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Moment EuroTunnel officials are welcoming the FIRST truck from the UK to France


A new era of trade with the European Union began smoothly as trucks rolled into the ports of Dover and Dublin, ferries left for France and Eurotunnel officials greeted the first truck to the UK just after midnight.

Drivers with the correct documentation – and a negative Covid test – were waved into Eurotunnel trains with little delay after 11 p.m. GMT, as the freight ran seamlessly between the UK and France after four years of preparation.

The first truck to leave the UK, a Stobart truck driven by Slavi Ivanov Shumeykov, arrived in France just after midnight UK time, while at around the same time an Estonian trucker came to the UK from the EU.

The smooth transitions at every border came despite Remainers claiming there would be carnage when the clock struck at 12 o'clock in the morning.

The drivers smiled and waved to customs officers, who digitally checked their documents before they could cross the 31 miles between Folkestone and Calais by train. In France, the first trucks were picked up by the Mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart.

The first ferries between Calais and Dover and the UK and Ireland have also arrived without delays as the UK was finally exempted from EU rules on Thursday at 11:00 p.m., just a day after MPs voted on the last minute deal Boris Johnson had completed the block Avoid a No Deal Brexit.

UK Ambassador to France Lord Llewellyn said things went "smoothly" when the post-Brexit agreements went into effect.

He visited the port of Calais and the Eurotunnel terminal to see the situation on the ground.

However, there have been reports that a small number of trucks were unable to board Ireland at Holyhead because they did not have the correct documentation.

The seismic eruption came almost four and a half years after the British voted 52 to 48 percent ahead of the June 2016 referendum called by then Prime Minister David Cameron.

The chimes of Big Ben rang at 11 p.m. – midnight on the continent – and marked the exit of Great Britain from the EU internal market and the customs union.

In his New Years message, Mr Johnson, who played a crucial role in winning the holiday campaign in the referendum, welcomed the UK's departure and called it "an amazing moment". He added that Britain now has "freedom in our hands" and "it is up to us to make the best of it".

Regarding the end of the Brexit transition period, the Prime Minister said that in 2021 Britain would be "free to do things differently and, if necessary, better than our friends in the EU".

The outbreak occurred when the port of Dover was made completely traffic-free immediately after Brexit for fear of queues and traffic is expected to pick up again on Monday.

This is the historic moment when the first truck to leave the UK trade deal after Brexit arrived in Calais just after midnight

Trucks are stopped by the police to carry out checks at the entrance to the port of Dover after the end of the Brexit transition period

Trucks are stopped by the police to carry out checks at the entrance to the port of Dover after the end of the Brexit transition period

A customs dog and officials inspect a lorry from the UK in the port of Calais, northern France today

A customs dog and officials inspect a lorry from the UK in the port of Calais, northern France today

On January 1, police officers occupied the entrance to the port of Dover in south east England, where they were checking to see if the drivers had any documentation showing a negative Covid-19 test

On January 1, police officers occupied the entrance to the port of Dover in south east England, where they were checking to see if the drivers had any documentation showing a negative Covid-19 test

On the day of the end of the Brexit transition period and the UK's exit from the EU internal market and customs union, trucks drive from the port of Calais in northern France to the UK

On the day of the end of the Brexit transition period and the UK's exit from the EU internal market and customs union, trucks drive from the port of Calais in northern France to the UK

A lorry train starts at the Eurotunnel and travels from Folkestone, England to Europe on Friday

A lorry train starts at the Eurotunnel and travels from Folkestone, England to Europe on Friday

Police are conducting a security check at the P&O ferry terminal in Larne port on the north coast of Northern Ireland on Friday

Police are conducting a security check at the P&O ferry terminal in Larne port on the north coast of Northern Ireland on Friday

Heavy, good vehicles are loaded onto the Stena Superfast VIII at Loch Ryan Port before their departure for Belfast

Heavy, good vehicles are loaded onto the Stena Superfast VIII at Loch Ryan Port before their departure for Belfast

Today, a truck driver's documents are checked by Eurotunnel staff as they check-in for the train through the Eurotunnel to Europe in Folkestone

Today, a truck driver's documents are checked by Eurotunnel staff as they check-in for the train through the Eurotunnel to Europe in Folkestone

A Polish truck driver leaves the port of Dover with small queues today, although the chaos crosses the border

A Polish truck driver leaves the port of Dover with small queues today, although the chaos crosses the border

A Dutch truck driver is photographed in his taxi as he leaves Dover harbor in Kent on Friday morning

A Dutch truck driver is photographed in his taxi as he leaves Dover harbor in Kent on Friday morning

A Lithuanian truck driver is pictured with a thumbs up as he leaves Dover harbor in Kent on Friday afternoon

A Lithuanian truck driver is pictured with a thumbs up as he leaves Dover harbor in Kent on Friday afternoon

The Lithuanian truck driver Vladimir is photographed leaving Dover port in Kent on Friday afternoon

The Lithuanian truck driver Vladimir is photographed leaving Dover port in Kent on Friday afternoon

The first cross-channel ferry runs from Dover towards France to Port of Dover after the end of the Brexit transition period

The first cross-channel ferry runs from Dover towards France to Port of Dover after the end of the Brexit transition period

France to Great Britain: French customs officers observe the first vehicle driven by an Estonian trucker entering the Eurotunnel terminal after Brexit at 12.09 a.m. French time (11.09 a.m. UK time)

France to Great Britain: French customs officers observe the first vehicle driven by an Estonian trucker entering the Eurotunnel terminal after Brexit at 12.09 a.m. French time (11.09 a.m. UK time)

In his New Years message, Mr Johnson, who played a crucial role in winning the holiday campaign in the referendum, welcomed the UK's departure and called it "an amazing moment".

Mr Johnson stated in his message: “This is an amazing moment for this country. We have our freedom in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it. & # 39;

What they said: Tory Brexiteers and Nigel Farage are responding to the end of the transition period

Sir Bill Cash: "Victory is a victory for democracy and sovereignty, and it is a momentous moment that, by historical standards, can only be compared in peacetime to what happened in the late 1680s and 90s."

& # 39; That was the removal of the Stuarts, but followed by the new parliamentary constitutional regulations enacted by the inheritance law with the Hanoverians on the throne.

"But followed by the development of modern democracy, which, apart from the war, was only broken with regard to possible threats of conquest, but was actually only disturbed by our accession to the European Community in the wrong prospectus in 1972."

Sir John Redwood: “I never doubted that we would win the referendum. I have argued that we are good Europeans by turning away from their mighty task of creating the United States of Europe.

“We should wish them well and be friends with them, but the fact that Britain had refused to join the euro showed where our hearts were – with the world and with national democracy.

“Today I am very relieved that our country has been open to our friends in Europe and has clearly stated that we want to govern ourselves while being good friends and allies of them.

"I look forward to 2021 as a year of strong economic recovery, where we can begin to capitalize on the new freedoms and opportunities now open to the global UK."

Mark Francois, Chair of the European Research Group on Tory-Brexiter: “Tonight we have the opportunity to wave goodbye to both 2020 and the EU within an hour.

"After a really terrible year and a great struggle for our freedom, it's a wonderful example of a purchase, a free one."

Peter Bone: “It was a very long campaign and we were no longer seen as strange people wanting to leave this wonderful European Union by the establishment that has always held that view, but able to campaign and get people's support defeat the establishment.

Former Ukip Guide Nigel Farage: “It is a great moment in our national history and the end of a very long road for tens of thousands of us who have fought against the establishment.

