After suffering several defeats in the previous parliament, Johnson now enjoys a large majority and should face little opposition in passing the bill to implement Britain’s biggest foreign and trade policy shift in more than 40 years.
More than three years since Britain voted to exit the EU in a 2016 referendum, the deep uncertainty over Brexit has now been replaced by the firm deadline of Jan. 31.
“This is the time when we move on and discard the old labels of ‘leave’ and ‘remain’ … now is the time to act together as one reinvigorated nation, one United Kingdom,” Johnson told parliament before the vote, expected at about 1430 GMT.
“Now is the moment to come together and write a new and exciting chapter in our national story, to forge a new partnership with our European friends, to stand tall in the world, to begin the healing for which the whole people of this country yearn.”
The final stages of ratification will take place after Christmas, with the lower house of parliament having until Jan. 9 to approve the legislation, giving it just over three weeks to then pass through the upper house and receive Royal Assent.
Johnson wants Friday’s vote to show his intent and prove he – unlike his predecessor Theresa May – can get his Brexit deal passed by lawmakers.