Boris Johnson
Boris JohnsonReuters

The UK Parliament on Thursday approved British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit bill, authorizing Britain's withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

The bill passed 330 to 231, and now goes to the House of Lords for approval. It is expected that the breakaway will occur on January 31, 2020.

In October, the EU agreed to delay Britain’s departure from the union, pushing back the Brexit deadline from October 31st to January 31st.

January 31, however, only marks the start of Britain's effort to rework its relationship with the EU, which is still the country's closest trading partner. The actual change in trade relations is scheduled to begin in January 2021, unless Britain requests an extension.

In December 2019, British MPs voted 358 to 234 - a majority of 124, paving the way for the Parliament's approval.

In a 2016 referendum, the UK voted by 52% to 48% to leave the EU, but the subsequent difficulties in getting Brexit through Parliament caused gridlock.

An earlier withdrawal agreement reached between former Prime Minister Theresa May and the EU was rejected three times by MPs.