On 31st January, Britain made its final exit from the E.U. at 11 p.m local time. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday gave his first major speech since the nation formally left the European Union. Presently, Britain aims to build a new economic relationship between the bloc and its ex-member.
The U.K. needs to work hard to maintain the relation with its biggest trading partner, covering everything from tariffs and product standards to the British industry’s ability to recruit foreign workers and the E.U. ‘s access to U.K. fishing grounds.
Mr Johnson, in his speech, says the word Brexit is “over” and receding behind the UK into history. The Prime Minister says after Brexit, the country will not accept all its rules as it opens up negotiations with countries around the world.
Mr Johnson delivered his important speech at the historic Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich that is a World Heritage Site reflecting Britain’s economic history. He was asked why he had not referred to the word “Brexit” even once during the speech. “It’s not banned. It’s just over… it’s gone. I wouldn’t say it’s like the Big Bang or the Norman Conquest. It’s just that it’s receding into history behind us,” he replied.
“I won’t even mention the name of the controversy except to say that it begins with B. Receding in the past behind us. We have the opportunity, we have the newly recaptured powers, we know where we want to go, and that is out into the world,” he added.
Both sides have agreed on a transition period that will keep current rules and regulations in effect until Dec 31. Mr Johnson, during his speech, mainly highlighted the UK government’s approach to the upcoming negotiations with the EU during the transition period. As per the Office for National Statistics, the EU accounted for 54% of Britain’s imports and 43% of its exports in 2016.
The UK will now start the discussion for a new trading arrangement with several other countries, including the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Japan, the PM asserted.
“We are ready for the great multi-dimensional game of chess in which we engage in more than one negotiation at once and we are limbering up to use nerves and muscles and instincts that this country has not had to use for half a century,” he said.
However, the EU is not hopeful for reaching a deal with Britain within a short period. It has also made clear that Britain will have to accept worse terms and conditions for the trade if it were still a member of the EU.