B-R-E-X-I-T: Finally Britain Exits EU After 47 Years

Posted by GRANDNEWS | 1 February 2020 | 523 times


Jubilant Brexit Supporters

It was a moment of joy and sadness across the UK on Friday night as Britain officially ended her 47 years of European Union membership. The historic exit popularly known as ‘Brexit’ came after almost four years of bitter arguments by political leaders to on how to lead the country in a fast changing world.

Thousands of people waving Union Jack flags packed London’s Parliament Square to mark the moment of Brexit at 11 pm (2300 GMT) — midnight in Brussels.

“We did it!” declared Nigel Farage, the former member of the European Parliament who has campaigned for Brexit for years, before the crowd began singing the national anthem.

Brexit has exposed deep divisions in British society, and many fear the consequences of ending 47 years of ties with their nearest neighbours.

Pro-Europeans, including many of the 3.6 million EU citizens who made their lives in Britain, understandably marked the occasion with solemn candlelit vigils.

Brexit has also provoked soul-searching in the EU about its own future after losing 66 million people, a global diplomatic big-hitter and the clout of the City of London financial centre.

 ‘Not an end, a beginning’

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Boris Johnson — a figurehead in the seismic 2016 referendum vote for Brexit — acknowledged there might be “bumps in the road ahead”.

But he said Britain could make it a “stunning success”.

As he held a private party in his Downing Street office, a clock projected on the walls outside counted down the minutes until Brexit.

Johnson predicted a “new era of friendly cooperation” with the EU while Britain takes a greater role on the world stage.

“The most important thing to say tonight is that this is not an end but a beginning,” he said in a televised address.

EU institutions earlier began removing Britain’s red, white and blue flags in Brussels ahead of a divorce that German Chancellor Angela Merkel called a “sea-change” for the bloc.

French President Emmanuel Macron described it as a “historic warning sign” that should force the EU and its remaining nations of more than 440 million people to stop and reflect.

Britain’s departure was sealed in an emotional vote in the EU parliament this week that ended with MEPs singing “Auld Lang Syne”, a traditional Scottish song of farewell.

Almost nothing will change straight away, because of an 11-month transition period negotiated as part of the exit deal.

Britons will be able to work in and trade freely with EU nations until December 31, and vice versa, although the UK will no longer be represented in the bloc’s institutions. But legally, Britain is out.

 And while the divorce terms have been agreed, Britain must still strike a deal on future relations with the EU, its largest trading partner. Both will set out their negotiating positions Monday.

“We want to have the best possible relationship with the United Kingdom, but it will never be as good as membership,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in Brussels.

 ‘Goodbye & good luck’

For the UK, getting this far has been a traumatic process. Britain resisted many EU projects over the years, refusing to join the single currency or the Schengen open travel area, and eurosceptics have long complained about Brussels bureaucracy.

Worries about mass migration added further fuel to the Brexit campaign while for some, the 2016 vote was a chance to punish the government for years of cuts to public spending.

But the result was still a huge shock. It unleashed political chaos, sparking years of toxic arguments that paralysed parliament and forced the resignations of prime ministers David Cameron and Theresa May.

Johnson brought an end to the turmoil with a decisive election victory in December which gave him the parliamentary majority he needed to ratify his Brexit deal.

But Britons remain as divided as they were nearly four years ago, when 52 percent voted to leave and 48 percent voted to remain in the EU. (Credit: Channels TV)

 


Source: GRANDNEWS

Readers Comments

comment(s)

No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.


You may also like...