British lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill approving the U.K.’s departure from the European Union at the end of the month. They voted by 330-231 to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.
After passing through Parliament's House of Lords, the bill should become law in time for the U.K. to leave the EU on the scheduled date of Jan. 31. "Leaving the EU doesn't mean that we will have got Brexit done," said Paul Blomfield, a Brexit spokesman. In fact, Britain and the EU will then launch into negotiations over trade, security and a host of other areas by the end of 2020. The EU insists there is no way to deal with all these issues in less than a year. There are also conflicting demands. First, because the U.K. wants a wide-ranging free trade deal with the bloc without the EU’s rules and standards. The EU instead says the U.K. won't get good access to its market unless it agrees to alignment.
After all, the Thursday vote is paving the way for BREXIT with all the further steps needed. Johnson's plan is essentially the same as May's, but replaces her Northern Irish backstop mechanism with a de facto customs border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The UK will remain under EU rules of trade until December 31.