Boris Johnson signs post-Brexit trade deal as Bill set to clear Parliament in a day

Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen

Boris Johnson's much heralded post-Brexit trade deal with Europe has cleared the Commons hurdle.

MPs in the Commons voted 521 to 73 Noes to send the Bill to the Lords after a five hour debate on the various details of bill.

Legislation to ratify the deal is on the verge of becoming law after it received an unopposed third reading in the House of Lords.

The prime minister has formally signed the deal with the EU, describing it as a “new beginning”.

"I want everybody to understand that the treaty that I've just signed is not the end, it is a new beginning," he said.

"I think the beginning of what will be a wonderful relationship between the UK and our friends and partners in the European Union."

The PM then said he had read the agreement and described it as "an excellent deal."

Opening the debate in the Commons, the PM said the deal would enable the UK to trade and co-operate with the EU on the “closest possible terms” while taking “sovereign control of our laws and our national destiny”.

He said he hoped it would end the “old, desiccated, tired, super-masticated arguments” which have dogged the country for years and enable it to move forwards to a “new and great future”.

Mr Johnson continued: "It embodies our vision shared with our European neighbours of a new relationship between Britain and the EU as sovereign equals joined by friendship, commerce, history interests and values while respecting one another’s freedom of action."

Boris Johnson and EC President Ursula von der Leyen. Credit: PA

"We are going to open a new chapter in our national story, striking free trade deals around the world and reasserting global Britain as a liberal, outward-looking force for good," he said.

Labour backed the deal, despite misgivings from some pro-European MPs who said they would be abstaining or voting against.

However, party leader Sir Keir Starmer said that while the agreement is “thin” with “many flaws”, the alternative is to leave the EU single market and customs union with no agreement, pushing up prices and driving businesses to the wall.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said this deal was better than no deal. Credit: PA

“There’s only one choice today, which is to vote for implementing this deal or to vote for no-deal. Those that vote ‘no’ are voting for no-deal,” he said.

“This is the nub of it: those voting ‘no’ today want ‘yes’. They want others to save them from their own vote.

“Voting ‘no’, wanting ‘yes’, that’s the truth of the situation and that’s why my party has taken a different path.”

However, the SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, condemned the deal as “an act of economic vandalism” and attacked Labour for failing to oppose it.