“We celebrated on January 31st when we left the European Union – tonight we are leaving the internal market and the customs union.

“Yes we will spare Northern Ireland and our fishermen a thought, but this is a moment to celebrate 2021 as an independent UK. It's a shame the pubs aren't open. & # 39;

Regarding the end of the Brexit transition period, the Prime Minister said that in 2021 Britain would be "free to do things differently and, if necessary, better than our friends in the EU".

He said the UK will work with partners around the world to not only tackle climate change, but to create the millions of high-quality jobs this country will need not only this year – 2021 – when we recover from Covid but come in & # 39 ;.

The Prime Minister added: "I think it will be the overwhelming instinct of the people of this country to come together as a United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland working together to express our values ​​around the world."

He concluded, “I think 2021 is above all the year when we will eventually do the everyday things that now seem lost in the past. Bathed in a rosy glow of nostalgia, go to the pub, to concerts, theaters, restaurants or simply hold hands with loved ones in the normal way.

“We are still a long way from that – tough weeks and months lie ahead. But we can see this lighted sign that marks the end of the journey, and more importantly, we can see how to get there with increasing clarity. And that gives me so much confidence around 2021. & # 39;

As of Monday, more truckers transporting goods to and from mainland Europe will apply the new rules, including allowing them to even drive on the roads leading to canal ports like Dover.

The Road Haulage Association, an industry association, estimates that around 220 million new forms now need to be filled out each year for trade with EU countries to flow.

"This is a revolutionary change," Rod McKenzie, director of public order for the RHA, told The Times this week.

The ferry company Stena Line tweeted today: “While Holyhead has been quiet to this day, the port authorities said that six cargo loads had to be turned away for Ireland because they did not have the right references. Carriers please ensure that you have your PBNs (Pre-Boarding Notifications) ready for check-in. & # 39;

Other practical changes include how long Brits can stay in their holiday homes on the continent to travel with pets and the end of UK participation in an EU student program.

Leisure and business travelers accustomed to seamless EU travel may face delays, although fears that Britons will need to get an international license to drive across Europe have been addressed through a separate agreement.

Eurosceptic MPs yesterday evening expressed their joy that the country is finally loosening its relations with the EU.

Veteran Tory Sir Bill Cash said it was a "victory for democracy and sovereignty" that could only be compared in peacetime to the development of modern democracy after the end of the Stuart dynasty in the late 1680s and 90s. Eurosceptic colleague Sir John Redwood, a Conservative MP for more than 30 years, said he was "very relieved" that Britain had expressed its desire for "self-government".

He said: “I never doubted that we would win the referendum. I have argued that we are good Europeans by turning away from their mighty task of creating the United States of Europe.

“We should wish them well and be friends with them, but the fact that Britain had refused to join the euro showed where our hearts were – with the world and with national democracy.

"I look forward to 2021 as a year of strong economic recovery in which we can begin to take advantage of new freedoms and opportunities."

A smiling Slavi waits briefly while a customs officer digitally checks his documents and he is allowed to leave Great Britain for the continent without any problems

A few seconds later he waved as he drove into the Channel Tunnel

A smiling Slavi waits briefly while a customs officer digitally checks his documents and he is allowed to leave Great Britain for the continent without any problems. A few seconds later he waved as he drove into the Channel Tunnel

Victor, a Ukrainian driver who is the first to cross the English Channel from the UK to France, poses for a picture in front of his truck in the Eurotunnel in Calais

Victor, a Ukrainian driver who is the first to cross the English Channel from the UK to France, poses for a picture in front of his truck in the Eurotunnel in Calais

UK to France: The first truck to leave the UK, a Stobart driven by Slavi Ivanov Shumeykov, is loaded onto Le Shuttle at the Eurotunnel in Folkestone, Kent after the UK left the single market and customs union and the transitional trade agreements at 23 Clock has expired

UK to France: The first truck to leave the UK, a Stobart driven by Slavi Ivanov Shumeykov, is loaded onto Le Shuttle at the Eurotunnel in Folkestone, Kent after the UK left the single market and customs union and the transitional trade agreements at 23 Clock has expired

Calais to Dover: trucks disembark from the first ferry that arrived in the UK after the end of the transition period with the EU

Calais to Dover: trucks disembark from the first ferry that arrived in the UK after the end of the transition period with the EU

UK to Ireland: Irish Ferries Ulysses arrive at Dublin Port from Holyhead, Wales as the new post-Brexit trade agreements for the Irish Sea come into effect

UK to Ireland: Irish Ferries Ulysses arrive at Dublin Port from Holyhead, Wales as the new post-Brexit trade agreements for the Irish Sea come into effect

Pembroke to Rosslare: The first ferry from South Wales to South Ireland also arrived on time when the UK cut ties with the EU

Pembroke to Rosslare: The first ferry from South Wales to South Ireland also arrived on time when the UK cut ties with the EU

This is when the clock struck midnight in France as new border agreements between Britain and the EU began

This is when the clock struck midnight in France as new border agreements between Britain and the EU began

A Frenchman welcomes the second vehicle to enter the Eurotunnel terminal on January 1st after Brexit, a Polish truck driver

A Frenchman welcomes the second vehicle to enter the Eurotunnel terminal on January 1st after Brexit, a Polish truck driver

The first truck to cross is driving over green and orange lines on the road that is part of the new "Smart Border" customs infrastructure entering France

The first truck to cross is driving over green and orange lines on the road that is part of the new “Smart Border” customs infrastructure for entry into France

A French sniffer dog and his handler inspect the first truck to leave France for the UK last night

A French sniffer dog and his handler inspect the first truck to leave France for the UK last night

A man gives a document to the first vehicle to enter the Eurotunnel terminal after Brexit, an Estonian truck driver

A man gives a document to the first vehicle to enter the Eurotunnel terminal after Brexit, an Estonian truck driver

Trucks pass through a customs office in the port of Dublin as the new post-Brexit trade agreements for the Irish Sea come into effect

Trucks pass through a customs office in the port of Dublin as the new post-Brexit trade agreements for the Irish Sea come into effect

Trucks arriving from Holyhead in Wales pass through a customs post in Dublin Port as the new post-Brexit trade agreements for the Irish Sea come into effect

Trucks arriving from Holyhead in Wales pass through a customs post in Dublin Port as the new post-Brexit trade agreements for the Irish Sea come into effect

A truck passes a barrier after exiting the first ferry that arrived at Dover port after the end of the transition period with the EU

A truck passes a barrier after exiting the first ferry that arrived at Dover port after the end of the transition period with the EU

Britain finally left the EU at 11 p.m. on Thursday, just a day after MPs voted on the last-minute deal Boris Johnson struck with the bloc to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Pictured: The port of Dover was vacated Thursday evening before new rules were followed that shippers must follow

Britain finally left the EU at 11 p.m. on Thursday, just a day after MPs voted on the last-minute deal Boris Johnson struck with the bloc to avoid a no-deal Brexit. Pictured: The port of Dover was vacated Thursday evening before new rules were followed that shippers must follow

Mark Francois, chair of the Tory Brexiteers European Research Group, said Britain could bid farewell to 2020 as well as the EU. "After a really terrible year and a great struggle for our freedom, it's a wonderful example of a purchase, a free one."

Tory Eurosceptic Peter Bone said he would celebrate with French champagne to show that we are for Europe but against the EU.

UK chief negotiator for Brexit, Lord (David) Frost, said: "We have a great future ahead of us." He tweeted: “Britain has just become a fully independent country again – it decides our own affairs.

