Boris Johnson prepares for another vote on his Brexit deal

PUBLISHED: 08:11 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:11 16 December 2019

Prime minister Boris Johnson speaking during a visit to Sedgefield Cricket Club in County Durham. Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/PA Wire.

Prime minister Boris Johnson speaking during a visit to Sedgefield Cricket Club in County Durham. Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/PA Wire.

Boris Johnson is set to welcome his new batch of Tory MPs as he prepares for them to vote on his Brexit deal.

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Johnson will use his majority of 80 to get his Withdrawal Agreement Bill to get Brexit approved so the UK can formally leave the EU by the end of January.

The PM has pledged to bring the bill back before the Commons before Christmas but it is not yet known when MPs will begin voting on it.

Johnson is understood to be preparing to start a minor government reshuffle on Monday to fill gaps left by departures before making more radical changes in February.

Ahead of the private speech, a Number 10 source said: "This election and the new generation of MPs that have resulted from Labour towns turning blue will help change our politics for the better.

"The PM has been very clear that we have a responsibility to deliver a better future for our country and that we must repay the public's trust by getting Brexit done.

"That's why the first piece of legislation new MPs will vote on will be the Withdrawal Agreement Bill."

It will be an eventful week in Westminster, with the swearing-in of MPs to begin on Tuesday and the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader forcing internal tensions to the surface.

The Queen will formally open parliament on Thursday when she sets out the government's legislative programme during a slimmed-down State Opening.

Approving the withdrawal agreement will not mean the Brexit saga is over. The UK will remain in the EU until at least the end of 2020 during the implementation period.

This time will be used by Brussels and London to hammer out a trade deal and decide on their future relationship on subjects such as security.

But EU figures have been highly sceptical this can be sorted within the year, with chief negotiator Michel Barnier saying the timetable was "unrealistic" in leaked comments.

Senior cabinet member Michael Gove, who is the chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, tried to dismiss these fears.

He told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday he is "confident" the agreement could be finalised by the deadline because "quite a lot of the details" are agreed in the Political Declaration agreed with the EU.

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