Boris Johnson leaves Mayfair restaurant after thumping Brexit win

UK govt. to prioritize realizing Brexit on Jan. 31

According to Reuters, 358 lawmakers in the country's 650 member parliament voted in favour of the legislation, formally known as the "Withdrawal Agreement Bill", with 234 opposed.

"The election has produced a result: We will leave the EU at the end of January", acknowledged pro-EU Liberal Democrat legislator Wera Hobhouse.

After two prime ministers, three years of trying, and two general elections, the Withdrawal Agreement Bill has now passed a major hurdle towards becoming law.

Today's vote represents a massive victory for Mr Johnson and is the final proof that his general election gamble has paid off, with the passage of the WAB now a formality because of the Tories massive 80-seat majority.

After months of delay and deadlock, the PM said now was the time to act and forge a new relationship with the rest of Europe as his deal passed another stage of its parliamentary process.

Johnson called on lawmakers to unite, saying "This is a time when we move on and discard the old labels of "leave" and "remain".

He said passing the bill would end the "acrimony and anguish" that has consumed the country for the last three years. Only after that will the prime minister face talks to secure a trade deal with the bloc and another target date of the end of next year.

That could allow Johnson to take Gove on the US visit ahead of talks of a post-Brexit trade deal, according to the report.

The crushing victory for Mr Johnson came after he had urged MPs to finally "come together" and back the deal so that the United Kingdom can "begin the healing" after three years of division.

Mr Johnson is reluctant to make the visit before delivering Brexit on Jan 31 and prefers to go after a Cabinet reshuffle scheduled in February in which he is expected to appoint Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove as his new trade negotiator, The Mail on Sunday reported. Trade experts and European Union officials say striking a free trade deal within 11 months will be a struggle, but Johnson insists he won't agree to any more delays, The Brexit bill has been amended to bar ministers from agreeing to extend the transition period with the EU.

The government is now hoping to get the WAB onto the statute book by the middle of January to give the European Parliament time to ratify the divorce accord before the deadline. During the transition period, the United Kingdom will continue to remain a de facto member of the political and economic bloc.

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