Robert HARNEIS -TDO (FRANCE)- British Prime Minister Johnson’s Brexit bill has cleared its final parliamentary hurdle after the upper house of parliament passed the legislation on Wednesday and backed away from a confrontation.
The move comes three and a half years after the referendum in which 51.89% voted for the UK to leave the EU, having joined in 1973. The referendum sparked a turbulent period in British politics including the resignations of two ConservativePrime Ministers and two general elections.
The House of Commons immediately overturned changes made to the legislation by the House of Lords, which would have included extra protections for child refugees following Britain’s exit from the EU. The House of Lords later passed the legislation without pushing the proposed changes.
The bill will now receive Royal assent from the British monarch to become law.
The UK has been granted a number of extensions to the initial Brexit deadline of March 29, 2019 by EU chiefs after a series of failures by both Johnson and his predecessor Theresa May to pass the negotiated agreement through parliament. Withdrawal agreement legislation was finally passed by the House of Commons following the Conservative Party's election success in December in which the Tories secured parliamentary majority.
The Withdrawal agreement now goes to the European Parliament who must give their approval. Whilst there have been signs of dissent over some elements of the agreement, the parliament is not likely to derail a measure that will bring some 40 billion euros into the cash strapped EU coffers.
The whole of the UK will now heave a sigh of relief that the saga is over and normal political life can be resumed. Never the less the next year will see tough negotiations over Free Trade Deals with the EU, the United States and the UK’s other major trading partners.