UK's Johnson finally gets his Brexit deal

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 20, 2019 - Duration: 01:53s

UK's Johnson finally gets his Brexit deal

Prime Minister Boris Johnson won approval for his Brexit deal in parliament on Friday, the first step towards fulfilling his election pledge to deliver Britain's departure from the European Union by Jan.

31 after his landslide victory.

Lauren Anthony reports.


UK's Johnson finally gets his Brexit deal

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally gotten his way.

His Brexit deal is all systems go -- just in time for Christmas.

He won initial approval for the Withdrawal Agreement on Friday -- by a landslide.

With 358 lawmakers to just 234 voting to pass the second reading of the bill.

It's the first step towards fulfilling Johnson's election pledge to 'get Brexit done' by the end of January.

Earlier on Friday (December 20), he begged colleagues to vote in his favor.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, BORIS JOHNSON, SAYING: "Now is the moment as we leave the European Union to reunite our country and allow the warmth and natural affection that we all share for our European neighbors, to find renewed expression in one great new national project of building a deep, special and democratically accountable partnership with those nations we are proud to call our closest friends." Opposition lawmakers cried foul over the result.

With Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arguing the deal brings further uncertainty for communities, businesses and the workforce, and that it hardwires the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

But having won the December election by an overwhelming majority, Johnson is on course for a smooth and speedy ratification of the divorce deal to implement Britain's biggest policy shift in more than 40 years.

Following the January deadline, the prime minister will face talks to secure a trade deal with the bloc.

In a change to the bill, Johnson made it illegal to extend those talks beyond the end of next year.

Friday's vote came the same day that Reuters reported that some of the Conservative Party's biggest donors quietly took steps to stay inside the European Union -- by applying for citizenship in EU member state, Cyprus.

A move that could suggest sagging confidence in Britain's economy after it leaves the bloc.

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