A new era has kicked off for the United Kingdom post-Brexit after it completed its final separation from the European Union.
The UK stopped observing EU rules at 23:00 GMT, as replacement mechanisms for trade, travel, immigration, and security cooperation came into force.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his country had “freedom in our hands” and added that it now has the ability to do things “differently and better” as the long Brexit process was over.
However, opponents of leaving the EU say the UK will be worse off.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who seeks independent Scotland before going back into the EU, tweeted: “Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on.”
According to a British analyst, there was a sense of relief among EU leaders that the Brexit process was over, but they still regret at the Brexit itself.
The first batch of vehicles arriving at the borders entered the British isle and EU without delay.
However, the Stena Line ferries and ports group said in a tweet that six freight loads traveling from Wales to Ireland on Friday morning had to be turned away for lack of the correct paperwork.
UK ministers have warned of some disruption in the days and weeks to come, as new rules bed in, and UK firms come to terms with the changes.
However, officials have insisted new border systems are “ready to go”.
The first customs checks were completed after midnight. According to Eurotunnel spokesman John Keefe, “It went fine and everything’s running just as it was before 11 PM.”
Northern Ireland has exceptional arrangements to other parts of the United Kingdom, as there will be some customs checks on goods between the province and Great Britain.
On Friday afternoon, the first ferry from Great Britain docked in Belfast, on schedule time.
Mandy Ridyard heads an airspace components company that makes daily shipments to Northern Ireland. She told the media that she was filling in the same declaration to send goods to the Philippines that she was sending them within the UK.
“Obviously, that all add a lot of cost to my business.”
The UK had left the 27-member political and economic bloc on January 31, three and half years after the Britons voted to leave in the 2016 Brexit referendum.
However, the UK stuck to the EU’s trading rules for 11 months as the two parties discussed their future economic partnership.
The drag continued until late December when a landmark treaty was eventually agreed on Christmas Eve. It became law in the UK on Wednesday.
Under the new treaty, UK manufacturers will enjoy tariff-free access to the bloc’s internal market. It means there will be no import taxes on items crossing between the UK and the continent.
However, it also requires more paperwork for businesses and Britons traveling to EU countries. Still, there is uncertainty about the future of banking and services.
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