Brexit – UK leaving EU today

Years after a referendum decision to leave the European Union the United Kingdom will leave the European Union Friday night at 23:00 GMT (midday Saturday NZ time).

BBC – Brexit: UK to quit EU at 23:00 GMT, as PM promises ‘new dawn’

The UK will officially leave the European Union at 23:00 GMT, ending 47 years of membership.

In a video message to be released an hour earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson – who led the 2016 campaign to leave – will call Brexit a “new dawn”.

Pro and anti-Brexit demonstrations and marches are being held across the country, as the UK flag is taken down from EU institutions in Brussels.

Little will change immediately, as the UK begins a “transition period”.

Most EU laws will continue to be in force – including the free movement of people – until the end of December, by which time the UK aims to have reached a permanent free trade agreement with the EU.

That’s a short timeframe for reaching a free trade agreement, they usually take years of negotiations and politics.

BBC Live – UK gets ready to leave the EU

Summary

  1. The UK leaves the EU at 23:00 GMT on Friday
  2. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will publish a video message to hail the “dawn of a new era” at 22:00
  3. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urges the country not to “turn inwards” after it leaves the bloc
  4. A special cabinet meeting has been held in Sunderland – the first place to declare a pro-Brexit vote on referendum night
  5. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says Brexit day is a “pivotal moment” for Scotland and the UK
  6. Supporters of the EU held a procession through Whitehall to “bid a fond farewell” to the union
  7. Brexit supporters have been gathering in Parliament Square ahead of a celebration event which starts at 21:00

May played a part, but not a very successful part.

Polls show that UK voters are have mostly been marginally against Brexit.

BBC – Brexit: Do Britons now agree about leaving the EU?

Despite the Conservatives’ election success, polls conducted during the campaign suggested – as they had done for the last two years – that there was a small but consistent majority in favour of remaining in the EU.

On average, the last half dozen polls before the election put Remain on 53% and Leave on 47%

How people would vote in another referendum

But that’s irrelevant. The referendum was the poll that mattered, and although it was very controversial the vote was for leaving the EU:

  • Leave 17,410,742 (51.89%)
  • Remain 16,141,241 (48.11%)

So after three years of political wrangling, including two elections, the split from the EU is happening.

Leave a comment

24 Comments

  1. Missy

     /  1st February 2020

    Happy Brexit Day!!!!!

    Reply
    • What’s the general mood like in London today?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  1st February 2020

        brexciting.

        Reply
      • Missy

         /  1st February 2020

        For many it is just a normal day, however, down around Parliament Square it has been a sense of excitement and happiness, and a sense of history.

        I haven’t stayed in the city, but as I was walking down Whitehall to the train it was a sense of happiness and excitement, but also relief that it is actually happening. Many have come into London to celebrate, and there was a party atmosphere around Parliament from early on. There is also a general feeling of optimism, and I think that is down to Boris Johnson.

        The Wetherspoons pub was packed, not surprising as the owner was a Brexit supporter and campaigner, and so many have headed for his pubs to celebrate.

        In general though many realise that not much will actually change in terms of how their lives are impacted, especially during the transition period, but they see the benefits and the impact being more long term.

        I spoke to many on my way to the train, and they were in a celebratory mood, but the most common comment was ‘finally’. More importantly many have had their faith in democracy restored, they feel that after almost 4 years their vote, and the vote for Brexit, actually (and finally) counted. For me that is the most important thing, people actually are believing that the system works, and no longer is voting a waste of time. They are seeing that their vote actually can count and can change things.

        Reply
  2. David

     /  1st February 2020

    Awesome, I am so excited. Hopefully this will signal the end of the EU in its current form and it will turn back into a free trade area and they will dump the strangling regulations and unworkable currency.
    I think this is the start of the end of the EU. The new president is truly awful and the head of the ECB hasnt much of a clue but they both meet the intersectionality tick box. The UK is not only a huge contributor but a moderating influence on the EUs rush to regulate and interfere in everything.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st February 2020

      Hooray for the Brits’ ability to say “Up you!” to authority. It has always made the world a wonderfully better place.

      Reply
      • Missy

         /  1st February 2020

        The Brits generally have Libertarian values at heart, they don’t like big Government or authorities dictating how they live their lives, and I think some of this was behind the vote for Brexit.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  1st February 2020

          Really . By NZ standards they have far more surveillance and all sorts of restrictions on speech and things like Anti social behavoural Orders, legal constraints on what you can do. Sure its for a tiny minority but as per usual it spread to a wider group.
          The NHS system when it comes to GPs isnt something we would accept either.
          Sure the UK doesnt have ID cards and paramilitary police like they have in a lot of Europe, but the 1950s ‘freedoms’ arent still there like some think. And yes they fought against the Nazis but the extreme right isnt as strong as in many places in europe.

          Reply
    • Missy

       /  1st February 2020

      I am excited too, more for the opportunities and the future for the UK. It will be interesting how the impact of the UK leaving will have on the EU, they are losing their second or third largest net contributor, apparently the UK is worth 19 of the smaller economies in financial terms. This will put a hole in the EU’s budget, and financial situation.

