The UK is one step closer to leaving the EU on 31 January after MPs gave their backing to the government's Brexit Bill on Thursday.
MPs voted by 330 to 231 with a majority of 99 to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which sets out the terms of the UK's divorce from the 28-nation bloc.
The Withdrawal Bill clarifies many aspects to the UK's departure including citizen's rights, custom arrangements for Northern Ireland, EU 'divorce' payments and the 11-month transition period up until the end of 2020.
During the transition period the UK and the EU will thrash out their future relationship and trade deals.
Thursday's vote was a resounding victory for Prime Minister Johnson, who has made delivering Brexit the main aim of his leadership.
It was the third reading of the Bill by Parliament and comes after the initial approval of the legislation before the Christmas recess.
The Bill will now be passed to the House of Lords for further scrutiny next week and be returned to Parliament for any final amendments.
During the transition period, the UK will cease to be a member of the EU, however it will continue to follow rules and pay in to the EU budget.
Boris Johnson has maintained that a future trade deal can be obtained prior to the end of the transition period, despite critics including European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, saying it is not possible.
Johnson has also stressed that he would not be willing to extend the transition period further.
Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay was upbeat about negotiating a new trade deal with the EU and said the approval of the Bill would mean that the government can now deliver on the "overwhelming mandate" they were given by the British people at December’s General Election.
He welcomed any "constructive scrutiny" by the Lords, who may delay the process, but will be unable to overturn it.
The UK will be the first country to leave the European Union, a relationship it has enjoyed for almost 50 years.
Image Credit: George Hodan, Public Domain Pictures
January 14, 2021