LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom leaves the European Union at 2300 GMT on Friday but Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a bulging to do list for what he has cast as a “new dawn” for the country.
FILE PHOTO: People walk through autumnal leaves in front of the financial district in London, Britain, November 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo
Below are the biggest issues he has to deal with.
As soon as the United Kingdom formally leaves the EU on Jan. 31 it can start negotiating trade deals with other countries.
The European Union – which accounts for about half of the United Kingdom’s trade – along with the United States are the government’s top priority for securing new trade deals.
A sticking point in U.S. talks will be a British proposal for a unilateral digital services tax, despite a U.S. threat to levy retaliatory tariffs on British-made autos.
Brexit strained the bonds which tie the United Kingdom together: England and Wales voted to leave the EU but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay.
Scottish nationalists are pushing for an independence referendum which Johnson says he will not allow. Irish nationalists also want a referendum on uniting Ireland.
TRUMP AND CHINA
Johnson granted Huawei a limited role in Britain’s 5G mobile network on Tuesday, frustrating a global attempt by the United States to exclude the Chinese telecoms giant from the West’s next-generation communications.
It is unclear what impact the decision will have on relations with the Untied States – the United Kingdom’s closest ally. China has also cautioned the United Kingdom for what it says is meddling in Hong Kong –