United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 31 December said that Britain would now be an “open, generous, outward-looking, internationalist and free trading” country that is “free to do things differently and if necessary better” than the European Union.
“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,” Johnson said in his New Year’s address.
“An open, generous, outward-looking, internationalist and free trading global Britain, that campaigns for 12 years of quality education for every girl in the world. 2021 is the year we can do it and I believe 2021 is above all, the year when we will eventually do those everyday things that now seem lost in the past,” Johnson added.
The Prime Minister, in his broadcast message, expressed hope after vaccines are becoming available in the country including the one developed by the Oxford University but warned that the “huge struggle is ahead of us.”
“But as the sun rises tomorrow on 2021 we have the certainty of those vaccines. Pioneered in the United Kingdom that is also free to do things differently, and if necessary better, than our friends in the EU. Free to do trade deals around the world, he said.
Bathed in a rosy glow of nostalgia, going to the pub, concerts, theatres, restaurants, or simply holding hands with loved ones in the normal way, Johnson said that “we are way off from that”.
“We are still a way off from that, there are tough weeks and months ahead. But we can see that illuminated sign that marks the end of the journey, and even more important, we can see with growing clarity how we are going to get there,” the Prime Minister said further.
Britain would work with partners around the world as it chairs the G7 club of nations and the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP 26, said the Prime Minister.
“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,” Johnson said.
According to reports, despite the post-Brexit trade deal agreed by the UK and EU in the closing days of the year, and voted through by British lawmakers on the eve of the 31 December deadline, much uncertainty lies ahead.
“This bill, it embodies our vision — shared with our European neighbors — of a new relationship between Britain and the EU as sovereign equals, joined by friendship, commerce, history, interests and values, while respecting one another’s freedom of action and recognizing that we have nothing to fear if we sometimes choose to do things differently,” Johnson said while speaking to members of Parliament.
The United Kingdom officially left the European Union on 31 January, completing a three-and-a-half-year process that began with the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Sputnik reported that the transition period in the relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union has come to an end, with the agreement on the post-Brexit relationship between London and the bloc having entered into force.
On 24 December, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Johnson, announced that they had reached a deal on the future relations between the bloc and London.
The parties have thus managed to prevent the introduction of the World Trade Organization’s rules, including customs tariffs and full border checks for goods flowing across the English Channel.