MEPs sing 'Auld Lang Syne' to bid Britain a Brexit farewell
Arij Limam

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) broke into a rendition of Auld Lang Syne after the vote finalizing Britain's divorce from the European Union was approved on Wednesday.

The traditional Scottish folk song of farewell is well known in English-speaking countries and commonly sung on New Year's Eve at the stroke of midnight to wave the year goodbye.

After an emotional debate, during which some speakers wiped away tears, MEPs voted 621 to 49 in favor of approving the Brexit deal. The vote cleared the final hurdle for Britain's departure from the EU more than three years after withdrawal talks began.

After nearly half a century of membership, the UK will leave the EU at midnight Brussels time (2300 GMT) on Friday 31 January. 

Although it will leave EU institutions, Britain will remain under most EU rules during a transition until the end of the year.

During this time, the future UK/EU relationship will be discussed in talks covering everything from trade to security.