“Thank you to everyone who worked with me (and) @BorisJohnson to bring us here over the past 18 months. We have a great future ahead of us. Now we can build a better country for all of us. & # 39;

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland will "be back soon, Europe" when the Brexit transition period ends. She tweeted: & # 39; Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on & # 39;

Great Britain and Spain agree to keep the border with Gibraltar open

The UK signed a final deal with Spain yesterday to keep the important post-Brexit Gibraltar border open.

The status of the rock was not addressed in Boris Johnson's trade deal on Christmas Eve, raising concerns about what would happen if the transition period ends at 11 p.m.

The British overseas territory, whose sovereignty is contested by Madrid, will continue to be subject to the Schengen area's free travel rules, said the Spanish Foreign Minister.

A Spanish family crosses the border from Spain to Gibraltar in front of the landmark of Rock following a post-Brexit deal

A Spanish family crosses the border from Spain to Gibraltar in front of the landmark of Rock following a post-Brexit deal

Arancha Gonzalez Laya announced that the "agreement in principle" means that the people of Gibraltar "can breathe easy".

She said more details of the agreement would be released in the new year.

For Gibraltar, which needs access to the EU market for its economy, much depended on the outcome. Around 34,000 people live on the territory.

They faced the possibility of entering the new year with strict new controls at the border with the Spanish city of La Línea de la Concepción, which had been open for decades.

More than 15,000 people live in Spain and work in Gibraltar, which makes up about 50 percent of the labor market.

In the Brexit referendum, 96 percent of the voters in Gibraltar supported remaining in the EU.

Celebrity Brexiteer Nigel Farage tweeted: & # 39; This is a big moment for our country, a giant leap forward. Time to raise a glass. #BrexitAtLast. & # 39;

It comes after weeks of horror stories from "Project Fear" about what would happen if Britain were finally released from the shackles of the EU.

Most recently, Lord Adonis was labeled "contemptible" after comparing the Brexit deal to Neville Chamberlain's appeasing Hitler.

The Labor peer faced a swift backlash during a debate on the new trade regulations on Wednesday after referring to the Munich Agreement in which the then Prime Minister had the German dictator annexed the Sudetenland to keep the peace.

The former cabinet minister quoted Winston Churchill's damned assessment of the 1938 agreement as "a total and utter defeat".

He said the ruling referred word for word to the trade agreement concluded between Mr Johnson and the German EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The new rules will end free movement rights and while UK citizens can still travel for work or pleasure, there will be different rules.

Passports must be valid for more than six months, long stays may require visas or permits, pets require a health certificate, and drivers require additional documents.

The automatic right to live and work in the EU will also expire and the UK will no longer participate in the Erasmus student exchange program.

Photos taken shortly before departure, just hours before Britain officially left the internal market and customs union, showed the last of the transition period trucks waiting to board a ferry to France.

The Eurotunnel departure area in Folkestone was also largely empty, while photos taken along the access roads told a similar story.

And even though the light traffic in Dover slipped uninterruptedly, there was a sharp warning that the actual test is due on January 4th, when the companies return after the Christmas break and the truckers are delivered to France.

Turkish truckers Oktay Yildiz and Ekrem Ozkul, both 50, enjoyed a roadside continental breakfast with bread, butter and tea to keep warm before heading back to the continent for the long drive home.

They had delivered a huge shipment of Turkish jam in glass jar to the UK on New Year's Eve. The couple waited in a lay house near cargo handling to take the ferry back from the port of Dover to France that afternoon.

Mr. Yildiz said, “It's so cold here that we drink a lot of tea to keep warm. But we believe it should be easy now to return across the border. I don't expect any problems.

“We did the Corona test kit earlier. It was very easy and only took 10 minutes. And we made sure we all had the right documents a long time ago as we were afraid of Brexit, but now everything seems to be fine.

“I haven't heard anyone have any problems, and we should be waved through immediately. It seems very quiet today so hopefully it stays that way. & # 39;

Back in the port, a Polish truck driver who was allowed to enter shortly after 10 a.m. said, "Yes, I will do a Covid test this morning" and showed the officer an electronic result on his phone. When asked what he thought of Brexit, the man put his thumb down and said "very bad".

A Romanian driver appeared frustrated when told that his Covid test, which must be completed 72 hours before crossing the canal, had expired.

Another Turkish freight forwarder was ordered to go to Manston as his negative test result was now too old.

On Friday morning, a representative from Logistics UK said the organization had no evidence that freight traffic was deviating significantly from normal levels.

The spokesman said, “It's usually a quiet day because there isn't much traffic on public holidays anyway. We didn't have any reports or problems.

The first ferry arrived in the UK at 10 a.m. Anything that comes to the UK will not be stopped. We don't expect high queues today. Traffic starts on Monday (January 4th).

“At this time of year the quantities are low and a lot of people have stocked up for Christmas. It will be two to three weeks before we get back to normal rivers. & # 39;

Rod McKenzie, Head of the Road Hauliers Association (RHA), told MailOnline: “In France there are many votes to be won by hitting les rosbifs with a large stick.

“We just have no idea what the French are going to do, even though we expect them to be very French. Domestic politics play a huge role there, and it's a shame because the freight forwarders are stuck in the middle. & # 39;

The outlier came when the port of Dover was made almost completely free of traffic immediately after Brexit for fear of queues

The outlier came when the port of Dover was made almost completely free of traffic immediately after Brexit for fear of queues

Photos taken shortly before departure, just hours before Britain officially left the internal market and customs union, showed the last of the transition period trucks waiting to board a ferry to France

Photos taken shortly before departure, just hours before Britain officially left the internal market and customs union, showed the last of the transition period trucks waiting to board a ferry to France

Dover was later depicted as deserted when a P&O ferry departed from the port

Dover was later depicted as deserted when a P&O ferry departed from the port

Although there were no hiccups in the port on Thursday, there was a sharp warning that the actual test is due on January 4th, when companies return after the Christmas break and truckers are at the mercy of the pesky French

Although there were no hiccups in the port on Thursday, there was a sharp warning that the actual test is due on January 4th, when companies return after the Christmas break and truckers are at the mercy of the pesky French

As of Thursday, trucks over 7.5 tonnes will require a special pass, a Kent Access Permit (Cape), to exit the country via the ports of the main channel

As of Thursday, trucks over 7.5 tonnes will require a special pass, a Kent Access Permit (Cape), to exit the country via the ports of the main channel

Fishing boats in the Bridlington Harbor fishing port in Yorkshire as the UK leaves the single market and customs union and the transition to Brexit comes to an end

Fishing boats in the Bridlington Harbor fishing port in Yorkshire as the UK leaves the single market and customs union and the transition to Brexit comes to an end

Meanwhile, Irish Ferries' Ulysses docked at 5:55 a.m. with about a dozen trucks on board in Dublin Port after arriving from Holyhead, Wales.

There were no delays as the freight trailers underwent customs controls for the first time under the new regulations.

A small number of ships arrived after 11pm on Thursday evening but were covered by the previous arrangements. Irish freight forwarders have warned of "chaos" in ports in the coming weeks.

Eugene Drennan, president of the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA), said on New Year's Eve that hauliers are preparing for "trouble and chaos".

"The systems haven't been tested, they haven't been tried," he said. “There will certainly be delays. The chaos in the port of Dublin is incredible.

How will the “smart border” between France and the EU work?

