Jan 23, 2020

Boris Johnson: U.K. has crossed the Brexit finish line now bill is ratified

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street on Wednesday. Photo: Peter Summers/Getty Images

Britain's Brexit bill now only needs royal assent after lawmakers in the U.K.'s parliament ratified the legislation on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The ratification of the bill effectively ensures the U.K. will leave the European Union on Jan. 31.

At times it felt like we would never cross the Brexit finish line, but we've done it."
— Boris Johnson statement

The big picture: Johnson's withdrawal agreement negotiated with the EU was rejected by the House of Lords, the upper chamber of parliament, on Monday.

  • The Lords sent the legislation back to the House of Commons with five amendments— on protections for child refugees, "EU citizens' rights, the power of UK courts to diverge from EU law and the independence of the judiciary after Brexit," the BBC reports.
  • The Lords amendments were all defeated by members of parliament Wednesday owing to the huge majority Johnson's Conservative Party secured in the September general election, the BBC notes.

What's next: In the next few days, Queen Elizabeth II is expected to sign the royal assent and the presidents of the European Council and European Commission are expected to sign the document, per the BBC.

Go deeper

The U.K. finally goes through with Brexit

Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

An image of the clock face of Big Ben was projected on 10 Downing Street, residence of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as Britain officially left the European Union at 11 p.m. London time.

Why it matters: "In its biggest shift since losing its global empire, [the U.K. turns] its back after 47 years on the post-World War Two project that sought to build the ruined nations of Europe into a global power," Reuters writes.

Go deeperArrowFeb 1, 2020 - World

Brexit brings "Special Relationship" down to size

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Polls suggest Americans consider the U.K. to be their country's closest ally, a distinction prized by a succession of British leaders and supported by decades of shared history and close cooperation.

Why it matters: President Trump has reveled in Brexit Britain’s rejection of multilateralism, in general, and the EU, in particular. But the U.K.'s voice will now count for less in Brussels and Berlin, and likely in Washington as a result.

Go deeperArrowFeb 11, 2020 - World

Bank of England holds interest rates steady before Brexit

Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney. Photo: Jonathan Bradt/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Bank of England held interest rates at 0.75% Thursday as governor Mark Carney, in his final policy meeting, said "the most recent signs are that global growth has stabilized."

Yes, but: The BOE cut its growth expectations for Britain to 1.1% for the next three years, down from 2019's 1.4%. The projections are England's lowest since World War II.