World Media

United Kingdom lawmakers support Boris Johnson's Brexit bill, pave way to leave EU

Queen Elizabeth II confirmed in her speech that the government's priority was to deliver Brexit on January 31

Ministers are aiming for the legislation to complete its passage through Parliament in the new year, enabling the United Kingdom to leave with the deal agreed by Johnson in place at the end of January as planned.

According to the United Kingdom parliament, the new withdrawal agreement bill is similar to the October 2019 bill in many ways; however, three clauses and one schedule have been removed, and five clauses have been added.

Or nearly done, as first and second readings are dashed through the Johnsonised Commons, disregarding the notion a bill should be published first to allow at least a week to scrutinise it before voting on second reading.

After suffering several defeats in the previous parliament, Johnson enjoys a large majority and should face little opposition in passing the bill to implement Britain's biggest foreign and trade policy shift in more than 40 years.

"Brexit will be done, it will be over", Johnson said ahead of the vote, referring to the January 31 deadline.

It will receive more scrutiny and possible amendment next month, and also has to be approved by Parliament's upper chamber, the House of Lords. Johnson insists a trade deal with the European Union can be in place by the end of the transition period, but the Opposition parties feel the timescale of December 2020 is unrealistic.

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion was one of six Labour politicians to rebel against their party today to back the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.

For all Johnson's talk of "getting Brexit done" on January 31, details of Britain's negotiating stance - and even who will lead the trade talks - remain unknown.

Boris Johnson said it would end "delay and rancour" and provide "certainty".

Parliament will also be given "greater oversight" of the withdrawal process, according to Downing Street, with a requirement for ministers to report annually on disputes with the European Union after Britain has left.

Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May, tried - and failed - three times to get parliament to approve an earlier withdrawal agreement with the EU. The Government will also be banned from extending the transition period under the document.

The Brexit deal needs to be ratified by the European Parliament.

A promise that workers' rights will not be eroded after Brexit has also been removed, though the government says it will enshrine employment rights in separate legislation.

These changes will be included in new Environment Bill, among over 30 bills announced in Queen's Speech, seven of which relate to Brexit.

"It's the moment that we've longed for; it's the moment that we've had to wait a very long time for", Patricia Sharman said.

It comes after Mr Johnson outlined his legislative agenda for the new government on Thursday with a Queen's speech. What he has said is that he doesn't want there to be alignment.

Ahead of Friday's debate, Mr Johnson said: "We will deliver on the promise we made to the people and get the Brexit vote wrapped up for Christmas".

"We will take back control of our laws and disentangle ourselves from the EU's legal order just as was promised to the British people".