Wednesday 30 December 2020 11:35 pm

UK parliament passes post-Brexit trade deal in one day

Both houses of the UK parliament have passed Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal, just 13 hours after it was introduced in the House of Commons.

The deal was voted through by the House of Lords just after 11.30 pm, after MPs passed the legislation by 521 votes to 73 earlier this afternoon.

The deal will now be sent to the Queen for Royal Assent in order for it to officially pass it into law.

The agreement has already been signed EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, after the bloc’s 27 ambassadors signed on to the deal.

Johnson’s trade deal will now come into effect on 1 January when the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union, meaning there will be a a relatively seamless transition.

The agreement has set the parameters of the UK’s future relationship with the EU and has ensured the continued zero tariff trade of goods.

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The Prime Minister opened the last Brexit debate this morning in the House of Commons by saying that 1 January would herald “a new chapter in our national story”.

“Those of us who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU never sought a rupture with our closest neighbours,” he said.

“What we sought was not a rupture but a resolution, a resolution of the old and vexed question of Britain’s political relations with Europe, which bedevilled our post-War history.

“Now, with this Bill, we are going to become a friendly neighbour   – the best friend and ally the EU could have –  working hand-in-glove whenever our values and interests coincide while fulfilling the sovereign wish of the British people to live under their own laws,  made by their own elected parliament.”

Labour criticised the Brexit trade deal for not including any provisions for services, which make up the vast majority of the UK economy.

However, Sir Keir Starmer still instructed his MPs to vote for it as it avoids a no-deal Brexit in two days’ time.

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