Politics

Boris Johnson to hail ‘dawn of new era’ in Brexit day address to the nation on historic night for Britain



Boris Johnson is set to hail the “dawn of a new era” as he addresses the nation on Brexit day just before the historic moment the UK leaves the EU.

In his final speech before Britain’s breaks its ties to the bloc, the Prime Minister will say the night will mark “the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act”.

At 11pm on Friday, bonds dating back to 1973 when the UK joined the European Economic Community will be broken, but Mr Johnson insists the divorce from Brussels is “not an end, but a beginning”.


Mr Johnson will chair a meeting of his Cabinet in Sunderland. The city in the north of England was the first to back Brexit when results were announced after the 2016 referendum.

Members of European Parliament react after ratifying the Brexit deal during a plenary session at the European Parliament (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Addressing the nation an hour before the moment the UK leaves the EU, Mr Johnson will attempt to sound an optimistic note.

He will say: “Our job as the government – my job – is to bring this country together and take us forward.”

The PM will call Brexit “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.”

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The address was being filmed by Downing Street rather than one of the national broadcasters.

Very little will change at the moment of Brexit as a result of the deal which Mr Johnson agreed with Brussels and the 27 remaining member states.

But the UK faces further uncertainty as both sides seek to strike a trade deal by the end of the year.

As 11pm arrives, Big Ben will remain silent despite a high-profile campaign for repair works to be halted to allow its bell to ring.

But on Parliament Square, Brexiteers will gather for a party led by Nigel Farage.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage holds up a small Union Jack flag following a vote on the ratification of the Brexit deal in the European Parliament (AFP via Getty Images)

In official events, Downing Street will be illuminated with a light show and a new 50p coin will enter circulation.

In Brussels, the UK flag will be removed from the EU institutions, with one Union flag expected to be consigned to a museum.

The Belgian capital has already dressed its famous Mannekin Pis statue of a urinating boy in a John Bull costume, complete with Union flag waistcoat.

In Scotland, which voted to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum, candlelit vigils are planned.

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The Leave a Light On gatherings are taking place in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, and Stirling, among other locations.

Participants intend to send a message to the EU to keep open a place for Scotland.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Brexit left Britain “at a crossroads”.

Mr Corbyn said: “We will resist a toxic Trump deal that puts our NHS, food standards and jobs at risk.

“That choice of which path we take for a post-Brexit Britain now lies before us.

“As we leave the European Union, whatever side we took in the Brexit debate, we now need to bring the country together to shape our common future, work to rebuild and strengthen our communities, and eliminate poverty and injustice in our society.”



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