The moorings are cast: the United Kingdom entered a new era on Thursday after leaving the single European market, an "incredible moment" completing the historic break in Brexit, according to its great architect, Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
At 11 p.m. local time and GMT (midnight in Brussels and 6 p.m. in Quebec), without the slightest effusion within a massively confined population, the country ceased to apply European Union (EU) rules, leaving the single market and customs union.
After 47 years of stormy European integration and after four and a half years of twists and turns following the 2016 referendum, it is the culmination of Brexit for the United Kingdom, which has officially left the EUJanuary 31, but having benefited from a transitional period to cushion the shock.
It’s an incredible moment. We have our freedom in our hands and it's up to us to make the most of it, congratulated Boris Johnson in his greetings. He assured that the UK would be
open, generous, outward facing.
BoJo dangled the British with a new era full of promise and a stronger place in the world of free trade. In the immediate future, it is a country gravely bereaved by the COVID-19 pandemic and hit by its worst economic crisis in three centuries which is leaving the fold of Europe, or its straitjacket, it depends.
The UK has just become a completely independent country againDavid Frost, chief British negotiator in trade talks with Brussels, said on Twitter. His European counterpart, Michel Barnier, recognized him on French radio RTL
a certain bitterness :
No one has ever been able to show me the added value of Brexit, he stressed.
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The free trade agreement, without quotas or customs duties, concluded in extremis, avoids a too abrupt rupture which would have created chaos at the border, or even shortages. But the upheaval is real: the free movement of goods and people alike to cross the border unimpeded has ended – except between Spain and the British enclave of Gibraltar, as well as between Northern Ireland and the Republic from Ireland.
Customs declarations and health inspections must now be completed to export across the Channel, a residence permit to settle on the other side, and a health certificate for British dogs and cats traveling to the UK.EU.
Europhobic Nigel Farage, one of the driving forces behind the
a giant step forward.
Our future, our UK, our destiny, headline triumphantly the tabloid Daily Express Friday, displaying an English flag stamped with the word
In the crisis, without fanfare, the UK finally ends the European era, notes, more circumspect, the daily The Guardian.
UK unity cracked
The UK's global ambitions risk clashing with the departure of Donald Trump, a convinced Brexiter unlike his successor in the White House, Joe Biden.
In his country, Boris Johnson must turn the page of a saga that took him to the top of the political scale, but has deeply divided the British. The unity of the United Kingdom is cracked, particularly on the side of Scotland, which voted by a large majority to stay in theEU.
Scotland will be back soon, Europe, tweeted Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, determined to hold another referendum on independence.
In the English port of Dover, retired Maureen Martin felt that her country would not have
never owed join the European Community in 1973:
We need to make our own decisions and be our own leaders.
The majority of residents in his town voted for Brexit, but many fear a mess if the new formalities slow traffic and lengthen truck lines, especially next week.
Unlike theEU, the British government has decided to gradually implement customs controls, which will not affect all goods until July.
This Brexit was the child of European malaise and many lies and false promises, regretted French President Emmanuel Macron in his wishes.
A 1246 page agreement
Like a Brexit saga rich in twists and turns, it was not until Christmas Eve to see the laborious negotiations between London and Brussels lead to a trade agreement, leaving only a few days to implement its 1246 pages.
TheEUoffers the UK duty-free and quota-free access to its market of 450 million consumers. But it provides, to avoid any unfair competition, sanctions and compensatory measures in the event of non-compliance with its rules on state aid, the environment, labor law and taxation.
Financial companies, a major sector in London, will lose their automatic right to offer their services in theEU, while British fishermen are disappointed that they still have to share a large part of their waters with Europeans.