Newly elected British Parliamentarians on Friday definitively backed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit Bill setting the stage for the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) by the January 31, 2020 deadline.
The lawmakers voted 358 to 234 in favour of the so-called divorce agreement with the 28-member economic bloc, handing Johnson a decisive 124-vote majority.
The result marks a far cry from the repeated defeats faced by the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill in the previous Parliament under a Johnson-led minority Conservative government.
He had called the December 12 snap General Election in the hope of winning a majority and went to the electorate with a central “Get Brexit Done” message, which resulted in a landslide victory for his party.
The bill, which had its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday ahead of the vote, now goes on for further scrutiny in the Commons and House of Lords.
The modified version of the bill tabled this week also includes a ban on an extension to the agreed transition period during which the UK is out of the EU but follows many of its rules past 2020.
Johnson told MPs the vote would allow the country to “move forward”.
Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told his MPs to vote against it, saying there was “a better and fairer way” to leave the EU.