Europe

Joy, sorrow: People in UK, Europe react to Brexit triggering

British Union flag waves in front of the Elizabeth Tower at Houses of Parliament containing the bell know as "Big Ben" in central London, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Britain will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union later on March 29, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

British Union flag waves in front of the Elizabeth Tower at Houses of Parliament containing the bell know as "Big Ben" in central London, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Britain will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union later on March 29, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

Across the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, there was joy and sorrow Wednesday as Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered a two-year process that will end with Britain exiting the European Union. The country voted 52 to 48 percent to leave in a June referendum.

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Charles Goodacre, 62, former taxi driver, in Sunderland, England: "I'm glad this day has finally come, this is what the people voted for. I voted for Brexit and today is the day that vote starts to count. Things have been bad round here for a while and we needed a change. There's been a lot of arguments about what happened but we can now get on with it."

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Nigel Dentoom, runs a commodities trading company in the City of London: "Obviously there will be a couple of difficult years in negotiation but I think the UK and London in particular will end up being the largest financial center because of its time zone and the resource and the intellectual capital and the infrastructure that we have here."

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Telecommunications professional Frederic Royer, a Frenchman who works in London: "We are a little upset. A little disappointed. I hope it will not affect London and that it will continue to grow and be a big city like it was before."

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Janet Freeman, 66, a retired secretary in Sunderland: "I voted for Brexit so it's good it's going to start. I have become a bit concerned about what it might mean for jobs but I think we will make the best of it. It's not right we were controlled from Europe, we need to control our own destiny."

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City of London worker Nicola Gibson: "No one knows how it's going to go so it's just a question on keeping an eye on the next few days. Is it going to affect me personally? Probably not. I shall still go about my daily business. I shall still work. I shall still carry on having holidays. And we'll see what happens."

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Polish engineer Piotr Wierzbicki, 64, flying from Poland to England: The British "shot themselves in the foot and will also lose Scotland now. It will be bad for their economy and it will be bad for the EU."

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Anti-Brexit protester Ron Daniel of London: "I don't accept Brexit. I don't accept the democratic choice of Brexit. It's racist. It's about deporting people."