By Tony Winterburn • 30 December 2020 • 20:55
Brexit Trade Deal Clears The House of Commons by 521 votes to 73.
Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal with Brussels easily cleared the House of Commons. The government successfully rushed through complex legislation in just 14 hours. The PM described the historic deal as “not a rupture but a resolution” before MPs voted through the European Union (future relationship) bill by 521 votes to 73 – resulting in a majority of 448 votes.
After the result was announced, the bill continued directly to the House of Lords and is now expected to be given royal assent shortly before midnight. Notwithstanding any serious issues, the deal will take effect at 11 pm on Thursday, Dec. 31, when the Brexit transition period ends- close by anyone’s standards!
Parliament was recalled for an emergency one-day session to approve the EU-UK trade and cooperation agreement, concluded by Johnson and the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, on Christmas Eve. Conservative, Labour and the Scottish National party MPs criticised the government for allowing for so little time for parliamentary scrutiny of the bill.
Johnson opened the debate on the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU shortly after 10 am on Wednesday, Dec 30. The PM’s deal passed with ease with Labour’s support even though the Liberal Democrats, the SNP and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) all voted against it. Theresa May, the former prime minister who suffered a series of damaging defeats on her government’s Brexit legislation, voted for the agreement but earlier told MPs that she had offered them a “better deal” in 2019.
Diane Abbott, having declared during a speech during the debate bitterly attacking the Bill that she would vote against it, merely joined the Labour abstainers.
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