London/Brussels, Jan 1 (efe-epa).- The European Union and the United Kingdom brought in the new year on Friday, which also marked the first day of their new, post-Brexit relationship after almost half a century together. Having struggled — and ultimately failed — to live together, now they will have to learn to live without each other.
The UK has been left out of the single market and the customs union at the end of the transition period that began on January 31, 2020, when the country officially left the EU.
Now, four and a half years after the British people voted in a referendum in favor of Brexit, the United Kingdom has begun a new era by once again being subject to its own laws, under the jurisdiction of its courts, with control of its waters and the freedom to negotiate trade agreements with countries outside the EU block.
THE SCOTTISH QUESTION
The separation has been greeted with deep regret in Scotland, whose first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, urged the EU in a tweet, to “keep the light on” because Scotland “will be back soon”.
The leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) has repeatedly reiterated her willingness to fight for an independent Scotland that would eventually rejoin the EU.
Now that the divorce process is complete, it will be up to Boris Johnson to deal with the demands of the SNP nationalists to hold another independence referendum, a promise that Sturgeon hopes to make to Scots ahead of the Scottish Parliamentary elections to be held in May.
CALM AT THE DAWN OF A NEW ERA
Tranquility reigned on Friday morning at the port of Dover and at the entrance of the Eurotunnel, two of the main crossings from England to France, at the dawn of a new era after the divorce went through.
Traffic was reported to be light and disturbances few and far between, despite the new customs rules.