Britain on Friday 31st January a day now referred to as Brexit Day, announced their official exit from the European Union.
The Brexit Day, saw thousands of enthusiastic Brexit supporters gathered outside Britain’s Parliament to welcome the moment since Britain’s 52%-48% vote in June 2016 to walk away from the club it had joined in 1973.
The flag-waving crowd erupted in cheers as Big Ben bonged 11 times on a recording. Parliament’s real bell has been silenced for repairs
In a message from nearby 10 Downing St., Prime Minister Boris Johnson called Britain’s departure “a moment of real national renewal and change.”
and as the “beginning of a new era”.
“For many people, this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come,” the Prime Minister said before the historic moment
There may be “bumps in the road” but Brexit can “unleash the full potential” of the UK, Mr Johnson said.
As the moment of the UK’s departure from the EU approached, the Prime Minister acknowledged mixed feelings in a still-divided nation about the end of 47 years of close links with Brussels.
“For many people this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come,” he said. “And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss.”
After years of bitter wrangling since the 2016 referendum, Mr Johnson said his job was now to “bring this country together”.
“We want this to be the beginning of a new era of friendly cooperation between the EU and an energetic Britain, a Britain that is simultaneously a great European power and truly global in our range and ambitions.
“And when I look at this country’s incredible assets, our scientists, our engineers, our world-leading universities, our armed forces, when I look at the potential of this country waiting to be unleashed I know that we can turn this opportunity into a stunning success.
“And whatever the bumps in the road ahead I know that we will succeed.”
There will only be minimal changes as the deal negotiated by the UK and EU keeps Britain aligned with EU rules for the rest of the year.
There was no such restraint in nearby Parliament Square, where arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage gathered a crowd of several thousand, who belted out the patriotic song “Land of Hope and Glory” as they waited for the moment that even Farage sometimes doubted would ever come.
“This is the single most important moment in the modern history of our great nation,” Farage told the crowd.
“The war is over,” said Farage, who often describes Britain’s relationship with Europe in martial terms. “We have won.”
But attention has already turned to the next set of talks aimed at securing the future relationship which will apply from January 1, 2021.
And Mr Johnson has been clear he also wants to strike deals with countries around the world – notably Donald Trump’s USA.
Brussels is pessimistic about the 11-month timetable for reaching a deal and made clear that Britain will have to accept worse terms and conditions for trade than if it were still a member of the EU.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: “We want to have the best possible relationship with the United Kingdom, but it will never be as good as membership.”
Senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove acknowledged the trade-offs that would have to be made in any deal.
“We want trade to be as frictionless as possible but the EU is clear, you can only have fully frictionless trade if you accept all of their rules, if you accept all their laws, you are subordinate to their judges, you are subordinate to their political structures,” he told the BBC.
Mr Gove said there “will be some regulations that will differ in Britain” so “that may mean that when it comes to trading with Europe there are some bureaucratic processes there that aren’t there now”.
he Daily Telegraph reported that Mr Johnson is prepared to impose full customs and border checks on all European goods entering the UK in an effort to create leverage in the negotiations with Brussels.
As the Cabinet gathered in Sunderland, car giant Nissan – which has a major plant in the city – called for clarity from the Government about its plans and urged both the UK and EU to secure “an orderly balanced Brexit that will continue to encourage mutually beneficial trade”, the Evening Standard had reported.