Follow Us:

Boris Johnson to hail ‘dawn of new era’ as UK leaves EU

Brexit was originally scheduled for March 29, 2019, but was repeatedly delayed when MPs rejected a previous withdrawal agreement reached by the EU and former Prime Minister Theresa May.

SNS | New Delhi |

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hail the “dawn of a new era” at 11 pm on Friday after Britain will leave the European Union (EU).

Bonds dating back to 1973 when the UK joined the European Economic Community will be broken later in the night, but Johnson has insisted that Brexit marked “not an end but a beginning”, the Metro newspaper said in a report.

Most EU laws will continue to be in force, including the free movement of people, until the end of December, by which time the UK aims to have reached a permanent free trade agreement with the EU.

PM Johnson will chair a meeting of his Cabinet in Sunderland on Friday, the city which was the first to back Brexit when results were announced after the historic 2016 referendum.

And later he will deliver an “address to the nation” an hour before the UK leaves the EU.

During official events, Downing Street will be illuminated with a light show and a new 50 p coin will enter circulation.

In Brussels, the UK flag will be removed from the EU institutions, with one Union flag expected to be consigned to a museum.

In Scotland, which voted to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum, candlelit vigils are planned.

On Sunday, Britain announced a new fast-track visa scheme for top scientists, researchers, and mathematicians. Preparing a new immigration system for life outside the European Union, PM Johnson revealed the plan just days before Brexit finally takes place on January 31.

On Tuesday, the UK participated in its last meeting as an EU member when Foreign Office minister Chris Pincher attended the General Affairs Council.

The vote was preceded by an emotional debate of the Members of the European Parliament, who bid farewell — sometimes with words of love and warmth — to Britain’s 41-year stay in the world’s largest trading bloc.

Brexit was originally scheduled for March 29, 2019, but was repeatedly delayed when MPs rejected a previous withdrawal agreement reached by the EU and former Prime Minister Theresa May.

Johnson was able to get his own deal through Parliament after winning the December 12, 2019, general election with a House of Commons majority of 80, on a pledge to “get Brexit done”.

On January 23, the House of Commons (lower house of British parliament) overturned five amendments to the government’s Brexit bill made by the House of Lords (upper house), less than 10 days before Britain is set to exit from the European Union (EU).

The UK has an option to extend the transition but Johnson refuses to, and intends to enshrine the 2020 date in legislation, PM Johnson’s office said.

Johnson was re-elected Prime Minister following his landslide victory in the December 12 general election, deemed as one the UK’s most decisive and crucial.

(With inputs from agency)