Britain is leaving the EU not with a bang but with a whimper

Years of rancour over UK’s exit from the bloc may not have been about Europe after all

Harpist Ruth Mc Donnell plays outside the British Embassy on the day that the UK leaves Europe. The piece is by the 17th century Ulster harpist, Rory Dall Ó Catháin and is called 'The Parting of Companions'. Video: John Cassidy

When Britain leaves the European Union on Friday night, it will do so not in triumph or in sorrow but with a sense of weariness, all passion spent after years of rancour that put its political and constitutional system under almost unbearable strain.

The pro- and anti-Brexit protesters outside parliament have dwindled to a handful and only a couple of dozen MPs bothered to turn up on Thursday afternoon for a Commons debate about Global Britain.

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