The United Kingdom has ceased to be part of the European Union. On Friday at exactly 23:00 local time, UK membership in the European community, which lasted 47 years, officially ended. Thus, the will of the British was realized, who, in a 2016 referendum with a margin of 1.3 million votes (52% versus 48%), voted in favor of leaving the EU.
The beginning of a new stage in the life of the country, thousands of Brexit supporters gathered in central London, celebrated with jubilant shouts and waves of British flags. The main venue for the celebration of the “divorce” of London and Brussels was Parliament Square. In recent months, it has been occupied by representatives of both Eurosceptics and apologists of the European Union, but on Friday the holiday was on the street first. They made noise, handing out each other badges with the inscription “Happy Brexit Day”, walked among government buildings, illuminated in the colors of the national flag – blue, red and white.
Not everywhere, however, such elated mood reigned. The government building in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, was highlighted in blue and yellow that day, as 60% of Scots in a 2016 referendum voted against Brexit.
An hour before the official exit from the EU, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation, talking about Britain’s priorities in the new environment. “The most important thing to say today is that this is not the end, but the beginning. This is the moment when the dawn breaks in and the curtain rises to start a new act. This is perhaps the moment for a real national renewal and change.” – emphasized Johnson.
According to the prime minister, it is necessary to eliminate distortions in the development of various regions of the country. “This is the dawn of a new era in which we will no longer agree that the opportunities in the lives of you and your families depend on which part of the country you live in. This is the moment when we begin to unite and go to a new level,” he said.
Following the official exit from the European Union, a transitional period came into force, which will last until December 31, 2020. This 11-month period has been specifically agreed to avoid the shocks Brexit could cause. At this time, the kingdom and the 27 remaining countries in the EU will continue to exist as if there was no “divorce”. During this time, the parties intend to agree on all conditions for future coexistence and interaction, primarily to try to conclude a free trade agreement.
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