• Today
    February 22

  • 07:21 PM

Today is Brexit Day

REUTERS,

Added 31 January 2020

brexit-protests-090319

Protestors, with one of them dressed as Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, demonstrate outside the Houses of the Parliament in London, Britain September 3, 2019. (Reuters)

LONDON – The United Kingdom leaves the European Union (EU) on Friday for an uncertain Brexit future, its most significant geopolitical move since the loss of empire and a blow to 70 years of efforts to forge European unity from the ruins of two world wars.

The country will slip away an hour before midnight from the club it joined in 1973, moving into the no man’s land of a transition period that preserves membership in all but name until the end of this year.

At a stroke, the EU will be deprived of 15 per cent of its economy, its biggest military spender and the world’s international financial capital of London. The divorce will shape the fate of the United Kingdom – and determine its wealth – for generations to come.

“This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say in a television address, though he has given few clues about his post-Brexit plans beyond inspirational words.

“This is the dawn of a new era,” Johnson, one of the main leaders of the “Leave” campaign in the 2016, will say.

Beyond the symbolism of turning its back on 47 years of membership, little will actually change until the end of 2020, by which time Johnson has promised to strike a broad free trade agreement with the EU, the world’s biggest trading bloc.

For proponents, Brexit is a dream “independence day” for a United Kingdom escaping what they cast as a doomed German-dominated project that is failing its 500 million population.

british-and-eu-flags

The June 2016 Brexit referendum showed a nation divided about more than Europe and triggered soul-searching about everything from secession and immigration to capitalism, empire and modern Britishness.

Such was the severity of the meltdown over Brexit that allies and investors were left astonished by a country that was for decades touted as a confident pillar of Western economic and political stability.

At home, Brexit has tested the bonds that bind together the United Kingdom: England and Wales voted to leave the bloc but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay.

So on “Brexit Day”, some will celebrate and some will weep,  but many Britons will do neither.

Johnson will chair a cabinet meeting in Sunderland, the first city to declare support for leaving the EU in the June 2016 referendum. Brexiteers will celebrate on Parliament Square while some opponents of Brexit are also due to gather.

A Union Jack in the building of the European Council in Brussels will be lowered at 7 p.m. time (1800 GMT) on Friday, and put away with the flags of non-EU countries.

The European Parliament plans to place one of its British flags in the House of European History, a nearby museum of the continent’s history since the French Revolution of 1789.  (Reuters)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

POLL

Do you agree with the decision to move the fire station from Bridgetown?

Yes
No

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

INSTAGRAM