After half a century of EU membership and a three-and-a-half year battle to uphold the 2016 referendum result, Brexit finally happened. At 11pm on January 31, Britain left the EU, regaining its sovereignty and independence. However, there are still many questions left unanswered over the country’s future trading relationship with the EU and the rest of the world.
Britain and Brussels have less than a month to negotiate a free trade agreement and avoid a hard exit when the transition arrangements expire at the end of 2020.
The latest round of trade talks ended last week, with both sides complaining of deadlock in key areas such as EU access to UK fishing grounds, governance, and the so-called level playing field on common standards and competition.
As uncertainty continues, unearthed reports shed light on the man arguably responsible for Brexit: former Prime Minister David Cameron.
In February 2016, the Conservative Party grandee called for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU to take place on June 23, after securing a deal with 27 other EU leaders to amend the UK’s relationship with Brussels.
Despite the Prime Minister’s campaign to remain in the bloc, the country voted to leave the EU by 52 percent to 48 percent.
Mr Cameron decided to step down as, according to a throwback report by The Sun, he did not want to have to sort out a Brexit deal.
He reportedly told tearful members of his inner circle: “Why should I do all the hard s**t for someone else, just to hand it over to them on a plate?”
The moving scenes played out as the former Prime Minister came into the office of his key staff, next door to his No10 study, the evening before announcing his resignation.
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Instead, the next day, the Prime Minister said on No10’s steps he would only remain in the job for an extra 100 days.
Fighting back tears and flanked by wife Sam, Mr Cameron said: “I love this country and I feel honoured to have served it.”
He also launched a fierce defence of his decision to call the referendum in the first place.
He said it was an illustration of his government’s record of always “confronting big decisions”.
And he insisted Britain should have been proud of the fact 33 million people across the Home Nations and Gibraltar had their say in a “giant democratic exercise”.