European Council President Donald Tusk holds a news conference after receiving British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit letter in notice of the UK's intention to leave the bloc under Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty to EU Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels, Belgium March 29, 2017.

Yves Herman | Reuters

European Council President Donald Tusk holds a news conference after receiving British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit letter in notice of the UK’s intention to leave the bloc under Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty to EU Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels, Belgium March 29, 2017.

The European Union’s response to the official triggering of Brexit negotiations by the U.K. was tinged with a sentiment of regret and sadness.

“There’s no reason to pretend this is a happy day, neither in Brussels nor in London,” President Donald Tusk of the European Council said shortly after receiving the official notification from the U.K. that it is withdrawing from the EU.

In an emotive, yet short, address to the media, Tusk said that paradoxically Brexit has made the other 27 European countries “more determined and more united than before.”

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