LONDON: Britain’s parliament finally approved Brexit deal on Thursday, making it the first country to leave the European Union by the end of this month, putting an end to years of arguments that overthrew two governments and divided a nation.
After MPs approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s divorce deal with Brussels 330 votes to 231, the House of Commons erupted in applause, drawing a line under an extraordinary era of political drama and mess.
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Lawmakers have been at each other’s throats for much of the time since the 2016 Brexit referendum on how, when, or even if Britain should leave its closest trading partners after almost 50 years.
Some treated Brexit with horror, fearing that it would strip them of their European identity and turn Britain into an isolated nation that was less important.
Businesses and governments in Europe, puzzled by the struggles of Britain over what they saw as a self-inflicted wound, hoped that Brexit could still be still wiped away
But the overall victory of Johnson in last month’s general election brought the turmoil to an early end, giving his Conservatives a parliamentary majority to push it through.
Before Christmas, MPs gave their formal blessing to the EU withdrawal agreement bill, and this week the government set aside only three days to examine the complicated document.
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Britain’s main opposition Labor Party, bruised at the polls since 1935 by its worst beating, voted on Thursday against Brexit realizing the battle was lost.