Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill Passes in Final Vote in House of Commons
January 9, 2020 | United Kingdom
On Thursday, January 9, 2020 the UK House of Commons passed the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in its final vote on the matter.
The Bill was initially approved in a Parliamentary vote on December 20, 2019 but was subject to further readings in Parliament. Today, the Bill was passed by a vote of 330 to 231 after its third and final reading in the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament. The Bill now goes to the upper house of Parliament, the House of Lords, for a final vote, after which it will be put into legislation. This process needs to be completed at least a few days before the anticipated Brexit date of January 31, 2020 to allow time for the European Parliament to ratify the Agreement.
The House of Commons process represented the Bill’s greatest hurdle and it is now all but certain it will become law. This means the UK will exit the European Union on January 31, 2020 with an Agreement, which in turn means there will be “transition period” through December 31, 2020 during which free movement between the EU and UK will continue. EU nationals who are in the UK as of December 31, 2020 will have until June 30, 2021 to apply to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. Likewise, UK nationals that reside in an EU country as of December 31, 2020 will have the right to remain in their country of residence. Settlement schemes will vary by EU country.
EU nationals that arrive in the UK after the transition period ends will be treated as nationals of any other country and will be subject to the rules of the UK’s new immigration system, still being developed. UK nationals entering EU countries (except Ireland) after the transition period ends will be subject to standard immigration rules that apply to foreign visitors and workers from non-EU countries. These rules vary among EU countries.