UK parliament passes post-Brexit trade bill

Britain is set to begin a new relationship with the European Union after British lawmakers approved a bill that will put a post-Brexit trade agreement into effect come January 1.

The EU and the UK reached agreement on December 24, only days before Britain formally leaves the bloc. The deal was signed off by leaders from the two sides on Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told members of the lower house of the country's parliament at a specially convened session that "Brexit is not an end but a beginning."

He went on to say that "The responsibility rests with all of us to make the best use of powers that we regain."

The opposition Labour Party backed the bill, which was later approved by the upper house and Queen Elizabeth.

The EU will allow the deal to go ahead on a provisional basis before the European Parliament can debate the package early in the New Year.

The parliamentary approval means a no-deal Brexit has been averted at the last minute, but confusion could lie ahead as the implications of the new relationship between the two sides become clear.

One immediate change will be the end of seamless, no-visa travel between Europe and the UK, something that no trade deal can avert.