Friday 20 December 2019 2:48 pm

Brexit bill: MPs back Boris Johnson's EU withdrawal agreement

MPs have voted in favour of Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill during today’s second reading in the House of Commons.

It paves the way for the UK to leave the European Union by 31 January.

Read more: Downing Street defends Zac Goldsmith peerage and cabinet role

It was voted for by 358 MPs, while 234 voted against it, giving the government a majority of 124.

The size of the majority suggested that a number of Labour MPs opted to defy the whip, by either abstaining from voting or supporting the bill.

In total, six Labour MPs, all of whom were from Leave-supporting constituencies , defied leader Jeremy Corbyn and voted in favour of the Brexit deal.

They were Sarah Champion, Rosie Cooper, Jon Cruddas, Emma Lewell-Buck, Grahame Morris and Toby Perkins.

A further 32 Labour MPs did not vote, suggesting they deliberating abstained.

In a second round of voting MPs also voted in favour of the proposed timetable for further debate by a majority of 110.

The Brexit bill will now undergo further scrutiny following the Christmas recess on 7, 8 and 9 January.

The current bill included a number of changes from October’s initial reading, including one which would rule out an extension to the transition period beyond the end of 2020.

It will also allow more UK courts to reconsider European Court of Justice rulings that have been retained in UK law after Brexit, require ministers to report annually on disputes with the EU and repeal spent legislation that “serves no purpose”.

The bill also loses a previous clause on strengthening workers’ rights, which the government says it will deal with in separate legislation.

Read more: Brexit bill: MPs to vote on Boris Johnson’s deal in second reading

Corbyn also criticised the bill for the removal of a clause on helping child refugees.

Following the result earlier today, Chancellor Sajid Javid took to Twitter to say: “It’s getting done.”

The Prime Minister said it would allow the country to “move forward”.

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