MPs back withdrawal agreement bill in House of Commons

MPs have approved the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill in the House of Commons in the UK this afternoon, Friday, December 20.

In a vote on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bill, the proposed bill secured a majority.

MPs voted 358 for, compared to 234 against, according to the House of Commons today.

Taking to social media, the House of Commons Twitter account said: “MPs approved the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, with 358 votes to 234.

“MPS are now voting on the programme motion which outlines the timetable for remaining stages of the bill,” the tweet added.

Under the bill, the UK will leave the EU on January 31, 2020. The Government will also be banned from extending the transition period under the document.

According to the UK parliament, the new withdrawal agreement bill is similar to the October 2019 bill in many ways; however, 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.

Introducing the bill, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson underlined the UK government’s commitment to keeping Northern Ireland in the UK.

He also stated that the benefit of leaving the EU is that the UK can set its own standards on subjects such as the environment.