As part of the Smart Border system, drivers who come to France and have submitted export applications online with the French authorities have a barcode scanned in Dover and their license plates are automatically read by cameras before a risk assessment is carried out as they cross the channel.

During the journey, the drivers receive a message as to whether they can drive freely via a "green lane" on arrival on French soil or whether they will be directed to an "orange lane" for further checking.

Haulage companies fear that if too many trucks are not armed by their customers with the correct customs documents, the trucks that require further controls will growl the borders.

“You haven't done anything to alleviate it. You have a plan that is utterly nonsensical, and the nature and structure and structure of the plan will cause a great deal of grief. There will be trouble and chaos. & # 39;

Mr Drennan predicted problems in ports across the island for the foreseeable future.

However, the Irish Foreign Secretary said the dramatic disruption of a no-trade deal had been avoided, but that does not mean that things are not fundamentally changing for companies trading with the UK.

Simon Coveney told RTE Radio 1's Morning Ireland: “Make no mistake. As of today, any company doing business with, to or through the UK will face a whole new reality: customs controls, sanitary and phytosanitary controls when it comes to food, export declarations, health certificates, regulatory controls and all other paperwork and delays and related costs.

"We avoided the dramatic disruption of a no-trade Brexit, but that doesn't mean that things don't fundamentally change because they are."

As of Thursday, trucks over 7.5 tonnes will require a special pass, a Kent Access Permit (Cape), to exit the country via the ports of the main channel.

Kaps give trucks a 24-hour pass to enter Kent before using either the Channel Tunnel or the ferry services to get into France.

It is believed that 800 trucks will head to France on Thursday. By Wednesday morning 450 caps had been issued.

Mr. McKenzie added, “There are two types of chaos that can occur in the coming weeks.

“We could have the visible chaos we had before Christmas with miles of queues of trucks, or we could have invisible chaos with trucks that just wouldn't leave their distribution centers because their records weren't processed online.

“With products like shellfish, you don't want to get stuck on a highway because your products may stop working.

“But it will be a few more days before we can estimate what will happen.

“Nobody really acts on New Year's Day, which is why we don't immediately expect queues that are kilometers long.

“The supply chain works around Christmas and most factories close after that, so there isn't much going on at the moment.

“But things will get better on Monday, and I expect we may then experience some kind of disorder – which can take three months to smooth out all of the wrinkles.

“Most companies will have to hire customs brokers because the paperwork will be so complicated. Each shipment requires separate forms, so multiple shipments mean multiple forms.

"The driver will have electronic checks, but will also need Covid tests." But officials tried to downplay fear of queues in ports immediately after Brexit.

In the worst case, the government plans to have only 30 percent of international freight vehicles ready for the new regulations. However, sources emphasized that they expected a far higher percentage.

A government spokesman said: "Truck drivers who drive to ports in Kent without obtaining a Kent Access Pass by checking that a truck is ready to cross the border service will be identified by cameras with automatic license plate recognition."

“They will then be subjected to an enforcement action including a fine of up to £ 300 on the spot.

Freight wagons are stacked and waiting for their ferry in the port of Dover yesterday before the cross-channel journey

Freight wagons are stacked and waiting for their ferry in the port of Dover yesterday before the cross-channel journey

The new rules from the UK agreement with the EU officially began on New Year's Eve at 11 p.m. after a historic trade deal was signed on Christmas Eve and approved by Parliament on Wednesday evening. Pictured: The border at Folkestone, Kent

The new rules from the UK agreement with the EU officially began on New Year's Eve at 11 p.m. after a historic trade deal was signed on Christmas Eve and approved by Parliament on Wednesday evening. Pictured: The border at Folkestone, Kent

Around 450 Kent Access Permits (Kaps) had been issued by Thursday morning, and more were expected

Around 450 Kent Access Permits (Kaps) had been issued by Thursday morning, and more were expected

"For the small minority who might try to play the service, they'll be stopped at the border anyway and fined – which only increases the disruption for other drivers."

A truck holding facility was completed this morning at Sevington, near Ashford, to be used to stack trucks in the event of a robbery at the canal ports.

The Eurotunnel operator today insisted that the canal crossings "work well" on New Year's Day after the new Brexit trade rules came into force.

John Keefe, director of public affairs for shuttle operator Getlink, told the BBC that good preparation, below par traffic this year, as well as a temporary suspension of most customs controls, would help keep traffic flowing.

He spoke when a UK haulage company announced plans to temporarily suspend its European services in the New Year to assess whether they would become "mission impossible" after the Brexit transition period.

Youngs Transportation and Logistics, based in Essex, will cease operations in the EU from January 4th to 11th due to uncertainty about the impact of new customs regulations.

Work continued on Thursday to complete the Sevington Inland Border Facility in Ashford, Kent, before the Brexit transition period was completed

Work continued on Thursday to complete the Sevington Inland Border Facility in Ashford, Kent, before the Brexit transition period was completed

Youngs Transportation and Logistics, based in Essex, will cease operations in the EU from January 4th to 11th due to uncertainty about the impact of new customs regulations

Youngs Transportation and Logistics, based in Essex, will cease operations in the EU from January 4th to 11th due to uncertainty about the impact of new customs regulations

Freight forwarders in the UK bringing goods to the EU and Northern Ireland required new documentation from 11pm on Thursday. The government warned those who did not have the correct records would be stopped

Freight forwarders in the UK bringing goods to the EU and Northern Ireland required new documentation from 11pm on Thursday. The government warned those who did not have the correct records would be stopped

Mr. Keefe said, “Things are going to start slowly. January 1st is a quiet holiday after New Year's Eve.

"I don't think the traffic will build up until late into the first or second week of January."

"This initial rest period will allow everyone to prepare."

Boris Johnson's New Year's Message in full:

Well folks, we'll get there by the end of 2020

The year the government was forced to tell people how to live their lives, how long to wash their hands, how many households could meet.

And a year in which we lost too many loved ones before their time.

So I can imagine that there will be many people who are only too happy to say goodbye to the grimness of 2020.

But just before we do, I would like to remind you that this was also the year when we rediscovered a spirit of togetherness, of community.

It was a year we popped pots to celebrate the courage and self-sacrifice of our NHS and nursing home workers

A year in which the working people pulled out the stops to keep the country moving in the greatest crisis we have faced in generations – salespeople, transport staff, pharmacists, emergency services, everyone, as you put it.

We saw a renewed spirit of volunteering as people provided food to the elderly and vulnerable.

And time and again, as it became necessary to fight new waves of the virus, we saw people unite in our determination, our determination to protect the NHS and save lives.

Put your life, your life, on hold.

Buy precious medicine time to provide the answers, and it has.

In 2020, British scientists not only produced the world's first effective treatment for the disease, but it was only in the past few days that a beacon of hope was lit in the Oxford laboratories.

A new vaccine at room temperature that can be manufactured cheaply and on a large scale.

and that literally offers new life to the people of this country and around the world.

And with every push that goes into the arm of any elderly or vulnerable person, we change the chances in favor of humanity and against Covid.

And we know we have weeks and months ahead of us because we are facing a new variant of the disease that requires renewed vigilance.

But when the sun comes up tomorrow in 2021, we will have the certainty of these vaccines.

Pioneering work in Great Britain, which is also free to do things differently and possibly better than our friends in the EU.

Free to do trade business all over the world.

And free to fuel our ambition to be a scientific superpower.

From life sciences to artificial intelligence,

and with our world-leading battery and wind technology, we will work with partners around the world.

