For the last time, the British woke up Friday to be citizens of the European Union, and the press headlines reflected the enthusiasm of supporters of Brexit as the apprehension of those who wanted to stay in the EU.
“Yes, we did it!” Proclaimed the Daily Express, a tabloid which campaigned ardently for the separation.
The title topped a map of Britain made up of front pages of the newspaper for the 43 months that have passed since the June 2016 referendum. This period saw the arrival and passing of three deadlines for Brexit, before the British Parliament does not ultimately ratify the divorce agreement.
“A new dawn for Britain,” headlined another pro-Brexit tabloid, the Daily Mail. “At 11 o’clock this evening our proud nation finally leaves the EU – still friendly with Europe, but free and again independent after 47 years”.
The left-wing daily The Guardian expressed its pro-EU preference, titling “Little Island” and describing Brexit as “the biggest bet in a generation”.
The Times published on its front page an article by Boris Johnson in which the pro-Brexit Prime Minister develops his ideas on the free trade agreement which he now wishes to conclude with the EU, on the model of a recent agreement between the European bloc and Canada. “The Prime Minister wants a trade deal with Brussels like Canada does,” the Times wrote.
For the Financial Times, “Britain is retiring and leaving the EU with a mixture of optimism and regret”.
“It was a hell of a trip,” headlined City AM, a free business newspaper, above a drawing of a small roller coaster train with the faces of the main players in the Brexit saga.
Among these faces, a dark-haired Angela Merkel and a jubilant Nigel Farage brandishing a glass of beer. Leader of the anti-EU Ukip party and then of the Brexit Party, Mr. Farage was one of the most active opponents of the European Union.
“This is not an end but a beginning,” proclaimed the Daily Telegraph, publishing statements made by Boris Johnson before a cabinet meeting on Friday in Sunderland, a city in the northeast of England where voters voted. voted overwhelmingly for Brexit.
The tabloid Daily Mirror devoted most of its news not to Brexit, but to the 150 Britons who were quarantined due to the coronavirus epidemic. The second title was “Brexit Day”. “It is time to bring the country together,” said the newspaper.
In Scotland, where the majority of voters were in favor of staying in the EU, the tone was very different.
The Edinburgh daily Scotsman headline bitterly “Adieu, pas au revoir”, and used the word “Adieu” in 24 European languages.
The Daily Record was no more optimistic, summing up the post-Brexit situation: “Cheated: isolated, less prosperous, weaker and divided”.
The English tabloid Daily Star did not resist a joke. “Tonight will be a real HISTORIC MOMENT for our great nation,” proclaimed the daily. “Yes, it’s the end of Dry January!”, The month of January without alcohol, an increasingly popular practice among the British who abused the drink in December.