Accueil Coronavirus UK’s new EU relationship ‘running smoothly’ as Brexit deal comes into force

UK’s new EU relationship ‘running smoothly’ as Brexit deal comes into force

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain had “taken back control of our money, our laws and our waters” after the nation officially left the European Union trading structures at 11pm on New Year’s Eve.

There will be inevitable disruption as a result of the increased bureaucracy between the UK and its largest trading partner, but there was little sign on Friday of the chaos some had feared.

Lower trade volumes on the New Year’s Day bank holiday could mean the full impact of the new regime is yet to be felt, but freight appeared to be moving freely at the borders with Ireland and France under the new arrangements.

Britain’s ambassador to France Lord Llewellyn tweeted that things were “running smoothly” as he visited the port at Calais and the Eurotunnel terminal “to see the situation on the ground”.

“Happy New Year to all the teams on both sides of the Channel working on New Year’s Day,” he added.

Meanwhile, an official from Dublin Port said there were no delays as the first trucks arrived into Irish ports.

Tom Talbot, head of customs operations in Dublin Port, said there was a low volume of trucks on the first ferry into Dublin.

He said: “The first trucks from Britain post-Brexit arrived in Rosslare Europort and Dublin Port this morning. As we expected, the freight was very low given the time of year and given where we are.”

However, he added: “It probably won’t be until next week before we see an increase in volume of trucks coming into the various ports.”

Brexit Lorries Parked on M20: In Pictures

Travel From UK To France Remains Suspended Over Covid-19 Concerns

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Travel From UK To France Remains Suspended Over Covid-19 Concerns

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Travel From UK To France Remains Suspended Over Covid-19 Concerns

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Travel From UK To France Remains Suspended Over Covid-19 Concerns

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Travel From UK To France Remains Suspended Over Covid-19 Concerns

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Travel From UK To France Remains Suspended Over Covid-19 Concerns

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Travel From UK To France Remains Suspended Over Covid-19 Concerns

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Travel From UK To France Remains Suspended Over Covid-19 Concerns

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Trucks are parked lining the streets in Dover, whilst the Port remains closed, in Kent

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Trucks are parked lining the streets in Dover, whilst the Port remains closed, in Kent

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Trucks are parked lining the streets in Dover, whilst the Port remains closed, in Kent

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Trucks are parked lining the streets in Dover, whilst the Port remains closed, in Kent

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Traffic on the right hand lane makes its way westbound along the M20

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Traffic on the right hand lane makes its way westbound along the M20

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Traffic on the right hand lane makes its way westbound along the M20

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Emergency services park between lorries on the M20 motorway

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Polish truck driver Marcin Pastok sits in his lorry cab whilst he waits at Ashford International Truck Stop, in Ashford

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A police officer talks to a lorry driver outside the Port of Dover in Kent.

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Lorries parked on the M20 in Kent after the Port of Dover was closed after the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK. France appears set to end a ban on hauliers crossing the Channel which was imposed due to fears about the spread of the new coronavirus strain. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday December 21, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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Lorries parked on the M20 in Kent after the Port of Dover was closed after the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK. France appears set to end a ban on hauliers crossing the Channel which was imposed due to fears about the spread of the new coronavirus strain. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday December 21, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

PA

Lorries parked on the M20 in Kent after the Port of Dover was closed after the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK. France appears set to end a ban on hauliers crossing the Channel which was imposed due to fears about the spread of the new coronavirus strain. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday December 21, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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Coronavirus – Mon Dec 21, 2020

Lorries parked on the M20 in Kent after the Port of Dover was closed after the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK. France appears set to end a ban on hauliers

PA

Coronavirus – Mon Dec 21, 2020

Lorries parked on the M20 in Kent after the Port of Dover was closed after the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK. France appears set to end a ban on hauliers

PA

Coronavirus – Mon Dec 21, 2020

Lorries parked on the M20 in Kent after the Port of Dover was closed after the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK. France appears set to end a ban on hauliers

PA

A drive sits in the cab of his lorry while parked on the M20 in Kent after the Port of Dover was closed after the French government’s announcement it will not accept any passengers arriving from the UK. France appears set to end a ban on hauliers crossing the Channel which was imposed due to fears about the spread of the new coronavirus strain

PA

Mr Johnson said the decision to leave the single market and customs union ended a “47-year experiment” of European Union membership.

He said the EU had provided the UK with a “safe European home” during the 1970s, but the country has now “changed out of all recognition” with global perspectives.

The UK is “free to do things differently, and if necessary better, than our friends in the EU” in 2021, he said in a video message to mark New Year.