Not only to fight climate change, but to create the millions of highly skilled jobs, this country will not only be needed this year – 2021 – when we recover from Covid, but also in the years to come.

This is an amazing moment for this country.

We have our freedom in our hands and it is up to us to make the most of it.

And I think it will be the overwhelming instinct of the people of this country to come together as a United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland working together to express our values ​​around the world.

Head of the G7 and COP 26 climate summits in Glasgow,

And an open, generous, outward-looking, internationalist and free-acting global UK committed to 12 years of quality education for every girl in the world.

2021 is the year we can make it

and I believe 2021 is mostly the year when at some point we'll do the everyday things that now seem lost in the past.

Bathed in a rosy glow of nostalgia, go to the pub, to concerts, theaters, restaurants or simply hold hands with loved ones in the normal way.

We are still a long way from that, tough weeks and months lie ahead.

But we can see this lighted sign that marks the end of the journey, and more importantly, we can see how to get there with increasing clarity.

And that gives me so much confidence around 2021.

Happy New Year!

Preparations for Brexit in Kent were led by a multi-agency task force called the Kent Resilience Forum, made up of police, fire services and the council.

At the first sign of French bureaucracy, they are preparing for the start of Operation Fennel – a transport plan to clear any blockades.

Parking for up to 7,000 trucks has been provided in Manston, Ebbsfleet and Sevington.

Two more truck parks in Dover can accommodate a further 1,000 vehicles, while Operation Brock, a special countercurrent system of the M20, can also be triggered to avoid possible traffic jams.

Highways England insisted it was ready to play its part.

A spokesperson said: "At Highways England we are working with partners in the Kent Resilience Forum to address the effects of cross-channel disruption and we have tested plans to control traffic on our road network."

On the other side of the canal, trucks face other obstacles.

French Customs have hired 700 new agents, half of whom are based in the port of Calais and the Eurotunnel terminal.

Some freight forwarders fear ruinous delays and wait and see until the end of the month to take stock of the developing situation.

Most freight forwarders are paid miles rather than by the hour, which means it doesn't make sense for them to leave their depots and run the risk of running into traffic jams.

UK drivers coming to the UK will have less to worry about as the UK government is gradually rolling out the new rules over a six month period to avoid any chaos.

Around 30 percent of all food consumed in the UK comes from the EU, and the gentle approach ensures that supplies of fruits and vegetables from southern Europe are not disrupted in January and February, when the UK itself is growing very little.

Roger Gough, Kent County Council Chairman, said: “It has been a very long year of uncertainty, upheaval and change. Towards the end of 2020, we welcome 2021 and a number of new challenges.

“Although the government now has an agreement with the EU, it is important that our businesses and residents understand the changes that will happen tomorrow.

“We have been supporting the government for months by helping companies prepare for the new trade deal – deal or no deal, there would always be things companies would have to change.

& # 39; We have also worked extensively with government and local partners to prepare traffic management in Kent for disruptions in the Channel ports.

& # 39; Through the Kent Resilience Forum, we have jointly agreed with the Department for Transport, Highways England and the Kent Police on a single plan, Operation Fennel, to minimize the impact and we are confident these plans can minimize disruption.

"However, we continue to urge people to make sure they are 'border-ready' and both tourist and truck traffic should be prepared for queues. Please check your route before you travel and bring food and water as well as all the medication you need in the event of a traffic problem.

"We have now added coronavirus to the mix, which means anyone leaving the UK for Europe must ensure they get a negative test within 72 hours of leaving the country." If you don't, you won't be able to travel. & # 39;

The comments come after an outbreak of a mutant Covid-19 strain in southeast England sparked a border crisis over Christmas.

Thousands of trucks were stranded in Kent during the Christmas season when France dramatically slammed its border with Great Britain over concerns over the new variant, which experts may believe was 70 percent more effective in spreading.

Mr. Keefe said, “Things are going to start slowly. January 1st is a quiet holiday after New Year's Eve.

Mr. Keefe said, “Things are going to start slowly. January 1st is a quiet holiday after New Year's Eve.

France required drivers to be tested prior to crossing, resulting in a huge backlog of trucks on the M20 – when the highways chiefs activated the Operation Stack emergency itinerary.

Operation Brock – the UK's emergency travel plan in case of delays due to a no deal Brexit – has also been implemented. The plan called for thousands of trucks to be diverted to Manston Airfield in Kent.

The site turned into a huge truck park over Christmas as thousands of drivers waited for a test before being allowed to cross the border.

However, shippers have warned that disruptions could reappear if the new UK-EU trade rules come into effect.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has warned that there could be teething problems due to the new regulatory controls at the border.

It warned of a new post-Brexit bureaucracy that will bring a mountain of paperwork to businesses as carriers rely on customers to fill out forms correctly.

Meanwhile, Rob Holliman, director of Youngs Transport and Logistics, based in Purfleet, Essex, said he would not drive any of his trucks for the first week of January to avoid disruption and "get things sorted out."

Youngs is headquartered in Purfleet and has a fleet of 160 trucks. In addition to its UK operations, the company typically makes 25 trips within and outside of Europe per week.

"We estimate the country has about a week to get used to all of these new systems and we can take a look and hopefully fix any issues before we actually ship our trucks," said Holliman.

“The main concern is how long it will take for export customs clearance if we leave the EU with cargo on board and how long it will take for UK customs to clear when we arrive in the UK, and whether there is any discrepancy between the two processes. & # 39;

Delays at border crossings risked additional costs that could be passed on to freight forwarders and ultimately consumers.

Auf die Frage, ob die vorübergehende Einstellung der EU-Dienste durch Youngs länger dauern könnte, antwortete Hollyman: "Wenn es eine katastrophale erste Woche ist und es so aussieht, als würde es bis in die zweite Woche katastrophal weitergehen, möglicherweise ja."

Rod McKenzie, Geschäftsführer für Politik und öffentliche Angelegenheiten bei der RHA, sagte, dass Lastwagen in der Lage sein werden, zwischen Großbritannien und der EU zu wechseln, indem sie "eine Änderung der bestehenden Gemeinschaftslizenz" vornehmen.

Spediteure in Großbritannien, die Waren in die EU und nach Nordirland bringen, benötigen am Donnerstag ab 23 Uhr neue Unterlagen. Die Regierung warnte diejenigen ohne korrekte Dokumentation würde gestoppt werden. Im Bild: Lastwagen im Hafen von Dover am 29. Dezember

Spediteure in Großbritannien, die Waren in die EU und nach Nordirland bringen, benötigen am Donnerstag ab 23 Uhr neue Unterlagen. Die Regierung warnte diejenigen ohne korrekte Dokumentation würde gestoppt werden. Im Bild: Lastwagen im Hafen von Dover am 29. Dezember

Er sagte, neue Handelsregeln würden "einen Berg Papierkram" und "eine Menge Faff" erfordern.

"Immer wenn Sie ein neues System haben, insbesondere eines, das sich nicht bewährt hat, müssen Menschen Fehler machen oder Dinge nicht wissen, und das ist das große Unbekannte", warnte er.

Lord Adonis ist wütend, nachdem er das Brexit-Handelsabkommen mit dem Pakt von Neville Chamberlain mit HITLER verglichen hat

Ein Remain-Backing-Labour-Peer wurde heute als "verächtlich" eingestuft, nachdem er den Brexit-Deal mit Neville Chamberlains Beschwichtigung Hitlers verglichen hatte.

