UK: EU Withdrawal Bill officially becomes law
The speaker of Britain’s House of Commons has announced that the government’s flagship Brexit legislation allowing the country to leave the European Union has become law.
Speaker John Bercow told MPs on Tuesday that the EU Withdrawal Bill received royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II, resulting in the bill becoming an Act of Parliament.
The EU Withdrawal Act, as it is now known, enables EU law to be transferred into British law in an attempt to ensure a smooth Brexit, and it enables EU law to be transferred into UK law in an attempt to ensure a smooth withdrawal from the EU, and it also repeals the 1972 European Communities Act, which made Britain a member of the union.
British Prime Minister Theresa May called the bill’s approval a “historic moment for our country, and a significant step towards delivering on the will of the British people.”
Members of parliament who are in favor of Brexit also hailed the development.
“The legal position is now so much stronger for a clean Brexit,” Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said. “Crucially this makes the prime minister’s negotiating hand much stronger.”
The legislation was first introduced in July 2017 and has faced a number of hurdles in both Houses of parliament. In April, Lords inflicted an embarrassing defeat on the May government by voting against it.
The May government had argued that remaining in the customs union would bar Britain from signing third-party trade agreements with other countries.
Prime Minister May has admitted that there are “hard facts” Britain should be ready to face about the economic consequences of leaving the EU.
She has said the UK would leave the EU’s single market and customs union after Brexit in March 2019, noting the country may suffer new trade barriers as a result of her move.
May has also said that any customs union deal with the EU would keep London from striking new trade deals with fast-growing economies like China and India.
In Britain’s 2016 referendum, 52 percent, or 17.4 million people, voted to leave the EU while 48 percent, or 16 million, voted to stay.
May insists Britain will leave the EU as planned and there will be no rerun of the Brexit referendum.