U.K. Parliament Passes Brexit Bill

This week, the United Kingdom finalized the passage of the Brexit bill, setting into motion its formal withdrawal from the European Union.

On the evening of 22 January, the United Kingdom (U.K.) House of Commons cleared final passage of the Brexit bill outlining the agreement for the formal withdrawal of the U.K. from the European Union. Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II granted royal assent to the bill enacting it into U.K. law. The U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU at 23:00 hours U.K. local time on 31 January.

Consideration of the legislation by Parliament was primarily a formality after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party won a strong majority in the House of Commons in a special general election in early December. The Brexit bill passed the House of Commons on 9 January on its third reading by a vote of 330 to 231. The House of Lords passed the bill on 21 January with five amendments, all of which the House of Commons rejected.

The Brexit bill passed the House of Commons on 9 January on its third reading by a vote of 330 to 231.

Now that the Brexit bill has cleared the U.K. Parliament, the EU Council and EU Commission Presidents are scheduled to consider the final agreement today with the EU Parliament scheduled on 29 January to vote on it. Consideration of the agreement by the EU bodies is also seen as a formality.

On 1 February, the U.K. will enter its transition period, which is scheduled to end on 31 December of this year for its separation from the EU. During the transition period, the U.K. will continue to adhere to EU policies and regulations, although the U.K. will no longer have representation in the EU government. The status of U.K. and EU citizens residing the EU and U.K., respectively, will remain unchanged as will the freedom of movement and immigration policy.

During the transition period, U.K. and EU negotiators will work through trade policy and agreements to determine the future partnership of the two territories and the U.K. will continue to develop its own policies.

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