Lord Adonis sah sich einer Gegenreaktion gegenüber, nachdem er gestern Abend während einer Debatte über die neuen Handelsvereinbarungen den außerordentlichen Hinweis auf das Münchner Abkommen gegeben hatte, wonach der damalige Premierminister den deutschen Diktator das Sudetenland vergeblich annektieren ließ, um den Frieden aufrechtzuerhalten.

Der frühere Kabinettsminister zitierte Winston Churchills verdammte Einschätzung des Abkommens von 1938 als "totale und uneingeschränkte Niederlage".

Er sagte, das Urteil beziehe sich Wort für Wort auf das Handelsabkommen, das zwischen Herrn Johnson und der deutschen EU-Kommissionspräsidentin Ursula von der Leyen abgeschlossen wurde.

Lord Adonis sagte: „Ich bin sicher, es ist viel besser, genau zu sagen, was wir über öffentliche Angelegenheiten denken, und dies ist sicherlich keine Zeit, in der es sich lohnt, politische Popularität vor Gericht zu bringen.

Herr McKenzie sagte, dass IT-Systeme ab dem 1. Januar "zum ersten Mal im Kampf" getestet werden und enthüllen, ob sie "zweckmäßig" sind.

Er sagte, dass britische Unternehmen im nächsten Jahr rund 220 Millionen Zollformulare ausfüllen werden, aber es gab nicht genügend Zollagenten, um dies zu unterstützen.

Er sagte, die RHA schätze, dass Großbritannien etwa 5.000 Agenten habe, aber 50.000 benötige.

Über die Grenze hinweg sind französische Spediteure auch besorgt über Störungen.

Sebastien Rivera, Leiter der National Federation of Road Hauliers in der nördlichen Region Hauts-de-France, Heimat des Hafens von Calais und des Eurotunnel-Terminals, durch die jedes Jahr Millionen von Lastwagen fahren, sagte, dass eine Störung unvermeidlich sein wird.

Er sagte: „Wenn Sie den französischen und britischen Behörden zuhören, sprechen Sie von intelligenten Grenzen und voller Bereitschaft, aber das hindert uns nicht daran, Zweifel zu haben.

'Es wird echte Kopfschmerzen sein. Einige Unternehmen werden bereit sein, andere nicht. Es ist eine große Änderung der Gewohnheiten, die vor uns liegt. & # 39;

Er sagte, es sei unvermeidlich, dass nicht alle Unternehmen bereit seien, sich auf dem Papierkram, einschließlich Zoll- und Sicherheitserklärungen, und den IT-Systemen, die für den Handel zwischen Großbritannien und der EU ab dem 1. Januar erforderlich sind, zurechtzufinden.

Herr Rivera prognostizierte ebenso wie sein englischer Amtskollege zu Beginn des Monats einen unterdurchschnittlichen Verkehr, äußerte jedoch Bedenken darüber, was danach passieren wird.

Er fügte hinzu: "Unsere Sorge ist, was passiert, wenn wir Mitte Januar zum" normalen Geschäft "zurückkehren."

Während Großbritannien sechs Monate lang die vollständigen Zollformalitäten einführen wird, werden sie von den EU-Staaten sofort verhängt.

Der französische Zoll hat landesweit weitere 700 Agenten eingestellt, um die Handelsregeln nach dem Brexit zu regeln – fast die Hälfte davon wird im Hafen von Calais und im Eurotunnel-Terminal stationiert sein.

As part of the Smart Border system, drivers who come to France and have submitted export applications online with the French authorities have a barcode scanned in Dover and their license plates are automatically read by cameras before a risk assessment is carried out as they cross the channel.

During the journey, the drivers receive a message as to whether they can drive freely via a "green lane" on arrival on French soil or whether they will be directed to an "orange lane" for further checking.

Haulage companies fear that if too many trucks are not armed by their customers with the correct customs documents, the trucks that require further controls will growl the borders.

Der Hafen von Calais und das Eurotunnel-Terminal verfügen über genügend Parkplätze, um solche zusätzlichen Kontrollen für bis zu zwei Stunden einzustellen, ohne den Verkehrsfluss zu stören.

In der Zwischenzeit warnte der Minister des Kabinetts, Michael Gove, diese Woche vor "holprigen Momenten", die sich aus den im neuen Jahr auferlegten "praktischen und verfahrenstechnischen Änderungen" ergeben.

ROBERT HARDMAN: Au revoir to all das … Von biegsamen Bananen bis zu pompösen Panjandrums, ein brillanter Sitz in der ersten Reihe der 47-jährigen Liebes- / Hassgeschichte von Großbritannien und Europa, die jetzt in die Geschichte eingeht

Und so, um 23 Uhr (Mitternacht in Brüssel), ist die Scheidung endgültig – viereinhalb Jahre, nachdem die Zeit für diese turbulente Ehe feststeht. Es ist wirklich vorbei.

Für korkknallende Leaver und apokalyptische Remainer ist dies eine seismische Trennung der Wege. Ich vermute jedoch, dass es sich bei den meisten Menschen um 52: 48-gemischte Gefühle handelt, ein Moment, in dem man sich zusammenrollen und sehnsüchtig durch das Familienalbum zurückblicken kann.

Trotz aller Streitereien um britische Banger, Weinseen und Rabatte hatten wir auch einige großartige Momente zusammen – wie den Fall der Berliner Mauer oder die Eröffnung des Kanaltunnels.

Veto: 1950 blockierte Herbert Morrison von Labour als erster die Mitgliedschaft in Großbritannien

Veto: 1950 blockierte Herbert Morrison von Labour als erster die Mitgliedschaft in Großbritannien

So sehr wir an der Bürokratie verzweifelten, wir genossen es immer noch, das Schwingen der Thatcher-Handtasche oder den seltsamen Ausbruch von Jean-Claude Juncker mit Rotwein zu beobachten. Wir wollten schon immer Teil eines „Gemeinsamen Marktes“ sein, und das waren wir auch.

Was auch immer man sieht, es war sicherlich eine verdammt große Reise. Wer erinnert sich jetzt an die erste Person, die den Eintritt Großbritanniens in das Grand Projet blockiert hat? Wir beschuldigen immer Frankreichs General de Gaulle, aber er war es nicht. Ironischerweise war es ein Grandee der britischen Labour Party, dessen Enkel ein fanatischer Remainer werden würde.

Die Liebes- / Hassgeschichte des Brexit beginnt vor vollen 70 Jahren an einem Sommernachmittag im Jahr 1950. Unter der Führung der Franzosen waren die Regierungen von Deutschland, Holland, Belgien, Italien und Luxemburg im Begriff, einen neuen „gemeinsamen Markt“ zu schaffen bekannt als Europäische Gemeinschaft für Kohle und Stahl. Sie wollten auch Großbritannien am Tisch.

Feier: Die Königin mit Ted Heath bei seinem Galaabend Fanfare for Europe 1973 in Covent Garden

Feier: Die Königin mit Ted Heath bei seinem Galaabend Fanfare for Europe 1973 in Covent Garden

Wut: Polizei und Demonstranten mit dem Bildnis von Ted Heath, der 1973 vor einer Veranstaltung im Royal Opera House gelyncht wurde

Wut: Polizei und Demonstranten mit dem Bildnis von Ted Heath, der 1973 vor einer Veranstaltung im Royal Opera House gelyncht wurde

Nach wochenlangem Feilschen gaben die Franzosen Großbritannien ein Ultimatum. Wenn Großbritannien am 2. Juni 1950 nicht um 20 Uhr an Bord wäre, würden die sechs Nationen ohne uns weitermachen. Der Premierminister war im Urlaub (nicht weniger in Frankreich), ebenso wie der Kanzler – und der Außenminister Ernest Bevin war krank.

