The UK celebrated leaving the European Union at 11pm GMT on 31st January accompanied by a rousing speech from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, intended to unite the country over what has been a divisive issue since the EU referendum in June 2016.
Widely accepted as the most significant political moment in the UK’s 47-year membership of the EU, Mr. Johnson told the country “ For many people, this is an astonishing moment of hope, a moment they thought would never come.”
“And there are many of course who feel a sense of anxiety and loss…. And the most important thing to say tonight is that this is not an end but a beginning.”
The official government stance on the event was for celebrations to remain muted, given that the referendum result was 52% to leave and 48% to remain, the aim to bring together and unite the country, rather than gloat on an eventually successful Brexit.
Mr Johnson went on to say, “This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act in our great national drama… Because for all its strengths and for all its admirable qualities, the EU has evolved over 50 years in a direction that no longer suits this country.”
He ended his pre-recorded speech by stating, “We want this to be the beginning of a new era of friendly cooperation between the EU and an energetic Britain…. And whatever the bumps in the road ahead, I know that we will succeed. We have obeyed the people. We have taken back the tools of self-government.”
“Now is the time to use those tools to unleash the full potential of this brilliant country and to make better the lives of everyone in every corner of our United Kingdom.”
You can watch Boris Johnson’s full speech below;
While there were anti-Brexit gatherings and candle-lit vigils from Remainers, the Brexit Party, whose leader is the enigmatic Nigel Farage organized a celebration in the heart of London as the clock counted down to the official Brexit.
President Trump has said that he wants a “tremendous trade deal with the UK.”
On Thursday this week, after discussions with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US intended to put Britain “at the front of the line” for a trade deal.
Dr. Tech Khong, a respected UK general practitioner, law graduate, and former police surgeon stood at the last UK General Election in December 2019 on a pro-Brexit stance as an independent candidate.
Porter Medium spoke exclusively to Dr. Khong earlier today about his feelings on finally reaching Brexit;
He said, “ The UK will enter the final stages of being freed from the constraints of EU membership…This secession brings opportunities for improving our trade and strategic partnerships including…our trans-Atlantic ally, the United States of America.”
Dr. Khong later Tweeted his full comments to followers which you can view below and which typically embodies the feelings of those who supported Brexit;
The UK aims for trade deals and other aspects to be completed by the end of the official transition period on 31st December 2020 in order to return full independence to the country.
During this transition period, the UK will automatically lose its membership of the EU’s political institutions, including the European Parliament and the European Commission.
The country will also no longer have any voting rights but is required to follow EU rules, as well as continuing to contribute to the EU budget. The European Court of Justice will also continue to have the final say over any legal disputes.
In the meantime, Her Majesty’s Treasury has produced 3 million commemorative 50 pence coins to celebrate Brexit.