London: Britain's freshly-elected parliament prepared on Friday to move past years of partisan wrangling and initially approve Prime Minister Boris Johnson's divorce deal with the EU.
The all-but-certain outcome in the lower House of Commons will help Johnson on his way towards meeting his winning campaign promise to "get Brexit done" on January 31. But it will also push London and Brussels closer to another cliff edge at the end of 2020 that might disrupt decades of unfettered trade.
A snap election last week put Johnson's Conservatives in control of parliament and dispelled doubts over whether Britain would become the first nation to leave the European Union. A final vote on Johnson's separation terms will come when lawmakers return from their Christmas break early next month. But Britain will enter the holiday season closer to legal and economic independence from Brussels than it has been at any point since the 2016 Brexit referendum on Britain's near half-century EU membership.
Johnson has the freedom and power to shape Britain's future that his predecessor Theresa May never had during her troubled three-year term. "Today we will deliver on the promise we made to the people and get the Brexit vote wrapped up for Christmas," he said.
"Now MPs will start the process of passing the bill. We will return to Westminster to immediately finish the job, take us out of the EU on January 31 and move this country forward,” he said.