A new chapter is opening for Britain after the strong divisions over Brexit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated in his New Year message, stressing that the UK will leave the European Union on 31 January and will then be able to follow its own course.
In saying goodbye to 2019, he urged the country to “turn the page on the division, rancor and uncertainty which has dominated public life” so that the confidence of businesses and people can be rebuilt, and investments can flow in.
He also predicted “a remarkable” decade ahead for the United Kingdom.
Not everyone shared the British leader’s enthusiasm. European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan warned that upcoming talks on an agreement between Brussels and London could end in failure.
A British withdrawal without agreement at the end of 2020 would deepen the wounds and could divide families, communities and regions, the Irish commissioner told The Irish Times.
The two sides have until the end of 2020 to complete negotiations on future ties. Boris Johnson has refused to prolong this period to two years, a fact Hogan described as incredible.