Boris Johnson hails 'dawn of a new era' as UK leaves the European Union

Written by Kevin Schofield and Alain Tolhurst on 31 January 2020 in News
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PM will say Brexit is not an end but the beginning of ‘national renewal and change’

Boris Johnson in Downing Street. Photo: PA

Brexit will herald "the dawn of a new era" which will spread opportunity across the UK, according to Boris Johnson.

The prime minister will make the claim in an address to the nation at 10pm on Friday night – exactly one hour before the UK's official departure from the European Union.

He will say the historic moment marks a new beginning and pledge to re-unite the nation following the division of the last four years.


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Speaking from 10 Downing Street, the PM will say: "Our job as the government – my job – is to bring this country together and take us forward.

"And the most important thing to say tonight is that this is not an end but a beginning. This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act. It is a moment of real national renewal and change.

"This is the dawn of a new era in which we no longer accept that your life chances – your family’s life chances – should depend on which part of the country you grow up in.

"This is the moment when we begin to unite and level up."

To mark Brexit Day, the Cabinet will hold a special meeting in Sunderland, the first city to declare for Brexit on the night of the 2016 referendum.

Also today, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove acknowledged businesses will face more regulations and bureaucracy when trading with the EU after Brexit, Michael Gove has admitted.

He said the government could not guarantee trade would be “frictionless” as the UK wants to diverge from some existing Brussels regulation.

He also appeared to blame the European Union for the potential disruption to firms, saying it was because Britain would have to stay signed up to all the rules to avoid it.

With focus now turning towards securing a long-term free trade deal between the UK and the UK, Give told told BBC Breakfast he could not guarantee that trade would remain frictionless, Mr Gove

“We want trade to be as frictionless as possible but the EU is clear that you can only have fully frictionless trade if you accept all their rules, you accept all their laws, you are subordinate to their judges, you are subordinate to their political structures.

"We voted to be independent. We want to have as close as possible a relationship with the EU and the approach we want to take is based on the relationship they have with Canada."

He added: "That may mean that when it comes to trading with Europe there are some bureaucratic processes there that aren't there now but we will do everything possible to minimise the friction in terms of our economy."

The Cabinet Office minister also said he will be both relieved and delighted when the clock strikes 11pm, saying it “a chance for us, as a country, to come together”.

Asked what the top three changes Brits can expect from life outside the EU, Mr Gove replied: “The first thing is that we will have control of our borders and that means we can decide who comes here, we can safeguard the security of British citizens, and we can also make sure we attract the brightest and the best.

“And we’ve already made clear we’re going to have a much more attractive regime for scientists, mathematicians, technicians, the people who will shape the future.

“And the second thing, related to that, is that we can escape EU laws which have restricted innovation.

“So there are a huge range of areas where we can develop the technologies of the future, which ensure that we can feed the world’s poor, that we can develop the technologies that will enhance all our lives, and will be able to do so without the bureaucracy that the EU imposes.

“And the third thing, which I think is going to be critical as well, is that we are going to use the power of government and the private sector to make sure that those parts of the country that have not benefited properly from economic growth in the past see the benefits coming to them.”

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Kevin Schofield and Alain Tolhurst
About the author

Kevin Schofield is editor and Alain Tolhurst is chief reporter for CSW's sister publication PoliticsHome, where this story first appeared.

Kevin Schofield is editor and Alain Tolhurst is chief reporter for CSW's sister publication PoliticsHome, where this story first appeared.

 

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