British PM Boris Johnson's Brexit deal wins first vote in new Parliament

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 20, 2019, 08.10 PM(IST)

File photo of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photograph:( AFP )

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MPs voted by 358 to 234 to clear the Withdrawal Agreement Bill through its first hurdle in the House of Commons.

In the first step towards fulfilling the Brexit promise, Prime Minister Boris Johnson won approval for his Brexit deal in parliament on Friday.

The MPs voted by 358 to 234 to clear the Withdrawal Agreement Bill through its first hurdle in the House of Commons.

The latest win paved the way for Johnson for his general election promise to "get Brexit done" by January 31.

A snap poll last week gave Johnson's pro-Brexit Conservatives a commanding majority of 365 seats in the 650-member lower House of Commons.

The main opposition Labour party -- out of power since 2010 and riven by internal conflicts over Britain's place in the world -- was relegated to its worst defeat since 1935.

Johnson's triumph dispelled any doubts over whether Britain would follow through on the results of its 2016 referendum and become the first nation to leave the bloc, ending almost half a century of EU membership.

Britain's formal departure on January 31 is due to be followed by an 11-month transition period during which things are to stay pretty much as now.

London and Brussels are supposed to use the time to negotiate a comprehensive new agreement covering everything from trade to security and data protection.

Just a week after he won the largest Conservative majority since Margaret Thatcher in 1987, Johnson has set out an ambitious government programme with securing Brexit at the top of his agenda to repay the trust of voters.

Hoping to satisfy the demands of voters in northern and central England who broke their tradition of backing the opposition Labour Party to support him, he has also pledged more funding to the state health service, education and policing.

"After years of delay and rancour in parliament, we will deliver certainty, and hard-working businesses and people across this country will have a firm foundation on which to plan for the future," he said.

"Next year will be a great year for our country."

(With inputs from agencies)