Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union has become UK law, after being passed by both Houses of Parliament and being granted Royal Assent.
The Brexit Deal, which was agreed between the UK and European Union on Christmas Eve, enters UK law less than a day before the end of the transition period. It means that the deal will become effective from 11pm on 31 December.
The House of Commons and the House of Lords were recalled during the Christmas recess in order to debate and vote on the deal. The bill was presented to MPs in the House of Commons around 9:40am on Thursday for the first time. The bill later ended the legislative process for it to become law just after midnight, following approval of the bill by the House of Lords and Her Majesty the Queen.
The bill passed comfortably through both houses, notably with a majority of 448 votes in its third and second readings in the House of Commons.
359 Conservative MPs and 162 Labour MPs voted in favour of the bill. Only 1 Labour MP voted against the bill, though 36 abstained, unhappy with the decision of their party’s leader to back the deal.
When announcing the deal on the day before Christmas, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “we’ve taken back control of our laws and our destiny”.
The UK left the European on January 31, 2020, under the Withdrawal Agreement – the new trade treaty, officially the European Union (Future Relationship) Act, will take over from the arrangements that have been in place since then under the transition period where the UK has had to continue to follow many EU rules.