London (AFP) – Like an estranged couple who still live together, Britain and the European Union have spent 2020 arguing and questioning whether they can remain friends.

On Thursday, the UK is finally moving. At 11 pm London time – midnight at the European Union headquarters in Brussels – Britain will economically and practically leave the 27-nation bloc, 11 months after its official political departure.

After more than four years of political drama about Brexit, the day itself is kind of a meltdown. The lockdown measures in the UK to curb the Coronavirus have reduced mass gatherings to celebrate or mourn the moment, although the huge Big Ben clock bell in Parliament will ring the clock as it prepares to ring in the new year.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – for whom Thursday represents the fulfillment of his promise to “end Britain’s exit from the European Union” – said today “marks a new beginning in our country’s history and a new relationship with the European Union as their biggest ally.”

After the British Parliament approved the trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union overnight, “This moment has finally arrived and now is the time to seize it,” he said, the last official hurdle on the British side before leaving.

It has been 4 and a half years since Britain voted in a referendum to leave the bloc, which it joined in 1973. The United Kingdom left the political structures of the European Union on January 31, 2020, but the repercussions of this decision have not yet emerged, since the UK’s economic relationship with the bloc has remained Unchanged during the 11-month transition period ending Thursday.

READ  방대한 글로벌 백신 프로그램인 Covax가 잘못된 곳에서

After that, Britain will leave the vast single market for the European Union and the Customs Union – the largest single economic change the country has seen since World War II.

The free trade agreement struck on Christmas Eve after months of tense negotiations will ensure that Britain and the 27-nation European Union continue to trade in goods without tariffs or quotas. That should help protect the £ 660 billion ($ 894 billion) in annual trade between the two sides, and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on it.

But companies face bundles of new paperwork and expenses. Traders are struggling to grasp the new rules imposed by a 1,200-page deal agreed just a week before the changes took place.

The English port of Dover and the Eurotunnel passenger and freight route are preparing for delays, although the pandemic and the weekend mean traffic through the canals will be lower than normal. A vital supply route was disrupted for several days after France closed its borders to UK truck drivers for 48 hours last week in response to a rapidly spreading variant of the virus identified in England.

The British government has insisted that “the border systems and infrastructure we need are in place, and we are ready for the start of the new United Kingdom”.

But shipping companies are holding their breath. British transport company Young’s Transport suspended services to the European Union from Monday until January 11th to “let things settle”.

“We think it gives the country a week or so to get used to all these new systems in and out and we can take a look and hope to solve any problems in advance of actually sending our trucks,” said Young’s manager Rob Holleman.

READ  러시아의 우크라이나 전쟁: 라이브 업데이트

The service sector, which makes up 80% of the British economy, does not even know what rules will apply to business with the European Union in 2021 – many details have yet to be worked out. Months and years of additional debate and debate over everything from fair competition to fish quotas await us like Britain A. The European Union settles into their new relationship as friends, neighbors and competitors.

Hundreds of millions of people in Britain and the Bloc are also facing changes In their daily life. After Thursday, British and European Union citizens lose the automatic right to live and work in each other’s territory. From now on they will have to follow immigration rules and obtain work visas. Tourists won’t need visas for short trips, but new problems – from travel insurance to pet papers – still loom large for Britons visiting the continent.

For some in Britain, including the prime minister, it is a moment of pride and a restoration of national independence from the huge Brussels bureaucracy.

Conservative lawmaker Bill Cash, who has championed Brexit for decades, said it was “a victory for democracy and sovereignty”.

This is not a widely shared opinion across the channel. “It will be historic, and it will be sad,” said the French Minister for European Affairs, Clement Bonn.

Boone told LCI: “A number of lessons have to be drawn from Brexit, starting with the lies, I think, that were told to the British,” “And we’ll see what was promised – a kind of complete freedom, no restrictions, leverage – I think it is will not happen.”

READ  수백 건의 화재가 그리스를 황폐화시키면서 아테네 외곽의 산불

Many in Britain were frightened by the leap into the unknown taking place during the pandemic that turned life around the world upside down.

“I feel very sad that we’re leaving,” said Jane Percy Edwards, a film director in London. “I think COVID has overshadowed everything that’s going on. But I think the other thing that has happened is that people feel a greater sense of community, and I think that makes it even more sad because we are disintegrating our society a little bit, by leaving our neighbors in Europe.

“I hope we find other ways to rebuild relationships,” she said.

___

Contributed to this story is John Lister of Le Beek, France.

___

Follow all AP stories on Brexit at https://apnews.com/Brexit

답글 남기기

이메일 주소는 공개되지 않습니다. 필수 필드는 *로 표시됩니다

You May Also Like

도덕적으로 체포된 후 사망한 이란인의 장례식에서 시위가 벌어졌다.

지금 등록하여 Reuters.com에 무료 무제한 액세스 등록하다 두바이 (로이터) – 토요일 이란…

백신을 맞으 러 원주민 마을로 날아간 캐나다 부부는 유죄를 인정했다

법원 기록에 따르면 1 월 예방 접종을 위해 작은 원주민 사회를 여행…

미얀마 군부, ‘조용한 시위’로 쿠데타 기념 비상사태 연장

군사위원회는 비상 사태를 연장하고 선거를 치러야한다고 말했습니다. 대통령 권한대행은 “현재 상황은 특별한…

Jobs, Homes and Cows: China’s Costly Engine to End Extreme Poverty

Jiyuan Village, China – When the Chinese government offered free cows to…