Thursday 9 January 2020 5:54 pm

Brexit: UK to leave EU with a deal on 31 January

MPs today backed Boris Johnson’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) by majority of 99, clearing the way for the UK to leave the European Union with an exit deal on 31 January.

Parliamentarians voted 330 to 231 in favour of the bill, which implements an exit deal agreed with the EU last year.

After three years of constitutional disruption, the decision means that fears of a no-deal exit are no more.

Brexit minister Stephen Barclay told lawmakers: “It is time to get Brexit done. This bill does so.”

The legislation will now pass to the House of Lords, where it will become law in the coming weeks.

Long-term anxiety over when and how the UK would leave the EU dissipated in December when Johnson won a commanding 80 seat majority in snap General Election.

Attention will now turn to the UK’s long term relationship with the continent, with the Prime Minister adamant that he can negotiate a free-trade deal with the European bloc by the end of the year.

Yesterday the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said in a speech in London that it would be “basically impossible” to agree a full deal within that time frame.

After the UK leaves the EU on 31 January, a transition period will begin under which it will still be subject to EU rules.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.