After December’s paradigm shifting general election in the United Kingdom, it might have seemed a bit anticlimactic, but on Thursday the House of Commons passed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal with the European Union by a healthy margin of 330 to 231. The vote would seemingly put an end to more than three years of political fearmongering, unwarranted delay and prevarication by “Remainer” politicians and pundits.
In a half-empty House of Commons — which stood in stark contrast to the overflow crowds of 2019 — Deputy Speaker Eleanor Laing announced to raucous cheers, “The ayes to the right, 330. The no’s to the left, 231. So, the ayes have it. The ayes have it.”
After coming votes in the unelected House of Lords and the E.U. Parliament both of which are seen as pro-forma — Great Britain is expected to leave the E.U. on January 31.
“We will be leaving the E.U. on January 31. We will have delivered on the P.M.’s commitment to ‘get Brexit done,’” said a government spokesman.
Even after suffering its worst defeat in eighty-five years, the Labour Party felt the need to weigh in on the events. Echoing outgoing party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer explained that they “may not win many votes in Parliament just now, but we can win the moral argument.” Starmer is one of the leading candidates to take over for Corbyn as the leader of the Labour Party.
The deal is similar to the one which was rejected three times in the House of Commons last year, which ultimately caused the resignation of former Prime Minister Theresa May. Johnson, though, has put his own stamp on the deal by replacing the highly contentious Northern Ireland “backstop” with a de facto customs border in the Irish Sea.
The new deal also includes the new transition period deadline of December 2020, passed by the House of Commons after the election. Prior to the new deadline, both sides could request extensions of trade negotiations which would, in effect, keep the U.K. and the EU linked. However, the deadline now ends abruptly next December, meaning that whatever they have negotiated is it. Any unresolved trade issues between the U.K. and the EU would move forward under World Trade Organization rules.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned that a comprehensive trade deal between the U.K. and the EU by the end of 2020 would be “basically impossible.”
In a speech to the London School of Economics, von der Leyen said, “We will have to prioritize,” and added that there were “tough talks ahead.”
And today, France weighed in on the coming trade negotiations, saying that Johnson’s December 2020 deadline was unreasonable and that they refused to be rushed in negotiations. “If Boris Johnson says it must end in 11 months from now and we need 15, 24 or 36 months, the 27 will take their time,” said Amelie de Montchalin, France’s EU minister.
But trade trifling aside, yesterday was a momentous day in the history of the United Kingdom, one which was by and large ignored by the mainstream media. Instead, the conclusion of the three-and-a-half-year national debate on how the U.K. should leave the EU wasn’t even the top British news story of the day. Instead, that honor went to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to “step back” from their royal duties.
Perhaps the media figured that Johnson already had his victory lap in December when the Tories roundly defeated Labour and sewed up Brexit once and for all. Or maybe they figured that January 31 would be Johnson’s day in the sun. Regardless, yesterday was a huge win for the British people, and not because Harry and Meghan decided to "step back."
On January 31, they will be officially untethered from the second most dangerous globalist entity on Earth (the United Nations is number 1, of course). It’s not the clean break that many had hoped for but at least it is a break. And if the U.K. can stick to its guns while negotiating its ongoing relationship with the EU throughout 2020, it might turn out to be a cleaner break than most believed possible.
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