From the perspective of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the final break with the European Union is a milestone for his country. “This is a great moment for this country. We have freedom in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it, ”Johnson said in his New Years address to the British people.
On Friday night, after an eleven-month Brexit transition phase, Great Britain also leaves the EU internal market and the customs union. His country could now do things differently, promised Johnson – “and if necessary better than our friends in the EU.”
Johnson dreams of a “scientific superpower”
Great Britain will in future be an “open, generous” and internationally oriented country that is committed to free trade. The country could conclude “trade agreements around the world” and develop into a “scientific superpower”.
Johnson also spoke about the numerous sacrifices and restrictions that the coronavirus pandemic had brought with it. The development of vaccines has rekindled hope, Johnson said. But there is a “tough fight” ahead, he said with a view to the spread of the recently discovered corona mutation.
French President Emmanuel Macron used his New Year’s address to shake hands with the British despite the split. “The United Kingdom remains our neighbor, our friend and our ally,” Macron said.
After 47 years of membership, Great Britain left the EU at the end of January 2020. The trade and partnership agreement negotiated with the EU at the last minute is now intended to avoid a hard break.
The most important point is that no customs duties or quantity restrictions will apply in the trade in goods. In addition, the almost 1,250-page contract regulates many other topics, including fishing and cooperation in energy, transport, justice, and the police. As a result, Great Britain remains bound by European standards in several areas.
Still, there are big changes. In the future, controls will be necessary at borders because standards have to be checked, including for agricultural products. For citizens, the possibility of simply moving is over. The visa exemption for travel will also be limited in time in future.