The British Parliament voted overwhelmingly Friday morning to approve Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan for Brexit, the 2016 referendum for Britain to leave the European Union.
The House of Commons passed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in a 358 to 234 vote. The bill will be examined and possibly amended further before it is brought up for a vote and likely passed in the House of Lords next month.
Britain is scheduled to withdraw from the 28-member European Union on January 31 after the bill is approved, kicking off an 11-month “transition period.”
Johnson said his Brexit deal will put an end to the “acrimony and anguish” that has roiled Britain over the last three years. Lawmakers and the broader public have clashed in the interim over how to deal with the economic consequences of leaving the European Union.
“Now is the time to act together as one reinvigorated nation, one United Kingdom, filled with renewed confidence in our national destiny and determined at last to take advantage of the opportunities that now lie before us,” Johnson said.
Earlier this month, Johnson’s conservative party won a staggering electoral victory on the prime minister’s promise to “get Brexit done,” winning 365 seats in the House of Commons in the best showing for the party since Margaret Thatcher captured a third term in 1987.
Afterwards, Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist leader of Britain’s Labour Party, announced he will resign as leader after his party’s historic defeat at the hands of Johnson’s Tories.
“Brexit has so polarized and divided debate in this country. It has overridden so much of a normal political debate,” Corbyn said. “I recognize that has contributed to the results that the Labour Party has received this evening all across this country.”