Will Johnson now lead us along a path to prosperity, or over the White Cliffs of Dover? | Observer editorial

We need to stay close to the EU – for the good of the economy and the cultural ties that bind us So it is done. On Friday night, 47 years of British membership of the European Union and its forebears came to an end. It was a moment that will irrevocably shape the course of our nation’s history, but in quite what direction it is impossible to tell. The paradox of Brexit lives on. Britain has taken a monumental decision from which there is no retreat in the foreseeable future. And yet, three and a half years on from the referendum that heralded our departure, nothing of substance about what it means for our future has been resolved. Brexit continues to be defined by its champions’ hostility to the EU, rather than a realistic vision of what we could become. For some, it is a new beginning; for others, a historic mistake. Some are jubilant at the prospect of a sovereign nation unbound; others grieve for the enforced separation from allies and from the values the European project represents. Where joyful pride and