SHAFAQNA- Britain’s parliament has approved Brexit deal, paving the way for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union at the end of the month.
The deal has cleared its biggest hurdle with the vote that followed a third reading in Parliament, in which 330 voted for and 231 against, putting an end to three years of political wrangling following the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said he welcomed the “constructive scrutiny” of the Lords but hoped the Upper House would not try to delay the bill.
“I have no doubt that their lordships will have heard the resounding message from the British people on the December 12,” he said.
Thursday’s vote was a major victory for Mr Johnson, who has made delivering Brexit the key aim of his premiership.
“Leaving the EU doesn’t mean that we will have got Brexit done,” Paul Blomfield, a Brexit spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party, said.
“We’ll have completed the first step, departure, but the difficult stage is yet to come”, ABC News reported.
Speaking before the vote, Labour’s Paul Blomfield, opposition shadow minister for exiting the EU, lamented the bill’s inevitable passage, and particularly the Conservative government’s refusal on Wednesday to restore child refugee protection rights into the Brexit agreement, Al Jazeera told.
In what he described as a “heartless move”, Blomfield said guarantees over the rights of unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with family residing in the UK would not be included in the legislation.
The Brexit bill must still be passed by the unelected House of Lords and the European Parliament, which is seen as a formality, according to France24.
Observers say Brexit will only get messier, as it enters its second phase and negotiations for a trade deal with the EU begin in earnest.
The UK will remain under EU rules of trade until December 31. Johnson has said he expects to strike a trade deal in that time, though European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in London Wednesday that the timeframe was likely too short and pointed to potential trade barriers should the UK leave without a trade deal, CNN reported.