MPs voted 330 to 231 to proceed with the Withdrawal Agreement Bill and finally deliver Brexit for the UK in an historic moment. The government’s Brexit bill passed its first hurdle in Parliament after the Conservatives won a majority in the December general election. The Brexit date – when the UK leaves the EU – is currently set for January 31, 2020.
Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay said in a speech to Parliament before the vote: “This bill was secure our departure from the European Union with a deal that gives certainty to businesses.
“It protects the rights of our citizens and ensures that we regain control of our money, our borders, our laws and our trade policy.
“Once this bill has been passed, and the withdrawal agreement ratified, we will proceed swiftly to the completion of a free trade deal with the EU by the end of December 2020.
“As laid out in our manifesto, bringing the supremacy of EU law to an end and restoring permanently the sovereignty of this place.”
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MPs voted in favour of the deal
The bill will now pass to the House of Lords for further scrutiny next week.
If peers choose to amend it will it come back before MPs.
The bill covers “divorce” payments to the EU, citizens’ rights, customs arrangements for Northern Ireland and the planned 11-month transition period.
SNP MP Ian Blackford made a point of order immediately following the result reveal, and delivered a speech to Parliament.
It will now pass to the House of Lords for further scrutiny next week.
He said: “We will not accept being taken out of the European Union.
“I say to the Prime Minister: respect democracy and respect the eleciton result.
“Respect the right of the people of Scotland to choose our future. We will have our referendum.”
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The bill comfortably cleared its third reading in the House of Commons, as expected, with a majority of 99.
It took just three days for the bill to pass the remaining stages in the Commons, after MPs gave their initial approval to the legislation before the Christmas recess.
Theresa May – Boris Johnson’s predecessor in Downing Street – repeatedly failed to get her Brexit agreement passed by MPs, which led to her resignation as prime minister.
The latest vote gives approval to the 11-month transition period after 31 January, in which the UK will cease to be an EU member but will continue to follow its rules and contribute to its budget.
The purpose of the transition period is to give time for the UK and EU to negotiate their future relationship, including a trade deal.