- The country is also the first country in history to leave the European Union.
- This agreement prevents the UK from a "hard Brexit" situation and prevents the economic ties between the UK and the EU from being severely impacted.
- Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted, "Europe, Scotland will return soon."
The UK’s Brexit transition period came to an end on the last day of 2020, which means that the UK will completely break away from the European single market and customs union. Big Ben in London rang at midnight when Britain officially left the European Union, symbolizing the opening of a new chapter in British history.
At the beginning of 2021, Britain has entered a new era: on Thursday, New Year’s Eve, Britain officially left the European single market and customs union. In the early morning of January 1, 2021, the post-Brexit trade agreement will take effect immediately.
This agreement prevents the UK from a “hard Brexit” situation and prevents the economic ties between the UK and the EU from being severely impacted.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described this as a “great moment” for the UK, and some British media that questioned the EU also celebrated this moment with front-page headlines.
Forty-seven years after joining the European Union, Britain officially bid farewell to its former allies.
French officials at the Eurotunnel Calais station began to implement the new customs rules on time in the early morning of January 1. The first to pass the checkpoint was a mail parcel transporter from Romania.
Prime Minister Johnson said in his New Year’s message on Thursday evening:
“We know that we have a hard struggle still ahead of us for weeks and months because we face a new variant of the disease that requires a new vigilance. But as the sun rises tomorrow in 2021 we have the certainty of those vaccines.”
“This is an amazing moment for this country. We have our freedom in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it. And I think it will be the overwhelming instinct of the people of this country to come together as one United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland working together to express our values around the world.”
Scotland: Europe, Scotland will Return Soon
Maureen Martin, a retiree from Dover, UK, said “we have to make our own decisions in the future.” In her view, the UK should not have joined the European Union in 1973. The front page of the British tabloid Daily Express published on the front page of the British flag with “Freedom” with the headline: “Our future. Our UK. Our destiny.”
The joy of Prime Minister Johnson and Brexit supporters has not affected Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s chief minister. She wrote on Twitter, “Europe, Scotland will return soon.” Sturgeon has made up her mind to hold another referendum on Scottish independence.
For London’s departure from the EU’s internal market, the EU countries did not say a word of goodbye. At midnight on New Year’s Eve, none of the heads of European institutions in Brussels spoke about it.
The UK entered a transitional period after Brexit on February 1, 2020. The country is also the first country in history to leave the European Union.
At that time, many Brexit supporters celebrated on the streets, while anti-Brexit people held candlelight vigils. Due to the epidemic this year, there were no related public activities.
The post-Brexit trade agreement signed by the UK and the EU regulates many trade and tariff issues. The two sides finally reached an agreement on December 24 before the “great deadline” for Brexit was coming.
This agreement prevented the bilateral economic relationship from falling into chaos. Otherwise, starting from this Friday, there will be transport problems between the UK and Europe, and there will be long queues before customs.
As the European Parliament could not complete the formal review process before the end of last year, it is currently adopting a workaround to temporarily implement the agreement until February 28.
A few hours before the official end of the Brexit transition period, the last roadblock was also lifted: the British and Spanish governments reached an agreement on Gibraltar in principle. The provisions of the Schengen Agreement will apply to this British overseas territory in the future.
The border between Spain and Gibraltar will continue unimpeded, without passport verification. If the two sides fail to reach this agreement, Gibraltar will become a “hard border” between the UK and the EU starting Friday.