On 20 December 2019, after the Conservatives won the 2019 British general election, the House of Commons passed second reading of the withdrawal agreement with a 358-234 lead. Following the amendments proposed by the House of Lords and the ping-pong between the two houses, the bill was granted royal approval on 23 January 2020, allowing ratification on the British side.  The EU will not give its negotiating mandate until the Council and the European Council have approved it, and it is likely to do so only at its mid-March meeting, meaning that the EU and the UK will have about nine months to conclude a negotiation that will be a guide if the EU-negotiated agreements with Canada and Japan in recent years , a guide. , would generally take several years. The ban on the extension of the transition period means that the UK and the EU are very unlikely to achieve the «ambitious, broad, deep and flexible partnership on trade and economic cooperation» provided for in the political declaration setting out the framework for the future relations on which the UK and the EU agreed in October. This means that, at best, they agree on a free trade agreement limited to trade in goods, while 80% of the UK economy and 40% of its exports to the EU are services. It also means that on 31 December 2020, at 11am.m, the UK could cross the cliff with an exit without a deal, without even agreement. And Barry Gardiner of the Labour Party said his party would be less likely to support the law if the workers` rights and environmental clauses were removed. A clause to extend the transitional Brexit period beyond 31 December is included. The withdrawal agreement, which covers 599 pages, covers the following main areas: The removal of clauses that ignore the alignment of workers` rights with the EU.
The government promised in the Queen`s speech on Thursday that workers` rights would instead be «protected and strengthened» by an employment law. «The Prime Minister made it clear during the election campaign that he was inspired by a free trade agreement based on the Canadian model, without political guidance.» While in Brussels it is known that Johnson would probably not ask for an extension of the transition period, high-level sources have suggested that the EU itself has tried to take political pain out of such a process by asking for extra time. But the Conservatives promised in their election manifesto that there would be no extension of the transition period, and Johnson reiterated that promise on numerous occasions during the election campaign, probably to increase the UK`s influence in its negotiations with the EU next year and to allay any lingering fears of the Conservative party that a prolonged transition could become a softer Brexit.