Brexit: UK’s final day in EU

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives to attend a cabinet meeting held at the National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland

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A massive banner by the campaign group Another Europe is Possible is hung off Westminster Bridge in London, ahead of the UK leaving the European Union

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People wear Union Jack hats and Brexit Day t shirts in Parliament Square as people prepare for Brexit

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Pro EU supporters let off flares from Westminster Bridge by the London Eye as people prepare for Brexit

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European Parliament President David Sassoli speaks during a media conference at the Parlamentarium in Brussels

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MEP Jonathan Bullock holding the Union Jack waves from a taxi as he leaves the European Parliament

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Commuters walk along London Bridge toward the City of London with Tower Bridge

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivers a speech on Brexit day

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President David Sassoli arrive for a meeting near The European Parliament in Brussels

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Steve Bray in Westminster this morning

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People walk past a Brexit countdown clock at the Parlamentarium in Brussels

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Union Flags line the Mall leading to Buckingham Palace

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British members of the European Parliament from the Brexit Party Jonathan Bullock and Ann Widdecombe wave in front of the train station as they leave in Brussels

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Pro-EU anti-Brexit protesters hold placards in Parliament Square in London

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Sunrise over the Houses of Parliament

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid arrives at King’s Cross St. Pancras Station in London before boarding a train to the North East for a cabinet meeting in Sunderland

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Brexit Party members of the European Parliament, Jack Pugh and David Bull, depart from the Parliament to return to Great Britain on the day the United Kingdom will officially fulfill Brexit and leave the European Union

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Britain’s ambassador to the European Union Tim Barrow leaves the British representation to the EU residence in Brussels

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A man sits as members of the media set up on Parliament Square on Brexit day

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European Commission Chief Negociator Michel Barnier arrives for a meeting near the European Parliament in Brussels

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Red Viking apples with the Union Jack are displayed and given out for free to promote British produce on Parliament Square

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A woman carrying the red box belonging to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab goes into King’s Cross Station in London to board a train to the North East for a cabinet meeting in Sunderland

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A technician makes lighting adjustments prior to a media conference of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and European Parliament President David Sassoli at the Parlamentarium in Brussels

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Ann Widdecombe member of the European Parliament (MEP) for South West England, reacts with other members of the Brexit party as they leave en masse from the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium

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Euro Balloons stuck in a tree in Westminster

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Newspapers and other souvenirs are pictured at a store, near Parliament Square

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Julian Smith, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland arrives at King’s Cross Station in London

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A British bulldog toy and other souvenirs are pictured at a souvenir store, near Parliament Square

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International Trade Secretary Liz Truss arrives at King’s Cross St. Pancras Station in London before boarding a train to the North East for a cabinet meeting in Sunderland

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British MEP’s carry a Union flag as they march out of European Parliament with their luggage in Brussels to take the Eurostar train back to Britain

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A Brexiteer in Parliament Square, Londo

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As well as the Christmas Eve deal with Brussels, the UK has reached several agreements with non-EU countries – such as Japan – to ensure continuity of trading arrangements for British companies from January 1.

Mr Johnson, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said the “great new deal” with the EU honours the “most basic promises” of the 2016 referendum, and added that the UK has “taken back control of our money, our laws and our waters”.

“And yet it is also the essence of this treaty that it provides certainty for UK business and industry, because it means that we can continue to trade freely – with zero tariffs and zero quotas – with the EU.”

In a sign that the UK will break away from the EU rules it inherited, Mr Johnson said: “We need the Brexit-given chance to turbocharge those sectors in which we excel, to do things differently and to do them better.”

Related

Ireland’s foreign minister, Simon Coveney, said the change in trading arrangements with the UK will inevitably cause disruption.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We’re now going to see the 80 billion euro (£71.2 billion) worth of trade across the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland disrupted by an awful lot more checks and declarations, and bureaucracy and paperwork, and cost and delay.”

Ferry operator Stena Line said six freight loads destined for Ireland had been turned away at Holyhead due to incorrect paperwork.

“Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on,” she said.

Scottish voters did not back Brexit and the First Minister views it as a major issue in her campaign to break away from the UK.

Related

Under the new arrangements, freedom of movement rights end and, while UK citizens can still travel for work or pleasure, there are different rules.

Passports must be valid for more than six months, visas or permits may be needed for long stays, pets need a health certificate and drivers need extra documents.

The automatic right to live and work in the EU also ceases, and the UK will no longer take part in the Erasmus student exchange programme.

Hauliers face new rules and lorry drivers heading for the Continent must have a Kent Access Permit before entering the county in an effort to curb tailbacks on cross-Channel routes.

Travel to Ireland does not change, but the Northern Ireland Protocol means Northern Ireland remains in the EU single market for goods and will apply EU customs rules at its ports, even though the region is still part of the UK customs territory.

The protocol will also see Northern Ireland follow certain EU rules on state aid and VAT.

Gibraltar, whose sovereignty is disputed by Spain and Britain, remains subject to the rules of the free-travel Schengen area, keeping the border with Spain open.

Government officials insisted the necessary border systems and infrastructure in the UK are in place.

What challenges lie ahead for Boris Johnson in 2021?

Big Ben chimed at 11pm, when the Prime Minister is understood to have marked the occasion with his family in Downing Street.

Celebrations were muted by the coronavirus pandemic but Eurosceptic MPs, once derided as fringe eccentrics on the margins of the Conservative Party, expressed their delight.

Sir Bill Cash said it was a “victory for democracy and sovereignty”, while Sir John Redwood said he looked forward to using the “new freedoms and opportunities now open to global Britain”.

Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, who played a key role in the 2016 referendum, told the PA news agency: “Yes, we spare a thought for Northern Ireland and our fishermen, but this is a moment to celebrate 2021 as an independent United Kingdom. It’s a shame the pubs aren’t open.”

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