The United Kingdom inched closer to leaving the European Union after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit Bill was endorsed by the House of Commons on Thursday.
Succeeding where his predecessor, Theresa May, had repeatedly failed, the Conservative Party leader saw his EU-agreed framework for leaving the European body backed by 330 members of parliament with 231 opposed, paving the way for the country’s official departure on January 31.
Following his resounding general election victory last month, Johnson’s EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill faced little Commons opposition as it sidestepped the parliamentary impasse that had so dogged May’s administration.
“Johnson has taken a party and a government that was on the edge of a nervous breakdown in the summer of 2019 to an overall majority in a legislature than now stands little chance of stopping it doing pretty much whatever it wants,” said Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London.
And Thursday’s vote was music to the ears of committed Brexiteers, who took delight in Johnson’s success.
“Brexit should have been done already,” Leave advocate Iain McGill, who has stood multiple times for the Conservative Party in various elections, told Al Jazeera.
“But now we’ve got it and the future is bright and we are certainly upbeat, optimistic and positive.”
The bill will now go to the UK legislature’s upper chamber – the House of Lords – for further examination next week.