Die Kabinettssitzung an diesem Tag wurde vom stellvertretenden Ministerpräsidenten Herbert Morrison geleitet. Sein Urteil: Der französische Plan war zu ungenau und "schien eine gewisse Übergabe der Souveränität zu beinhalten".

Es war "Non, merci" von Herrn Morrison und Kollegen. So hat Großbritannien von Anfang an auf die Möglichkeit verzichtet, Europa zu gestalten. Wie Morrisons Enkel, Ex-EU-Kommissar Peter (jetzt Lord) Mandelson, Opas Lässigkeit bereuen muss.

Sieben Jahre später ging es denselben sechs Ländern so gut, dass sie die Europäische Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft (EWG) gründeten. Mit dem Niedergang der britischen Wirtschaft entschied sich Großbritannien schließlich für einen Beitritt und bewarb sich 1963.

Fahnen hissen: Margaret Thatcher nimmt an einer Demonstration für Europa im Vorfeld des Referendums von 1975 über den Verbleib im Gemeinsamen Markt teil. Entscheidende zwei Drittel beschlossen zu bleiben

Fahnen hissen: Margaret Thatcher nimmt an einer Demonstration für Europa im Vorfeld des Referendums von 1975 über den Verbleib im Gemeinsamen Markt teil. Entscheidende zwei Drittel beschlossen zu bleiben

'Nicht!' erklärte Frankreichs General Charles de Gaulle und wies das Vereinigte Königreich als "insular" und "maritim" ab.

Für viele im alten Imperium diente es Großbritannien als Recht, sich dem alten Feind zu stellen. Noch vor 20 Jahren hatte das Commonwealth sein Bestes gegeben, um zur Verteidigung Großbritanniens zu sterben.

Für ein Land wie Neuseeland, das dann zwei Drittel seiner Produkte nach Großbritannien exportierte, fühlte es sich wie ein Verrat an. Unbeeindruckt ging das Vereinigte Königreich 1967 erneut auf gebeugte Knie. Wieder setzte de Gaulle sein Veto ein und beschuldigte Großbritannien der "tiefsitzenden Feindseligkeit". Das Projekt müsste auf einen freundlicheren französischen Präsidenten, Georges Pompidou, zusammen mit dem europaweitesten Premierminister in der britischen Geschichte, Edward Heath, warten.

Two fingers up: The Sun's response in November 1990 to Brussels chief Jacques Delors’ single currency plan

Two fingers up: The Sun's response in November 1990 to Brussels chief Jacques Delors' single currency plan

Before negotiations were concluded in 1972, the two premiers agreed on a grand gesture to seal the deal. The Queen would pay a sensational state visit to Paris. The highlight was a spectacular state banquet, broadcast live from a newly-restored Palace of Versailles.

After a dinner of foie gras, lobster pie and lamb, the Queen delivered a speech – drafted by her ministers – welcoming 'the beginning of a new Europe, a Europe of partners in a great enterprise'. Then, as now, the great moment would come with the New Year.

Thus, on January 1, 1973, Britain was finally in – along with Ireland and Denmark. Two days later, the Queen attended Heath's 'Fanfare for Europe' gala evening at Covent Garden. She was greeted by demonstrators and an effigy of Heath on a gallows. Opinion polls continued to show a nation still broadly divided – with the noisiest Eurosceptic voices on the Labour benches.

Having defeated Heath in 1974, Labour's Harold Wilson pledged a referendum on the issue. On June 5, 1975, two-thirds of Britain voted to remain. At which point, the UK's European future surely looked assured for eternity.

Closer ties: In 1992 Delors was an architect of the EU, created with the Maastricht Treaty

Closer ties: In 1992 Delors was an architect of the EU, created with the Maastricht Treaty

Metric martyr: Rebel market trader Steve Thoburn who was prosecuted for selling bananas by the pound

Metric martyr: Rebel market trader Steve Thoburn who was prosecuted for selling bananas by the pound

Sturgeon urges the EU to 'keep the light on'

Nicola Sturgeon urged the European Union to 'keep the light on' and said Scotland would be 'back soon' as the Brexit transition period came to an end on Thursday.

Membership of the single market and customs union expired at 11pm – four and a half years after the in-out referendum which sought to settle the issue but sparked political turmoil.

The bells of Big Ben were rung as the UK left both the EU's single market and the customs union.

The chimes of Big Ben rang at 11 p.m. – midnight on the continent – and marked the exit of Great Britain from the EU internal market and the customs union.

Scottish first minister Miss Sturgeon, who is strongly opposed to Brexit, wrote on Twitter: 'Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on & # 39;

Her latest hint at her urge to press ahead with making Scotland and independent country came after she savaged Boris Johnson's Brexit deal on Christmas Day.

Hitting out at the agreement reached on Christmas Eve, Miss Sturgeon said the deal showed it was time for Scotland to 'chart our own future as an independent, European nation'.

She said Britain's departure was happening against her will and accused the PM of 'cultural vandalism' for ending the Erasmus programme, which allows students to study in Europe.

'Scotland did not vote for any of this and our position is clearer than ever,' she said.

'Scotland now has the right to choose its own future as an independent country and once more regain the benefits of EU membership.

'It beggars belief that in the midst of a pandemic and economic recession, Scotland has been forced out of the EU single market and customs union with all the damage to jobs that will bring.

'A deal is better than No Deal. But, just because, at the 11th hour, the UK Government has decided to abandon the idea of a No Deal outcome, it should not distract from the fact that they have chosen a hard Brexit, stripping away so many of the benefits of EU membership.

'And while we do not yet have full details on the nature of the deal, it appears major promises made by the UK Government on fisheries have been broken and the extent of these broken promises will become apparent to all very soon.'

She said people in Scotland had voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, 'but their views have been ignored'.

The historic post-Brexit deal with the EU on Christmas Eve came four years after 62 per cent of Scots backed remain in the 2016 referendum.

In 1977, the European Commission even appointed its first (and only) British president, the former Labour Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, founder of the European Monetary System. In 1980, Jenkins welcomed the Queen to the Commission on a visit hailed by the British ambassador as 'crowning the new picture of the UK's role in the Community'.

That picture was already changing, though, thanks to the new occupant of No10. Margaret Thatcher had supported British membership in 1975, but was appalled by the EEC's finances. Though Britain was among the poorer states at the time, it was one of the highest contributors to the EEC pot.

France, on the other hand, was snaffling vast subsidies for its millions of small, inefficient farms. When EEC leaders gathered at Fontainebleu in 1984, Mrs Thatcher threatened to stop paying altogether, arguing: 'We are simply asking to have our own money back.' Her perseverance paid off with a rebate of 66 per cent, since known as the 'UK correction' (or, as angry French diplomats call it, 'le cheque britannique').

Relations were never the same again. Though it was Mrs Thatcher who drove through the Single European Act of 1986 – and the longed-for free movement of goods – it ushered in a new system of qualified majority voting.

The new president of the Commission, French socialist Jacques Delors, could see this as a route to his own utopia – a 'united states of Europe'. In 1988, he came to Britain's TUC conference to urge union leaders to back his vision of a 'social Europe', not a 'capitalists' club'. The Thatcherite counter-attack was swift.

Less than a fortnight later, the PM delivered a totemic riposte with a speech in the Belgian city of Bruges: 'We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain, only to see them reimposed at European level.'

