LONDON — Boris Johnson’s victory puts Brexit on track — but this is just the beginning.
After winning a strong majority in the December 12 general election, Johnson returns as prime minister with the political capital to pull the U.K. out of the European Union in early 2020 and move onto negotiations about Britain’s future relationship with the bloc.
Having insisted all Tory candidates backed the Brexit agreement he struck with Brussels in October, the prime minister can push his deal through the U.K. parliament without further delay.
“Parliament as a whole will be a lot more straightforward to deal with,” said a senior adviser to Johnson. “In terms of the immediate term after the general election, delivering the legislation for Brexit should be a very straightforward process in terms of the Withdrawal Agreement getting through the House, purely because we will be able to hold that majority together in a way that was not possible before as all candidates have endorsed the deal.”
The House of Commons is expected to vote on the deal again before Christmas. The House of Lords will then consider the plan and, once it is ratified by the U.K. parliament, the European Parliament would then vote on the deal. This process is expected to pass smoothly, enabling Johnson to stick to the current scheduled exit date of January 31, 2020.
Brussels said Friday it was ready to start the next phase of negotiations.
Attention will quickly turn to the transition phase, which keeps the U.K. trading with the EU on its existing terms until the end of December 2020. During this transition, Johnson will need to decide what kind of post-Brexit relationship he wants with the EU,