British PM Boris Johnson wins parliament vote for Brexit deal
26 December 2019
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson won approval for his Brexit deal in parliament on Friday, taking the first step towards fulfilling his election promise of taking Britain out of the European Union by 31 January 2020.
Johnson, who was elected with his landslide victory, received the support of 358 lawmakers for his Brexit deal while 234 voted against.
Johnson`s large majority in parliament should ensure a smooth ratification of the divorce deal that would take Britain out of the European Union three years after the country voted to exit the EU in a 2016 referendum and more than 40 years after joining the economic bloc.
Johnson’s massive majority has ensured that Britain would firmly stick to the January deadline. The prime minister will have to face talks to secure a trade deal with the bloc and ensure that the talks conclude by the end of next year, another target date.
Johnson seems to have the necessary baking for securing a trade deal with EU as well.
"This is the time when we move on and discard the old labels of `leave` and `remain` ... now is the time to act together as one reinvigorated nation, one United Kingdom," Johnson told parliament before the vote.
"Now is the moment to come together and write a new and exciting chapter in our national story, to forge a new partnership with our European friends, to stand tall in the world, to begin the healing for which the whole people of this country yearn."
The bill has to be ratified by the lower house of parliament by 9 January, and then pass through the upper house before it can receive Royal Assent and become effective.
Once the Brext deal is done, Britain will need to secure new trading arrangements with the EU, which, the prime minister said would be outside the block’s rules. Johnson, however, has ensured legislation not to those trade talks with the EU beyond the end of next year.
Johnson has 365 Conservative lawmakers in the 650-seat lower house and some opposition members criticise him for removing the opportunity for parliament to have oversight over his negotiating priorities in the next phase of talks, and for getting rid of workers` protections.
Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described it as "terrible" and said his party would not support the bill. "This deal does not bring certainty for communities or for business or for the workforce, in fact it does the opposite and hardwires the risk of a no-deal Brexit next year," he said.
However, Johnson hopes to win opposition Labour Party’s support as well by measures such as pledging more funding to the state health service, education and policing.
"Today we will deliver on the promise we made to the people and get the Brexit vote wrapped up for Christmas," he said in comments before the vote. "Next year will be a great year for our country."