Speed Reads

Brexit or Bust

Britain is one big step closer to Brexit

The U.K. House of Commons on Friday voted 358 to 234 in favor of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit bill. This major step toward Britain's departure from the European Union, planned for the end of January 2020, comes just a week after Johnson's Conservative Party dramatically swept the general elections.

"We now have a deal that reflects both the single largest democratic exercise in British history in the referendum and the defining issue of the general election," said Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay. "It is time to end the delay, to come together and heal our divisions and above all listen to the people we serve."

Six Labour Party members broke ranks to vote in favor of the bill, but while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn agreed it is time to "move on" from debating the referendum, he opposed the measure. Critics to Johnson's left have accused him of perpetrating an "executive power-grab" by changing the bill to assign negotiation powers previously held by Parliament to government ministers, among other revisions.

The Brexit bill will undergo further consideration in the House of Commons in early January before proceeding to the House of Lords. Read a breakdown from The Guardian of the next steps in the process here, and see analysis from The Week's William Gritten on likely Brexit implications of Johnson's recent triumph.