a leap into the unknown in a historic blow to the bloc.
The U.K.'s departure became official at 11 p.m. local time — midnight in Brussels, where the EU is headquartered. Thousands of Brexit supporters gathered outside Britain's Parliament to welcome the moment they had longed for since Britain's 52%-48% vote in a June 2016 referendum to walk away from the club it had joined in 1973. This is the first time a country has left the EU in 62 years since its predecessor was established in 1958.
In a message from nearby 10 Downing St., Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Britain's departure "a moment of real national renewal and change."
But many Britons mourned the loss of their EU identity. There was also sadness in Brussels as British flags were removed from buildings.
While Britain's exit is a historic moment, it only marks the end of the first stage of the Brexit saga. The U.K. and the EU have given themselves an 11-month "transition period" — in which the U.K. will continue to follow the bloc's rules — to strike new agreements on trade, security and many other areas.
Negotiations between Britain and the EU on their new relationship are due to start in earnest in March. The EU says Britain can't have full access to the EU's single market unless it follows the bloc's rules, but Britain insists it will not agree to follow an EU rule book in return for unfettered trade.
Britain has left the bloc as divided as it was on referendum day. England and Wales backed Brexit, while Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain. The Scottish government is demanding the right to hold a referendum on independence from the U.K., something Johnson refuses to grant.
Whether Brexit makes Britain a proud nation that has reclaimed its sovereignty, or a diminished presence in Europe and the world, will be debated for years to come. (AP)
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