No more delays, time to forget Leave and Remain – Brexit is here

It’s finally arrived, today is the UK’s last as a member of the European Union. At midnight tonight in most of Europe, which is 11pm in the UK, Brexit comes into effect. Of course, tomorrow both parties enter the 11-month transition period, meaning the full divorce won´t be effective until next year.

get brexit done

UK prime minister Boris Johnson during election campaign,

It has taken a very long time, in fact far too long, since the referendum in June 2016 – with many political shenanigans in the parliament. The opposition to Brexit in the Commons ended with the landslide victory of the Conservatives in the December general election. Prime minister Boris Johnson’s main election promise was to “Get Brexit done”.

So, what now?

First, in the interests of transparency, I need to declare my personal voting history in relation to the UK and Europe. It started way back in the 1970s. Britain had joined what was then the EEC (European Economic Community), popularly known as the Common Market. At the time, the UK was one of nine member states.

In 1975, on June 5, there was a national in/out referendum which ended in an overwhelming victory for ‘in’, or Remain. Votes in favour of remaining in totaled 17,378,581, those who voted ‘out’, or Leave, amounted to just 8,470,073 – including me.

From Leave to Remain in 40 years

Things changed in the subsequent 41 years. The EEC became the EU (European Union) in 1993 and had grown to 28 member countries prior to Brexit. I hope I am wrong, but it seems to me that the UK will suffer outside the strength of the EU and British businesses are likely to experience international trading difficulties. It is also highly probable that people will face price rises in the shops. It was because of this that I voted Remain four years ago.


Pro-Brexit protesters hold placards outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, December 20, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson

However, the last battle is over, the war is decided. It is time that all UK Remainers and Leavers put their views aside and come together to make the very best future as possible for their country. I say ‘their’ because – although born in, and resident of, the UK for 63 years – four years ago I moved to Spain, along with my American wife, Lisa.

Because of where I now live, I will experience the effects of Brexit as one of 447 million Europeans, and will watch the future of the UK, and its populatioan of almost 67 million, with great interest.

What we have to look out for now, without European safeguards, for many things such as for the UK not to fall behind in the level of pensions and benefits, and its treatment of EU citizens resident in Britain. To avoid allegations of a conflict of interest, I should admit that I am 67 and have a severe mobilty disabiity owing to primary progessive Multiple Sclerosis. As such, I receive a UK state pension and disablity benefit.

Naturally, my comments on whatever develops in the future will appear here.

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go fund meUnfortunately, I have been forced to scrap my car and need to replace it, urgently. I also have a large bill from my stay at the hospital in America.
Please help me meet the costs of a wheelchair accessible vehicle and the hospital care. If you can help by making a donation, however small, click HERE.
Thank you
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * is the personal website of Ian Franks. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. More recently, he was a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issue.


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