Prime Minister Boris Johnson has done something his predecessor failed to do three times - he got his Brexit bill approved. The members of Parliament have voted 358 to 234 in favor of his Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which sets a Brexit date for January 31.
The second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill has passed - which means we are one step closer to getting Brexit done ????— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 20, 2019
Even six Labour MPs voted in favor of the legislation, as noted by the BBC. The House of Commons passed a previous version of the bill in October, before it was withdrawn. This updated version includes the following changes:
- Legally prohibiting the government from extending the transition period - during which a trade deal between the UK and EU will be discussed - beyond 31 December 2020
- Allowing more UK courts to reconsider European Court of Justice rulings that have been retained in UK law after Brexit
- Requiring ministers to report annually to Parliament on disputes with the EU under the prime minister's withdrawal agreement
- Repealing spent legislation that "now serves no purpose"
Former Prime Minister Theresa May failed three times to get her own Brexit agreement passed earlier this year. When it became clear she was the wrong person to lead the UK out of the EU, she resigned.
But, the Conservatives now have an 80-seat majority after their massive victory in the recent UK elections. It was Conservatives' best showing since 1987, when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was running things, while it was the Labour Party's worst night since 1935. They can blame Jeremy Corbyn for that. His radical, socialist agenda and lack of a Brexit plan doomed Labour's chances. His decision to step down as party leader next year suggests he is at least accepting some responsibility.
MPs will return to debate Johnson's Brexit bill from January 7-9.