Johnson's Brexit bill passes without a single Labour vote in favour

10 Janvier, 2020, 17:28 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Johnson's Brexit bill passes without a single Labour vote in favour

London did not want the EU's long-standing policy that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed" - meant to stop one side cherry-picking bits of a deal they like - to define the coming negotiations, a spokesman said.

The bill will become law after passing through the upper chamber.

Britain's House of Commons has given final approval to the bill authorizing the country's departure from the European Union, paving the way for Brexit at the end of the month.

32 members from the Labour benches had no vote recorded.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, said Thursday that Britain's goal of striking a full free trade agreement by the end-of-year deadline that Johnson insists on was unrealistic.

By setting a deadline of December 2020 on the transition period for the two sides to agree a deal, Johnson will immediately set the clock ticking on another deadline, having only just put to bed one major aspect of Brexit.

After Johnson stormed to an 80-seat majority in the December 12 election, he stripped out a series of concessions May had made to opposition lawmakers, including guarantees on workers' rights and the environment, measures to protect child refugees, and giving Parliament a say over the next stage of negotiations.

"Without an extension of the transition period beyond 2020, you can not expect to agree on every single aspect of our new partnership", von der Leyen said.

Following Thursday's vote, the Brexit Bill looks set to pass its legislative hurdles in the coming days, allowing Britain to depart the bloc it first joined in 1973.

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"The most obvious effect [of the Bill] is that it removes any doubt over whether Brexit will actually happen, and therefore ensures that the "casus belli" for a second independence referendum will remain in place", prominent Scottish independence-supporting blogger James Kelly, of the Scot Goes Pop! blog, told Al Jazeera.

In response, Mr. Johnson's office indicated that it could accept a partial trade deal.

During questions and answers after the speech she also addressed rights of British people living in the European Union and EU citizens in the United Kingdom, saying "the good news is, where you work and live you can stay under the same conditions till the end of your life, so you have an absolute clear status and the same rights and possibilities".

"Without a level playing field on environment, labour, taxation and state aid, you can not have the highest quality access to the world's largest single market".

He said if Britain wants as much access as possible to the bloc's market after it leaves, it won't have unfettered freedom to subsidise its industry.

But we are ready to design a new partnership with zero tariffs, zero quotas, zero dumping.

"We will ask necessarily certain conditions on state aid policy in the UK", Mr Barnier said.

Trade negotiations can not begin until after Brexit, which will trigger an 11 month transition period preserving Britain's membership of the EU's single market and customs union.



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