BORIS Johnson has told Brits to seize the day after striking free from the EU’s shackles.
He issued the directive — from Downing Street where he is spending the festive period — as experts predicted the UK economy will bounce back next year.
The PM said Brits must “embrace all the opportunities available to us as an independent nation” when the transition period ends at 11pm on New Year’s Eve.
He was speaking as he unveiled details of a £110million Turing programme which will allow thousands of students access to the best educational institutions in Europe and across the world.
No 10 also released a series of pictures showing the frustrations and joy in the hours before the deal was struck. Chief Brexit negotiator Lord Frost hailed the pact as a “moment of national renewal”.
He said the agreement, which eliminates the role of the European Court of Justice in the UK, was “one of the biggest and broadest ever”, ensuring the UK “sets its own laws again”.
He went on: “There’s no more role for the European Court of Justice, there’s no direct effects of EU law, there’s no alignment of any kind, and we’re out of the single market and the customs union just as the manifesto said we would be.”
He added: “This should be the beginning of a moment of national renewal for us. All choices are in our hands as a country and it’s now up to us to decide how we use them and how we go forward.” He added: “Many said we couldn’t do it in the time available.”
The negotiating team’s insistence of taking talks up to Christmas and telling counterpart Michel Barnier they will not sign anything unacceptable is understood to have led to the final favourable terms.
Hardline Eurosceptics were going through the fine detail released yesterday, with the PM contacting them to sell it. Mr Gove said yesterday it will pave the way for a “special relationship” with the EU which will hopefully end “ugly” politics.
Writing in The Times, he said: “Business has certainty and the ability to plan for growth and investment. We can develop a new pattern of friendly co-operation with the EU, a special relationship if you will, between sovereign equals.”
The pact offers the UK a zero-tariff deal to help protect trade worth £660billion.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Economics and Business Research has forecast the UK economy will be 23 per cent stronger than France’s by 2035 — up from nine per cent currently. One accountancy firm predicted the UK economy will grow by 6.1 per cent next year.
Yesterday extra detail was also revealed of the post-Brexit replacement of the Erasmus student exchange programme — costing more than £100million. Funding for 35,000 students will be provided to go on placements and exchanges globally as part of the Turing scheme from September next year.
Mr Johnson said: “Erasmus+ has been enormously beneficial to British students over the years, broadening their horizons and giving them invaluable access to European culture and institutions. And that is why we’re implementing the new £110million Turing programme so students, of all backgrounds, are not limited to where they can study.
“Now they will not only have access to European universities but to all the world’s greatest educational institutions as we embrace all opportunities available to us as an independent nation.”
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