Tuesday, May 21, 2024
 
 

UK parliament approves Brexit deal

EPA-EFE/UK PARLIAMENTARY RECORDING UNIT
A grab from a handout video made available by the UK Parliamentary Recording Unit shows British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking during Prime Minister Questions at the House of Commons in London, Britain, 08 January 2019.

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Britain’s parliament gave final approval to Brexit on 9 January, paving the way for the country’s departure from the European Union on 31 January, and making it the first nation ever to exit the bloc.
The framework for leaving the EU was backed by 330 members of parliament and opposed by 231.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won the majority in an election last month, and secured the passing of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, that was approved after three days of debate.
Britain voted to leave the EU in a 2016 referendum. After that, lawmakers repeatedly defeated attempts by Johnson and his predecessor Theresa May to make Brexit possible.
Officials are saying that striking a new deal will be difficult, especially in the tight deadline, which is till December. Leaders say they will have to prioritize in order to agree on their future security and trade relations in the transition phase, during which Britain will keep paying its membership fees.
Johnson insists that Britain will not extend the transition period, and will not seek a deal based on an alignment with EU rules.
“We cannot expect to agree on every aspect of this new partnership,” said  the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, and added that “we are ready to do our best in the 11 months”.
“The big challenge for the PM is the fact that there are still a bunch of Conservative MPs who would like to see what they call ‘a clean break’ from the EU, rather than a comprehensive free-trade deal which maintains a degree of alignment with the EU, said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London.
The bill will go for further examination to the UK House of Lords next week.

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