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UK PM Johnson to introduce Brexit bill on Friday

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By  Euronews with agencies
Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson   -   Copyright  Lindsey Parnaby/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo   -  

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Prime will welcome his new intake of Conservative MPs in Westminster on Monday after a landslide victory at the general election last week.

Their first job will be "to get Brexit done," as government officials said Sunday they aimed to re-submit the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to parliament for ratification before Christmas.

"I can absolutely confirm that we will have an opportunity to vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in relatively short order and then we will make sure that it passes before January 31st," cabinet office minister Michael Gove told Sky News.

Rishi Sunak, a deputy finance minister, said Sunday the government intended to re-submit the Bill to parliament before Christmas to allow ministers to start work on other priorities such as "levelling up" the country.

Johnson and his team were triumphant last week when he won a commanding majority of 80 at an early election he said he was forced to call to break the Brexit deadlock.

Week ahead

New MPs will take their seats at the House of Commons on Tuesday and elect a speaker.

Next, all 650 legislators have to be sworn in, a process expected to take days.

On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II will deliver a speech written by Johnson's government, laying out the administration's policy plans.

Towards a new trade deal

Once the Withdrawal Agreement Bill has passed, negotiations between London and Brussels will begin on a new deal covering their economic and strategic relationship.

A transition period built into Johnson's Brexit deal runs until the end of 2020. But if no pact is ready then, the United Kingdom could still face an economically damaging departure from the EU, its main trading partner.

Asked about a new trade accord with the EU, Gove said: "It will be concluded next year. We will be in a position to leave the European Union before the 31st of January next year and then we will have concluded our conversations with the EU about the new framework of free trade and friendly cooperation that we will have with them by the end of next year."

But EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has cast doubt over whether the trade talks will be so swiftly concluded, saying last month that the negotiations would be "difficult and demanding" and warning Britain the bloc "will not tolerate unfair competitive advantage".

Read more:

Election done. What's the next stage in the Brexit negotiations?

Brexit Guide: Where are we now — and how did we get here?