MPs will vote later on whether to back the prime minister’s plan for the UK to leave the EU on 31 January.

The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill would also ban the government from extending the transition period – where the UK is out of the EU but follows many of its rules – past 2020.

Boris Johnson said it would end “delay and rancour” and provide “certainty”.

Opponents say the bill leaves the UK’s future uncertain, and agreeing a trade deal with the EU could take many years.

But the government insists one can be in place by the end the transition period.

The withdrawal bill, which would implement the Brexit agreement the prime minister reached with the EU in October, was introduced in Thursday’s Queen’s Speech, setting out the government’s priorities for the next year.

MPs will have their first chance to debate it in the House of Commons on Friday at its second reading – a vote on its general principles.

With the Conservatives having won an 80-seat majority at last week’s general election, the bill is expected to pass easily, before it moves on to further scrutiny by MPs and the House of Lords.

MPs have been given a further three days – 7, 8 and 9 January – to continue their debate in the Commons.

The government says it will get it into law in time for the 31 January Brexit deadline.

Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said Friday would be “an historic day” for the the UK.

Speaking to BBC Breakfast, he said: “The reality is the British people in the general election made clear they want Brexit delivered, but also they want us to bring the country back together – to start the healing process and to move on to the many other issues in the manifesto that we want to focus on.

“Today… is an opportunity after three years of dither, of delay, of divisiveness, to actually deliver and step forward and move this legislation to leave by 31 January, and be able to then start bringing the country back together.”

Source:bbc.com

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