Brits bid goodbye to the EU with candlelit vigil

Originally from Bristol, organizer Emma Woodford moved from Thailand to Belgium in 2009 with her Dutch husband and her two daughters, now aged 13 and 15.

She said the end of the transition period designed to smooth the UK’s departure from the European Union was 'a very sad day for all of us, another very sad day for all of us after the official Brexit date earlier this year.'

Woodford, who gained Belgian citizenship in the wake of the Brexit referendum, said she decided to organize the event through her informal Facebook group "Brexit and the Belgian Brits" so that expats could share their 'sorrow and to mourn and to light a candle to say good bye to the UK.'

The vigil came 11 months after Britain formally left the European Union and two days after European Union governments approved a trade deal regulating relations between the 27-nation bloc and Britain to enter into effect on January 1.

The deal, which preserves Britain's zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the EU's single market of 450 million consumers, was reached on Dec 24, 4-1/2 years after Britons voted by a slim margin in a referendum to leave the bloc.