Brexit supporters are celebrating one year after the United Kingdom formally left the European Union, at 11pm on January 31 2020 – three and a half years after the country voted to leave the bloc.
The first anniversary of the important constitutional milestone feels a long way away after a year dominated by an unprecedented global pandemic, but supporters of national independence are marking the day by celebrating the huge effort of 17.4m people to back the change – and see it through against years of grueling elite opposition.
Speaking to more than a million and a half users on Twitter, Reform UK leader Nigel Farage said: “The victory we won against the establishment was the result of decades of hard work by thousands of ordinary people. I salute every single one of you who played your part, no matter how big or small. The will of the people prevailed.”
He also included an eight and a half minute video reflecting on the Brexit triumph, along with the recent failures of the EU on vaccine procurement.
January 31 2020 wasn’t, however, the end of the Brexit story. After years of parliamentary tussles and the realisation of a new whopping Tory majority at the end of 2019, Britain entered into an eleven month transition period and intense new talks for a future arrangement.
The Brexit deal secured by Boris drew criticism for its weak position on fishing – which had long been a totem for national independence – but ultimately won the approval of hardline Eurosceptics because it restored legal sovereignty to the UK, kept Britain out of the single market, and ended huge payouts to Brussels.
The deal also freed the UK up to continue pursuing an independent reade policy, and during the transition alone the UK signed 64 trade deals. Trade secretary Liz Truss has said that more are on the way, and tomorrow she’ll formally apply to join a massive Pacific trade pact worth £9 trillion – without the need for political union.
But most emblematic of the success of Brexit is the current vaccine roll-out, with the shambles presided over by the EU even drawing the ire of longtime Europhiles. Remain voter Piers Morgan called the EU’s conduct over vaccines “the best advert for Brexit that I have seen”.
Their failure stands in stark contrast to Britain, who took an independent approach to vaccine procurement while the EU handed the job to the sclerotic European Commission. Just yesterday the UK delivered jabs to over 600,000 Brits, while a former top Eurocrat tried to brag about the supposed success of the failed European scheme by comparing it to Africa’s.