The United Kingdom (UK) started the New Year with its much-touted independence after excluding itself from the European Bloc, of which it had been a prominent member since 1973.
Brexit took effect in substance on Thursday at the stroke of midnight in Brussels, or 2300 London time (GMT), and the transition period of 11 months came to an end. For five years, the Brexit crisis had engaged Britain in the dilemma of ‘exit’ or ‘no exit’ and tarnished the British image to a great extent.
“This is an amazing moment for this country,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said in his New Year’s Eve message. “We have our freedom in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it.”
Supporters of Brexit see it as the dawn of a newly independent “global Britain”, but the scene that had ensued following the British decision has weakened the bonds among constituent parts.
However, after all the dilemma, one of the most significant events in European history since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 passed with little noise and the UK parted its way, keeping silence in the wake of Covid-19 crisis.
With partial lockdown in most of the country due to surging rates of infection, there were few displays of emotion when the Big Ben tolled 11 through a scaffold on Thursday night.
In the referendum of June 2016, 52pc backed Brexit while 48pc backed staying in the bloc. However, some people have also changed their stance since then.
The referendum revealed that the UK is highly polarised, and ignited debates on various aspects; from secession and immigration to capitalism, and the post-Brexit course of action.
Nevertheless, PM Borris Johnson has asserted: “We see a global future for ourselves". Now, what global future Britain envisages for itself and what policies it pursues in the post-Brexit era remain to be seen.