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'Keep the light on': joy for some, regret for others at Brexit endgame

Posted at Jan 01, 2021

Some politicians in Britain and the EU have expressed triumph while others voiced bitter regret after the UK’s Brexit transition period ended on Thursday night.

Britain left the European bloc’s vast single market for goods, services and the movement of people at 11pm GMT on New Year’s Eve – midnight in Brussels – completing the biggest single economic change the country has experienced since the second world war.

For some, including the prime minister, it was moment of pride. Boris Johnson said the UK was now “free to do trade deals around the world, and free to turbocharge our ambition to be a science superpower”.

But in Scotland, which voted strongly in the 2016 Brexit referendum to remain, the pro-independence first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, tweeted: “Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on.”

Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on