Britain’s freshly-elected parliament prepared on Friday to move past years of partisan wrangling and initially approve Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s divorce deal with the European Union.
The all-but-certain outcome in the House of Commons will help Johnson meet his winning campaign promise to “get Brexit done” at any cost on January 31.
But it will also push London and Brussels closer to another cliff edge that might disrupt decades of unfettered trade at the end of 2020.
Last week’s polls put Johnson’s Conservatives in control of parliament and dispelled doubts over whether Britain was to become the first nation to leave the EU.
A final vote on Johnson’s separation terms will come when lawmakers return from their Christmas break early next month.
But Britain will enter the holiday season closer to legal and economic independence than it has been at any point since the 2016 Brexit referendum.
And Johnson has the freedom and power to shape Britain’s future that his predecessor Theresa May never had during her troubled three-year term.
“A new golden age for this United Kingdom is now within reach,” Johnson told parliament at its inaugural session on Thursday.
Britain is “taking back control of our money, laws, borders and trade and clearing the way for our overarching programme of national renewal,” he said.