MPs approve first stage of Johnson's Brexit legislation

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn arrive for the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Boris Johnson won initial approval for his Brexit legislation on Friday, the first step towards fulfilling his election pledge to deliver Britain’s departure from the European Union by Jan. 31.

Lawmakers voted 358 versus 234 in favour of the second reading of Withdrawal Agreement Bill, the legislation required to ratify the exit deal with Brussels. The remaining parliamentary stages will be completed in January.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, Editing by Elizabeth Piper