A Union flag flutters in the breeze as the sun sets in Hartlepool, north-east England, on January 1, 2021, where 69.6% of voters in the 2016 “Brexit” referendum opted to leave the EU (European Union). (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
Britain on Friday began a new year and life outside the European Union’s single market, with the first trucks crossing the Channel by ferry and rail largely reporting few difficulties despite new customs rules.
Brexit, an all-consuming issue in Britain since it voted in 2016 to quit the bloc, became reality an hour before midnight after nearly five decades of integration with Europe.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was bullishly optim