Quiet New Year gives breathing room after UK-EU Brexit split

Quiet New Year gives breathing room after UK-EU Brexit split”

Stanley Johnson, in an interview broadcast hours before the post-Brexit trade deal between the EU and the United Kingdom takes effect Thursday night, told a French radio station he "will always be European".

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that Britain will be an "open, generous, outward-looking, internationalist and free trading" country that is "free to do things differently, and if necessary better" than the EU.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who campaigned for the leave the European Union, called the new year "an wonderful moment for this country".

Supporters cast Brexit as the dawn of a newly independent "global Britain", but the drama has weakened the bonds that bind England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Britain's departure from Europe's customs union and single market ends almost half a century of tumultuous ties with its neighbours.

He led the campaign to leave the European Union in the 2016 Brexit referendum. Northern Ireland, which shares a border with European Union member Ireland, remains more closely tied to the bloc's economy under the divorce terms.

Leaving was once the far-fetched dream of a motley crew of "euroskeptics" on the fringes of British politics: The U.K. joined in 1973 as "the sick man of Europe" and two decades ago British leaders were arguing about whether to join the euro.

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With the United Kingdom now out of the Single Market and European Customs Union, there is nearly certain to be some disruption at borders.

In the French port of Calais, officials said the new computer systems were working well and truckers had the right paperwork. More red tape means more cost for those importing and exporting goods. From now on, they will have to follow immigration rules and obtain work visas.

After months of intense negotiations, Mr Johnson's deal was approved 521 to 73 by MPs in the Commons this week.

At Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament voted by 92 to 30 to deny the deal legislative consent, although First Minister Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged it would not affect the passage of the Bill at Westminster. The most worrisome period, it says, will be in mid- to late January when volumes usually pick up again. He also served as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) between 1979 and 1984 from the Conservative Party, and later went on to work for the European Commission.

"I'm hopeful that we find other ways to rebuild ties", she said.

During last year's transition period, the United Kingdom kept the same rules as the remaining 27 countries while it tried to negotiate a post-Brexit trade deal with the E.U. After months of what appeared to be deadlocked negotiations, the two sides announced a breakthrough deal last week just days before Thursday's deadline.

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