After years of criticizing Brussels, British newspapers questioning the viability of the European Union celebrated the victory in their numbers published Friday after Brexit became a reality at the end of 2020, but the voices in favor of the European bloc referred to a “day of grief”.
The BBC and Sky News showed live pictures of Big Ben in central London ticking the muezzin by 11:00 pm (23:00 GMT) Thursday, the moment Britain ended an 11-month transition and permanently separated from the European Union.
This was considered a personal victory for politicians such as the populist Nigel Farage, who opposes the union, and supported the secession campaign in the 2016 referendum.
“It is a big moment for our country, a giant leap forward.
Time to celebrate.
Farage’s sentiments were reflected in traditional media.
On its front page, the Daily Express published a photo of the white cliffs of Dover overlooking the English Channel, with the headline “Our Future… our Britain… our destiny”.
The Sun newspaper ran the news of Brexit in a square on the front page and cited statements by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that Brexit represented a moment of renewal in which the country could forcefully unleash scientific innovation.
The newspaper published a chart of Big Ben with a giant syringe indicating midnight, to promote its campaign calling for an army of volunteers to help implement the emerging coronavirus vaccination program.
Indeed, opinion polls show that the epidemic is a greater source of anxiety for the people than the Brexit issue, and other newspapers have presented the two contradictory versions with the advent of the new year.
The Daily Telegraph titled “Welcome to 2021, and two reasons to hope for a brighter future”.
Johnson worked as a reporter in the 1990s.
The Daily Telegraph was referring to Brexit and the approval of the United Kingdom’s regulatory body for a new vaccine for Covid-19 developed by the University of Oxford and the Cambridge-based company AstraZeneca.
As for the pro-European Union newspaper, The Guardian mixed the two positions in its front-page coverage, noting that Britain finally left all EU rules in the midst of a “crisis, without fanfare”.
In the inside pages, the left-wing newspaper described Brexit as “a tragic national mistake”.
“Britain is now outside the European Union”.
But it is a day of sadness and not a day of glory, because we will always be part of Europe.
The Independent newspaper published a satirical cartoon showing the main supporters of Brexit in the form of various fish, a note of the controversy surrounding the fishing file and that nearly torpedoed a trade agreement between London and Brussels after months of talks.
The newspaper depicted Johnson as a flatfish “usually far from the depths,” while Farage was depicted as a “salted or smoked” fish.
As for the Daily Mail, the most anti-European tabloid, it focused entirely on the epidemic after new data confirmed the vaccination of one million people in Britain.