UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The United Kingdom is entering a historic week on Monday, which will end on Friday, becoming the first country to leave the European Union after three and a half years of painstaking efforts to secede.
Some celebrate, while others await sadly on January 31, 2020, 23:00 GMT, the date for the exit from the European Union, which was postponed three times and was a source of great internal division in the United Kingdom.
But the secession does not mean a complete end to the troubles between London and the remaining 27 European Union countries. Rather, it constitutes the start of difficult negotiations that will lay the foundations for the relationship between the two parties.
Big Ben’s watchmaker, who is undergoing repairs, will not ring the bells at the exit date, despite Brexit’s most ardent supporters’ attempts to do so. On the other hand, a countdown will take place via an illuminated clock in front of the government headquarters in Downing Street.
On this occasion, a 50 pence coin will be entered into circulation. It will go on sale first three million pieces, then seven million.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is a strong supporter of Brexit and who has presented himself as a university figure in the country since his victory in the legislative elections, will address the nation tonight.
Johnson wrote in a message published by the Conservative Party that it is time “to leave the past behind us” and “to unite the country”, referring to the division between supporters and opponents of Brexit, who 52% of Britons voted in favor of in the 2016 referendum.
But the task of unifying the country would not be easy for Johnson, as local councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland rejected his law on Brisect.
Boris Johnson, who came to power in July, succeeded as former Prime Minister Theresa May failed. The latter left Downing Street with tears after failing three times to obtain Parliament’s approval of the Brexit Agreement.
After twice renegotiating the text with Brussels and obtaining a new solution preventing the actual restoration of boundaries between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the former London mayor grabbed Parliament’s support for a law allowing the exit from the European Union.
This is thanks to the overwhelming parliamentary majority it achieved in December, an unprecedented majority for the Conservative Party since Margaret Thatcher.
A difficult transition
On January 23, Queen Elizabeth II signed the 535-page text reached in October and converted the exit agreement into British law.
And there remains one last step before the official end of the 47-year relationship between Britain and the European Union, represented by the adoption by the European Parliament on Wednesday of the Brexit Agreement, which was signed Friday in Brussels and London.
Representatives of European Union member states must announce their written approval of the text the day after that, which is the last formal step.
However, January 31 is only a symbolic date, and nothing much will change physically and immediately after this date. The exit agreement provides for a transitional period that runs until 31 December 2020, during which the UK must implement the rules of the European Union, but without the right to vote on its decisions.
Meanwhile, the European Union appointed its former ambassador to the United States, João Valle de Almeida, Portugal, as ambassador to London, to take office on February 1.
The transitional phase, in particular, aims for London and Brussels to work on the nature of their future relationship, especially in the field of trade. Johnson wants to end these transitional negotiations within record time, ruling out any postponement of their date until after the end of the year.
But Europeans consider that this time is not enough and that priorities must be identified.
Johnson clearly announced that he wanted an agreement similar to his country’s trade agreement with Canada, while not abiding by the rules of the European bloc.
In parallel, the United Kingdom wants to negotiate its own free trade agreements with other countries, especially the United States, under the administration of Donald Trump, who has signed a “startling” trade agreement with London.
The British-American negotiations will not be easy, especially with the London announcement that it will impose a digital tax on major technology companies in April, despite the Americans threatening with corresponding measures.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to arrive in London on January 29 to meet Boris Johnson, “reaffirm the privileged relationship” between the two allies and “discuss ways to expand and deepen trade relations” between them after Brexit.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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