Brexit: Britain Exits European Union
Britain announced that they will exit the European Union (EU) come January 31, 2020, but now Britain is now out of the EU after 47-year as member.
The United Kingdom (Britain) ended nearly 50 years (47 years) of integration with Europe, making a historic exit from the EU after years of bitter arguments to chart its own uncertain path. PM Boris Johnson said the country had “taken back control.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised a “new era of friendly cooperation” with the EU, in an address released an hour before the UK left the now 27-member bloc. He also said there may be “bumps in the road” ahead but vowed that the departure was an opportunity for “stunning success.”
He also said Brexit as a chance for a new start and emphasized the country’s ability to succeed now it had “taken back control.”
“The most important thing to say tonight is that this is not an end but a beginning. This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act in our great national drama,” said Johnson in a pre-recorded speech posted on Johnson’s Facebook page at 22:00 GMT.
Brexit would give the UK government “new powers” to carry out policies that people in the UK had voted for, said Johnson. These changes would take the shape of “controlling immigration or creating freeports or liberating our fishing industry or doing free trade deals.”
– A divided nation? –
Despite the celebratory tone in the PM’s speech, he also addressed the divide that Brexit had created across the UK since the 2016 referendum which left the country split 53% to 48%.
“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.”
He also spoke of the third group of people who “had started to worry that the whole political wrangle would never come to an end”
“I understand all those feelings and our job as the government, my job, is to bring this country together now and take us forward.
Johnson stressed that Brexit was “right and healthy and democratic” as well as what people had voted for “not once but twice,” referring to the landslide December 2019 Conservative victory in the UK in addition to the 2016 referendum.
– Close friendship with the EU –
Johnson refrained from criticizing the EU in his speech, saying that the UK and EU had simply “evolved” in differing directions and calling the EU “friends.”
“We want this to be the beginning of a new era of friendly cooperation between the EU and an energetic Britain.” His sentiments echoed the rhetoric of the EU parliament as lawmakers said goodbye to Britain, while stressing the importance of maintaining a close relationship. (DW)