      The new President of the EU Commission (one of five Presidents they have) is under investigation in Germany related to defence contracts from when she was the Defence Minister there. She was quietly moved out of the German Parliament and put forward to replace Juncker, she was the only candidate and the duly ‘voted’ in by the Commission and Parliament. It is a sort, and she is worse than awful. She is there only because of her gender, it is the EU’s response to the criticism that they are made up of old white men.

      There were reports today that the EU leaders have said that they need to change and adapt to make people love them again, and to reform to move power away from Brussels, I am not confident that will happen though for a number of reasons: Mostly because the new Commission President is a federalist, and she has indicated that she favours greater integration, and that she will force it through.

      The UK will be missed by some, but those that are fully signed on to the European project will not, they will find it easier to push through their agenda without the moderating force of the UK, however, in saying that the EU are moving towards qualified majority votes over full consensus for many of their policy decisions, which means in the long term the UK would have no influence to moderate the EU’s regulation and more extreme control measures.

      Reply
  3. Missy

     /  1st February 2020

    Reply
  4. Corky

     /  1st February 2020

    Nigel Farage sticks it to the EU one last time. My guess is France will follow Britain, sooner rather than later.

    God bless the land of Merlin..and the British way.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  1st February 2020

      No chance of that , the EU was designed to suit France. ( and they break the rules when it suits- especially the financial ones made for Germany)
      However UK who used to be way behind the French economy in size has now surpassed them.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st February 2020

        Merlin was Welsh, not English. His land was Wales.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  1st February 2020

          Of course Merlin is the over soul ( archetype) of the British Isles. When he shape shifts into a bird he realises physical boundaries are a just an illusion. Of course, there was a real warrior called Merlin, but that is a different story.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  1st February 2020

            Ooops..mistakes do happen. That was meant to be a stand alone post.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  1st February 2020

              I don’t know who you’re thinking of, but Merlin was a wizard, not a warrior. He was at King Arthur’s court.

              A merlin is also a hawk, but that has nothing to do with the Merlin of Welsh mythology.

        • Duker

           /  1st February 2020

          You would think that, as you have stars in your eyes over anyone who is ‘Trump like’
          The French did elect some new who wasnt from the mold of the existing parties and across all groups, you may have heard of him…MACRON. he got twice the vote almost of Le Pen in a head to head. ( 66% to 34%)…. whats that sound …the stars falling off your eyelids for Le Pen.
          in the first round of voting ( where they vote with their heart) the Far left candidate for Insoumise got 19.5% while Le Pen got 21%. People now may hate Macron just as much but a biggest vote of 34% le Pen will never win
          She has the Trump problem, a big number who absolutely hate her and will never vote for NF.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  1st February 2020

            I sorry you think that, Duker. Interesting you mentioned Trump. My how they laughed and denigrated him. Guess what..he’s the POTUS. I don’t doubt Le Pen has bigger uphill battle. But nothing is ever impossible.

            Reply
  5. Conspiratoor

     /  1st February 2020

    I recall the day almost 50 years ago when the poms shafted us and snuggled up to the eec. Half our export trade evaporated overnight. Welcome back boys, but hey now we kowtow to China. What could possibly go wrong?

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  1st February 2020

      No it didnt . There was a long transition period, well 5 yrs or so and some items get preferential access even now. At last we were free from having to take the dreadful UK cars from the era and other junk that was a better quality from japan.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  1st February 2020

        Heres that facts about NZ and UK joining the EEC as it was called then
        https://teara.govt.nz/en/overseas-trade-policy/page-4

        “In 1970 Britain took more than 90% of New Zealand’s butter exports and 75% of cheese exports. The Luxembourg agreement reduced the butter quota by roughly 17% and the cheese quota by roughly 68% over 5 years. Quantities were reduced further after 1977, to about half the 1973 levels. New Zealand continued to have butter quotas in the 1980s and 1990s – although at much reduced levels”

        The UK was only 30% of our exports in 1970 and 5% in 2007. So no ‘half overnight’

        and its forgotten how much we favoured the Poms in those days with their shoddy stuff.
        ” In the 1950s more than 50% of New Zealand produce received no preferential treatment in Britain, yet 90% of British goods got preferential treatment in New Zealand.”

        Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  2nd February 2020

    I got an email from an Aunt in UK, it sounds like some are ‘re-celebrating’; end of WW2 again ? :/

    Reply
  7. Tom Hunter

     /  2nd February 2020

    You Can Thank Remainers For The Hardness Of This Brexit

    Written by somebody who voted Remain but accepted democracy. Rare.

    From the minute the referendum result was declared to the moment I type these words, I have believed – and argued – that Britain must leave the EU, because that is what we voted for. Because I think it is essential that the vote is implemented, I suppose it is accurate to say that I want the UK to leave tonight. I voted Remain and now I am, in a narrow sense, happy that we are leaving. Leaving means that the system – people vote for stuff, that stuff happens – still works.

    And….

    Remainers who said they feared the impact of Brexit helped kill an attempt to limit the impact of Brexit.

    The People’s Vote campaign was always a fool’s errand. The same forces that won in 2016 and gave Johnson his majority last month would have smashed Remain in any second referendum.

    Reply

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