The British House of Commons approved the Brexit Act on Friday afternoon. This paves the way for leaving the European Union in January.
However, the negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU promise to be a tough job. The danger of a hard Brexit is, therefore still not gone.
The most significant promise with which Boris Johnson drew to the voter a week ago was that the United Kingdom would finally leave the European Union by 31 January 2020.
Now that the Brexit Act has been approved, Johnson has already taken the first major hurdle to deliver on that promise.
In the end, 358 MPs voted in favour of the agreement, 234 voted against.
“The time has come to take steps forward, to leave the old debate about staying in the EU or leaving the EU behind,” Johnson said just before the vote. “It is time to close the ranks and act as one nation, as one United Kingdom.”
The result of the vote shows that, since his resounding election victory, Johnson no longer has to worry about adequate support at the lower house. The Tories now have a comfortable majority of 365 out of 650 MPs.
The way is also open to getting the divorce agreement between London and Brussels ratified in a subsequent phase.
The Lower House has until 9 January to do that. After that, it is up to the House of Lords, and the law has yet to be promulgated by Queen Elizabeth.