Boris Johnson hails 'new dawn' for Britain after Brexit

20 December 2019, 05:30

The PM has promised to "get Brexit done"
The PM has promised to "get Brexit done". Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Boris Johnson has heralded Brexit as an opportunity for the country to experience a "new dawn" as he prepares to push his Withdrawal Agreement through the Commons.

The Prime Minister has said 2020 will be a "great year" for the UK as he moves to "finish the job" and secure the UK's exit from the EU.

One of Mr Johnson's key election campaign promises was that his government would "get Brexit done," and within days of taking power, the PM is moving to push his Brexit deal through Parliament.

On Friday MPs will have a second reading of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, which will then complete the legal stages in both Houses of Parliament.

After Mr Johnson won a landslide at the general election and secured an 80-seat majority, the vote on Friday afternoon is expected to pass without a hitch for the Government.

Pro-Brexit protesters outside the Houses of Palriament
Pro-Brexit protesters outside the Houses of Palriament. Picture: PA

Mr Johnson said: "Today we will deliver on the promise we made to the people and get the Brexit vote wrapped up for Christmas.

"Now MPs will start the process of passing the Bill. Then, at the beginning of the new decade, at the beginning of a new dawn for our country, our parliamentarians will return to Westminster to immediately finish the job, take us out of the EU on January 31 and move this country forward.

"After years of delay and rancour in Parliament, we will deliver certainty and hard-working businesses and people across this country will have a firm foundation on which to plan for the future.

"Next year will be a great year for our country - the year we get Brexit done, boost NHS funding, invest in infrastructure and level up access to opportunity and prosperity across our great nation.

"It will mark the start of a new decade where the United Kingdom will champion trade, innovation and science and meet global challenges with old friends and new across the world."

Boris Johnson made Brexit pivotal to his election campaign
Boris Johnson made Brexit pivotal to his election campaign. Picture: PA

With a Commons majority of 80, the PM was able to make some changes to the Bill, which will mean MPs will vote on a different text than the previous Bill.

Mr Johnson has inserted a clause that will legally prohibit his Government from extending the transition period - the 11-months buffer during which his team will look to negotiate a trade deal with Brussels - beyond 2020.

The text will also boost the power of UK courts, giving judges the ability to overrule judgments made by the European Court of Justice.

Parliament will also be given "greater oversight" of the withdrawal process, according to Downing Street, with a requirement for ministers to report annually on disputes with the EU after Britain has left.

Ministers also intend to repeal Brexit-delaying legislation, known as the Cooper Act and the Benn Act, that "now serves no purpose", said Number 10.

"Our commitment to continue the highest standards on workers' rights, environmental standards and consumer protections will be honoured by provisions in separate legislation, including the Employment Bill announced in the Queen's Speech," said a Downing Street spokesman.