‘Brexit’ Bill for UK to leave European Union by January 31 backed by MPs

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MPs have today (December 20) backed plans for the UK to leave the European Union on January 31.

They voted 358 to 234 – a majority of 124 – in favour of the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.

The Bill will proceed to a Committee of the whole House January 6-7, and Lords amendments and Third Reading on Thursday, January 8, 2020.

The Government first introduced the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in October. This progressed to a Second Reading, in which the programme motion was defeated. The Bill fell when Parliament was dissolved for the 2019 General Election.

The new Withdrawal Agreement Bill is similar to the October 2019 Bill but three clauses and one Schedule have been removed, and five clauses have been added. The changes to the Bill include:

  • removing MPs’ approval role in relation to the Government’s negotiating mandate and removing enhanced Parliamentary approval process for any future relationship treaty subsequently negotiated with the EU
  • removing additional procedural protections for workers’ rights
  • prohibiting any UK Minister from agreeing to an extension of the transition or implementation period
  • removing the Government’s existing obligations to unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the EU who have family members in the UK

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Bill will: “Reunite our country and allow the warmth and natural affection that we all share for our European neighbours to find renewed expression in […] building a deep, special and democratically-accountable partnership with those nations.”

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn MP, branded it a “terrible deal” highlighting  the removal of clauses for  protected workers’ rights and unaccompanied child refugees.

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale was Deputy Speaker for the debate.


  1. Yes, I know, I know. But what kind of Brexit, what arrangements will be made, what tariffs and quotas, what will be done about huge lorry queues at Dover, what trading rules and regulations, what joint arrangements for Security and police matters, what about health issues for UK citizens in the EU and vice versa? And what about migrant worker status? Remember, the European country with the largest number of its citizens living and working abroad is Britain!!
    Nothing is arranged. Brexit is not “done” and won’t be “done” for years unless Johnson agrees to trade with the EU under the same conditions, rules and regulations as we enjoy now.Otherwise, all that “dither and delay” that said he would deal with, will linger long into the future.
    He has been handed a poisoned chalice called Brexit and, twerp that he is, he has drunk it all straight down.

    • Personally i’d be more interested in ensuring health care for those in the uk and having equal here, before worrying about those abroad. The UK may well be the country with the greatest number of citizens abroad, but how does that equate if you refine that for living in the eu alone instead of a global figure?

    • Remain lost the referendum.COnservatives won a big Parliament majority in an election on a ‘get Brexit done’ policy.Its clear what the country wants,which is to be out of the EU.The country should see this as an opportunity rather than a minority continuing to whinge and complain and what to keep the same relationship with an exploitative,German run hegemony which is doing far worse,economically,than Britain right now.If you don’t like British democracy,go live in Germany/France/some other EU country,and see how you like it there…

  2. There is a madness walking abroad.
    Well, not abroad, but here.
    Brexit will be bad for Britain. A hard, Boris Brexit will be a catastrophe.
    I’ve asked, over and over again on innumerable social media platforms for someone, anyone, to tell me what huge advantages there will be for me post-Brexit.
    No-one has ever told me.
    Could it be that there will be none?

    • One small advantage will be we will no longer have to pay to move for 751 MEPs and all of the European Parliament to move from Brussels to Strasbourg for 4 days every month for no good reason.

      • How will that “small advantage” impact on you and me? Are there any big advantages, ones that will make a real, positive difference to ordinary people when we leave the EU?
        I keep asking.
        No one ever replies with a sensible answer.

          • Wether there are any great advantages or not, there was a movement for a referendum it was eventually held and the result was to leave, it remains to be seen how it all pans out.
            Similarly political parties make all sorts of claims in their manifestos , but once we’ve voted them in , reality is often way different to the promises.

    • Your major advantage is that laws in Britain will be made by a British Parliament elected by the British people,NOT unelected EU Commissioners (of which Germany has the highest number) in the German-run EU hegemony.Every few years,you – and every other UK citizen – will get the opportunity to remove the British government that makes our laws,something you NEVER have the opportunity to do within the EU.And,if you can’t see the advantage to this,you’re not really looking…

  3. My question is since the vote last week we have 365 Tory MPs. How comes only 358 MPs voted in favour of the (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill? Did they not understand why so many people voted Tory? Perhaps they have already finished for Christmas, or just forgot to vote, in this so important vote. It would be interesting to find out if any of them voted against Boris, and if so who.

  4. The referendum and general election results finally recognising the will of the majority of the people. And that’s people of all political persuasions (remember Tony Benn, Peter Shore and Jeremy Corbyn’s great anti EU speeches of the past). And some are old enough to remember vibrant trade across the world before membership of the EU, and the tricky to introduce the Lisbon and Maastricht treaties. We remain Europeans, but are leaving an undemocratic, elite and increasingly dysfunctional club. Its own new presidency is fighting for budget cuts which the unelected club want to ignore. Meanwhile, Germany’s economy and Deutsche Bank are in big trouble. Let’s ensure we are not tied to the European Defence Union, flagged as a great danger by Veterans for Britain and pushed for by Theresa May for some mysterious reason. The energy out there is now positive to move forward, and the energy of fear and negativity and sniping will not succeed.

    • We currently have vibrant trage with our close neighbours, Europe. What’s hugely uncertain is how vibrant our trade will be given the dysfunctional state of the WTO. Granted, some trade is vibrant: we’ve just flogged off half our defence industry to an American hedge fund.
      What’s undemocratic about the EU? We all have the opportunity to vote for our MEPs. I note that this government is proposing to bring in legislation to limit the ability of Parliament to scrutinise legislation. How’s that for Democracy and Sovereignty?
      As for the “Defence Union”; are you talking about this:
      “The CSDP involves military or civilian missions being deployed to preserve peace, prevent conflict and strengthen international security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.”?

      • The European Parliament has NO real power – it can’t initiate any legislation itself,and is just a rubber stamp for what has been decided by unelected EU Commissioners.When it votes against any new legislation,EU Commissioners have the power to ignore such a vote.So,lots of things about the EU are undemocratic,perhaps you just haven’t looked in to how the European Parliament actually works…

  5. Answer to Tony Evans: I wondered that , too.10 Tories did not vote, all those that did backed the PM. All votes are listed on The Guardian website, with constituencies

      • He’s been given a role in parliament (doing something or another) and cannot vote unless a casting vote is required. He was announcing the results of votes.

      • Gale was Deputy Speaker for the debate and vote,so doesn’t get to vote unless there’s a tie.All these things about the vote have obvious explanations,if only one looks – oh wait,you’re a Remainer,so not interested in such an approach,perhaps?

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