W ith the collapse of the Soviet empire and the Berlin Wall the following year, the European dream seemed unstoppable – unless you were British. Fleet Street revelled in reports of 'unelected Brussels bureaucrats' meddling in every aspect of our lives, from bananas to condoms or the colour of our passports.

On November 1, 1990, Commission proposals for a new currency prompted a famous rebuke. 'Up Yours, Delors,' yelled The Sun. It appeared on the very same day that Deputy Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Howe delivered the resignation speech which led to Mrs Thatcher's downfall. Within a month, she was out – though not before delivering one last shot at M Delors's plans: 'No! No! No!'. Her successor, John Major, was soon fighting new battles as the EEC formally became the new, ever-closer 'European Union' via the 1992 Maastricht Treaty.

In Denmark, the electorate was given a say on the treaty and rejected it. What tipped the balance was the disclosure, in Britain's Sunday Telegraph, of a Delors plan for an all-powerful 'President of Europe'. The journalist was one Boris Johnson.

The Danes were duly ticked off and told to vote again the right way. But the obvious fractures in the system led international speculators to start preying on Europe's Exchange Rate Mechanism.

In September 1992, they came for the Pound on what has gone down as Black Wednesday – the day Britain crashed out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism and interest rates briefly spiked at 15 per cent. John Major never recovered.

Brexit bad boy: Nigel Farage as a young MEP in Brussels in 1999

Brexit bad boy: Nigel Farage as a young MEP in Brussels in 1999

Open Bordeaux: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker enjoys wine with dinner at an EU event in 2017

Open Bordeaux: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker enjoys wine with dinner at an EU event in 2017

T he Danes might have had a plebiscite, but not the British people. So, come the 1997 election, the buccaneering financier Sir Jimmy Goldsmith created a new Referendum Party demanding a popular vote. As social as it was political, his party merely unseated even more Tories as Tony Blair led Labour to a landslide.

Maastricht had lit many fires. In 1993, a new political movement staged its first party conference in a London University lecture hall. Announcing 'the birth of a great new permanent party', the first leader of UKIP, Alan Sked, lamented the fact that only one newspaper had sent a reporter to cover this event. 'Give him a round of applause!' yelled Sked. Whereupon the first standing ovation in UKIP history went to a mortally-embarrassed reporter marooned on the press benches (me). Just six years later, that party would have its first foothold, returning three MEPs in the 1999 European elections. They included a former City broker called Nigel Farage.

The party gathered further momentum in 2001 when a Sunderland market trader, Steve Thoburn, was prosecuted for selling fruit and veg in imperial – but not metric – measures. Further 'metric martyrs' would follow.

Smiles in defeat: David Cameron, his wife Samantha and their children leaving Downing Street after he lost 2016 referendum

Smiles in defeat: David Cameron, his wife Samantha and their children leaving Downing Street after he lost 2016 referendum

On marched the EU, regardless. Come 2002, the euro took flight as a currency. No one bothered to ask how a basket case like Greece had qualified for the eurozone. The more, the merrier.

It was the same in 2004 as a large chunk of Eastern Europe joined the club. An army of migrant workers rushed to the UK. Unlike many EU nations, British ministers saw no need to set limits. By 2007, Europe accrued yet more powers via the Lisbon Treaty.

Some plans had to be watered down after French, Dutch and even Irish voters rejected certain aspects, but the Eurocentric direction of travel was the same. Crucially, it also created a mechanism for the unthinkable – a country that actually wanted to leave…

Tears: Theresa May resigns, her premiership destroyed by battles over her Brexit deal

Tears: Theresa May resigns, her premiership destroyed by battles over her Brexit deal

A year later, came two pivotal events. The financial crash of 2008 would trigger mayhem across in eurozone countries like Greece, Italy and Spain. Meanwhile, London – traditionally a Labour stronghold – decided to elect a Tory mayor.

Boris Johnson was now a bona fide political force. His Eton and Oxford contemporary, David Cameron, would become PM at the 2010 election but, like all Tory leaders, found his party incurably divided over Europe.

With Farage breathing beery fag fumes down his neck, he pledged that, if re-elected in 2015, he would seek a fresh deal for Britain and then give the people a referendum. His re-election would be swiftly followed by a chaotic migration crisis which paralysed much of Europe that summer.

D espite Cameron's frantic quest for something meaningful to avert a split in his party, the EU offered mere tweaks and chicken feed. Battle was set for June 23, 2016. The Establishment – be it political, commercial, financial or cultural – was well behind Cameron for Remain.

The nation decides: The Daily Mail on the morning after Britain’s historic vote

The nation decides: The Daily Mail on the morning after Britain's historic vote

Joy: Crowds in London on Brexit Day in January

Joy: Crowds in London on Brexit Day in January

However, once his erstwhile close friend Michael Gove had been joined by Boris Johnson, the Vote Leave operation was thereafter a serious threat while Farage's Leave EU operation waged its own guerrilla war.

The flashpoints of those torrid weeks are etched in the national memory: the rallies, the 'Boris Bus' and its £350million for the NHS – Farage v Geldof on the Thames, the truce following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox….

Most of us can probably remember where we were when we heard David Dimbleby's historic verdict: 'We're out.' Not yet we weren't. Next came febrile summer days of Tory plottings, the Camerons' farewell and the advent of Theresa May and her blundering acolytes. Months gave way to years of endless bawling and brawling both within and without Westminster before the tearful May gave up.

How strange it seems now to look back on that strange cast of characters – Speaker Bercow, Baroness Hale, the outer fringes of the DUP, Oliver Letwin and his ceaseless amendments. Who can still explain that prorogation?

As of 11pm tonight, it's all irrelevant. Still, I can't help wondering what would have happened if Grandpa Mandelson had been more on the ball 70 years ago.

David Attenborough says 2021 could be year for `positive change´

Sir David Attenborough has said 2021 'could be a year for positive change' as he offers a new year message of hope.

The veteran broadcaster will add that 'the need to take action' against climate change 'has never been more urgent'.

In a speech to be broadcast on BBC One on New Year's Day, he will say: 'I am speaking to you from my home, because like many of you I have spent much of the last year indoors, away from friends, family and access to the natural world.

(embed)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxibm1ODEpI(/embed)

'It has been a challenging few months for many of us, but the reaction to these extraordinary times has proved that when we work together, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.

'Today we are experiencing environmental change as never before, and the need to take action has never been more urgent.

'This year, the world will gather in Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. It's a crucial moment in our history.

Sir David Attenborough has a message of hope for 2021 (Fabio De Paola/PA)

Sir David Attenborough has a message of hope for 2021 (Fabio De Paola/PA)

'This could be a year for positive change, for ourselves, for our planet and for the wonderful creatures with which we share it.

'A year the world could remember proudly and say, 'we made a difference'.

'As we make our new year's resolutions, let's think about what each of us can do. What positive changes can we make in our own lives?

'Here's to a brighter year ahead. Let's make 2021 a happy new year for all the inhabitants of our perfect planet.'

The message comes ahead of the launch of Sir David's latest natural history series A Perfect Planet, which begins at 8pm on January 3 on BBC One.

The show was four years in the making and filmed in 31 countries on six continents.

The first four episodes explore the power of volcanoes, sunlight, weather and oceans. The final episode in the series looks at the impact of humans on the planet, and what can be done to restore its balance.

The message will be shown on BBC One at 7.57pm on January 1, between Doctor Who and EastEnders.

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