Six months until UK free! Brexiteers hail Britain’s ‘major power out of EU’ on anniversary

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The rallying cry from Brexiteers comes as negotiations on a future trading relationship with the bloc reach a critical point four years on from the monumental 2016 result which saw Britain vote 52 percent to 48 percent in favour of leaving the European Union.

Brexit formally took place on January 31, but the UK is still in the transition period in which it follows EU laws and benefits from single market membership until the end of the year.

Both sides are trying to thrash out an agreement on a future relationship including an ambitious free trade deal.

But after four rounds of negotiations amid the coronavirus crisis, Boris Johnson and EU leaders including Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held a virtual summit in order to break the deadlock.

Though the formal deadline for the request is the end of the month, the UK has formally told the bloc it will not be extending the transition, adding extra pressure to resolve the talks by 2021.

The Prime Minister has vowed it’s now time to “get on” with thrashing out a deal with negotiations set to be ramped up in July, insisting Britain will be able to “do things differently” once we are completely free from the shackles of Brussels at the end of the year.

And Tory MP Michael Fabricant said we must “stick to our guns” to get a decisive deal over the line.

He said: “Four years ago to the day and, thanks to Boris and an overwhelming Parliamentary majority – in effect a second referendum, we are out of the EU.

“Now we must stick to our guns and not extend the transition so the EU can be focussed on a new mutually beneficial trade agreement with the UK while maintaining our sovereignty as a major power out of the EU.”

Following the referendum on June 23, 2016 David Cameron, who wanted to remain in the EU, quit as Prime Minister and was replaced by Theresa May.

But the saga was only just beginning and with Mrs May triggering Article 50 in May 2017 a chain of tumultuous events were unleashed.

Just a month later the-then PM triggered a snap general election to be held on June 8 only to suffer humiliation as she lost her Commons majority after the gamble backfired.

Ultimately Mrs May was unable to strike a Brexit deal, despite several attempts, with the EU and after losing the support of her party stood down as Tory leader last June.

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Mr Johnson won the race to succeed her and quickly struck a historic deal with the EU last October to secure the UK’s departure on January 31.

His success in solving the Brexit conundrum propelled Mr Johnson to a landslide election victory shortly before Christmas.

Conservative MP Peter Bone said of the 4th anniversary: “It is a great celebration of our democracy. The people spoke, the Government listened and delivered by Boris Johnson and we are out of the EU. Less than six months from now we will be totally free from Brussels for good.

“I for one am looking forward to an even bigger celebration on January 1st 2021.”

He added Britain’s negotiating hand is stronger now than ever.

Mr Bone said: “It is slowly dawning on the EU that they no longer have any control over our laws, our money or anything else for that matter.

“It’s in their interests to be flexible in the negotiations and I’m confident our Government will deliver.”

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