Leaving the EU

The United Kingdom leaves the European Union on Friday 31st January 2020 at 11pm our time. There will an implementation period of 11 months which cannot be extended beyond 31st December 2020. I do not want Big Ben to bong or church bells to ring. The issue was divisive enough without rubbing people’s faces in it.

It is interesting to read this week in two respected business surveys that growth forecasts for the next two years have increased since the general election and that business confidence is returning after three years of uncertainty. 

Trade talks are already underway with the EU, USA and other nations. There is no reason to think they cannot be successfully concluded this year. Our government will not lower health and welfare standards whilst ensuring that consumers have the largest range of choices available to them at the very best prices.

We now have to carve out for ourselves a new role in the world. There is every reason to believe this will be a very positive one. We will remain members of the United Nations Security Council, Commonwealth, G7 and NATO.  We will continue to enjoy close relationships with our European friends. Our soft power continues to go before us. 

Boris said he would get Brexit done and he has. Our country was stuck, but the British people have once again shown that they can be trusted. Now we can settle down and tackle some of the other deep-seated issues facing our nation like climate change and social care. 

We will invest in infrastructure, including road and rail services and broadband and G5. We will thrash out an immigration system that works for us – making sure the talent we need is able to come here. We will continue to refine our benefits system so that everybody who can work does so. 

The aim is to make this the best nation in the world to live, work and raise a family. It will take us a while to adjust to this new normal, but we will. 

We also have a job of healing to do. The Brexit debate ripped a hole in our country. Now that Brexit is a fait accomplis, the healing process can begin. The election result means that the next election will not be until spring 2024 at the earliest. There is time to heal the divides and to demonstrate that the people of this country made the right decision. 

Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images