Boris Johnson warns of ‘tough times’ ahead in Covid battle and voiced hope that Brexit would allow the UK to do things ‘better’ than the EU – but insisted ‘the end of the journey coronavirus’ was in sight as he looked forward to 2021.
In his New Year message, the Prime Minister insisted that the next 12 months would see Britons ‘eventually do those everyday things that now seem lost in the past’ as vaccines help life return to normal.
He also voiced his hope that Brexit would allow the UK to do things ‘better’ than the EU after leaving at 11 pm tonight.
Britain quits the block this evening after four-and-a-half bitter years of politics and division since the EU referendum.
The Prime Minister reflected on the past 12 months, during which ‘we lost too many loved ones before their time’ because of the pandemic.
But he said a ‘spirit of togetherness’ was rediscovered in 2020, in which people ‘pulled the stops out to keep the country moving in the biggest crisis we have faced for generations’.
His comments came as Britain today declared a record high of 55,892 coronavirus cases and almost 1,000 more deaths, leading to fears of Covid restrictions until next summer.
He said: ‘We know that we have a hard struggle still ahead of us for weeks and months, because we face a new variant of the disease that requires a new vigilance.
‘But as the sun rises tomorrow on 2021 we have the certainty of those vaccines.’
Referencing the end of the Brexit transition period, the Prime Minister said the UK would be ‘free to do things differently, and if necessary better, than our friends in the EU’ in 2021.
He said the UK will ‘work with partners around the world, not just to tackle climate change but to create the millions of high-skilled jobs this country will need not just this year – 2021 – as we bounce back from Covid, but 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. Here