(CMR) Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday won Parliament's backing of his Brexit deal, allowing him to forge ahead with his promise that Britain will finally leave the European Union next month.
Johnson’s pared-down, altered Withdrawal Agreement Bill should now take the country out of the E.U. by the end of January, followed by a tight 11-month “transition period” to allow Britain and the E.U. to hammer out new deals to shape their relationship. Johnson faced a series of embarrassing Brexit-related defeats in the fall, when he faced a hung Parliament. But his landslide win in last week’s election put him in control.
It was revealed today that MPs have backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan for the UK to leave the EU by a 358 to 234 vote – a majority of 124. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill, will now go on to further scrutiny in Parliament. The bill would also ban an extension of the transition period – during which the UK is out of the EU but follows many of its rules – past 2020.
The PM said the country was now “one step closer to getting Brexit done”.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs to vote against it, saying there was “a better and fairer way” to leave the EU – but six of them backed the government. The government insists a trade deal with the EU can be in place by the end of the transition period, but critics say this timescale is unrealistic. The bill had been expected to pass easily after the Conservatives won an 80-seat majority at last week's general election.
Further debate on the bill will continue after the Christmas recess – on 7, 8 and 9 January.