Boris Johnson secures UK parliament approves for Brexit trade deal
04 January 2021
Britain on Wednesday cleared the final hurdle to separation from the European Union with lawmakers approving Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.
Britain will be lone European country to remain out of the 27-member bloc beginning the New Year and EU and Britain now look to to begin a new chapter of relations as the divorce comes into effect.
Parliament’s approval of the deal that Britain and the European Union signed on Thursday last week and the British parliament will finalise its implementation, ending over four years of negotiation and safeguarding nearly a $1 trillion of annual trade.
Both sides said it was a chance to begin a new chapter in a relationship forged as Europe rebuilt after World War Two, but which has often seen Britain as a reluctant participant in ever-tighter political and economic integration.
Johnson, in a specially convened sitting of parliament, said he hoped to work “hand in glove” with the EU when its interests aligned, using Britain’s new-found sovereignty to reshape the British economy.
“Brexit is not an end but a beginning,” Johnson said. “The responsibility now rests with all of us to make the best use of the powers that we regain, the tools that we’ve taken back into our hands.”
Parliament’s lower house voted 521 to 73 in favour of the deal. The upper house of parliament now debates the bill and it should become law around midnight.
The deal has been criticised on several fronts since it was agreed on 24 December. The opposition Labour Party say it is too thin and doesn’t protect trade in services, fishermen rage that Johnson has sold out their interests, and Northern Ireland’s status remains subject to much uncertainty.
Nevertheless, Johnson has won the support of his party’s hardline Brexiteers - delivering a break with the EU four years after 2016 voting to leave.