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Brexit Breakthrough Means UK Will Split With EU by Jan. 31

The U.K. has its divorce plan from the European Union.

After three years of political gridlock, and following last week’s general election and electoral win, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally cemented a Brexit deal after lawmakers on Friday voted 358 to 234 to approve the exit plan.

With the majority of members of Parliament in agreement, the EU withdrawal plan will be sent to the House of Lords for final debate and approval. A required ratification by the European Parliament is reportedly expected later next month.

The approved bill includes a provision that bars the British government from extending the transition period beyond Dec. 31, 2020, marking a change from a previous version of the legislation.

The Brexit deal needs requisite approvals before Jan. 31 exit, after which the U.K. can then begin negotiation of new free trade deals.

The plan calls for the U.K. to leave the EU by Jan. 31. Because of the no-extension provision, the plan stipulates a Dec. 31, 2020, deadline for new agreements on trade and security, all subject to further negotiation. After years of deliberation over Brexit, Johnson next faces an uphill battle to finalize a free trade deal within 11 months.

Under Johnson’s predecessor—Theresa May, who resigned in June—the country voted to leave the EU in June 2016, but her three attempts to pass a Brexit deal were met by political acrimony as lawmakers battled over its terms and questioned whether they should even exit at all. The U.K. joined the EU’s predecessor, the European Economic Community, in 1973.

“The time has come for change,” Johnson tweeted earlier Friday, adding, “The second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill has passed—which means we are one step closer to getting Brexit done” after voting concluded.