The future’s bright: Five years on from Brexit vote, Boris Johnson says leaving the EU will help us bounce back from Covid pandemic

  • Prime Minister pledged to ‘seize the true potential of our regained sovereignty’
  • David Cameron resigned as PM in 2016 after 52 per cent voted to leave
  • The wrangling that followed brought down his successor, Theresa May 

Brexit will help us to bounce back from the pandemic, Boris Johnson has vowed in a statement to mark the five-year anniversary of our vote to leave the EU.

The Prime Minister pledged to ‘seize the true potential of our regained sovereignty’ to ‘unite and level up’ the UK.

The referendum saw 52 per cent vote to Leave, prompting the resignation of Remain-backing prime minister David Cameron. 

The wrangling that followed brought down his successor, Theresa May.

Brexit will help us to bounce back from the pandemic, Boris Johnson has vowed in a statement to mark the five-year anniversary of our vote to leave the EU

But Mr Johnson’s offer of an ‘oven-ready’ deal helped him to secure an 80-seat majority in the 2019 election. 

Marking the occasion that began his journey to No 10, he said: ‘Five years ago the British people made the momentous decision to leave the European Union and take back control of our destiny.

‘We’ve already reclaimed our money, laws, borders and waters. 

‘We’ve installed a new points-based system for immigration, delivered the fastest vaccine rollout anywhere in Europe, negotiated trade deals with the EU and 68 other countries – including our first post-Brexit free trade agreement with Australia – and we’ve just begun negotiations to join the £9trillion Pacific trade area.

The referendum saw 52 per cent vote to Leave, prompting the resignation of Remain-backing prime minister David Cameron

‘Now, as we recover from this pandemic, we will seize the true potential of our regained sovereignty to unite and level up our whole United Kingdom. 

‘With control over our regulations and subsidies… we will spur innovation, jobs and renewal across every part of our country.

‘The decision to leave the EU may now be part of our history, but our clear mission is to utilise the freedoms it brings to shape a better future for our people.’ 

Not everyone marked the anniversary with such warm words. 

The pro-European Tory grandee Lord Heseltine claimed the outlook for Britain was ‘ominous’, with the Northern Ireland peace process under real threat.

‘As we attempt to recover from the worst financial crisis for 300 years, the reality of Brexit is starting to hit home,’ he said.

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