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British Prime Minister gets power to signal UK's exit from EU

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-16 20:41

British Prime Minister gets power to signal UK's exit from EU

A journalist poses with a copy of the Brexit Article 50 bill, introduced by the government to seek parliamentary approval to start the process of leaving the European Union, in front of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, January 26, 2017.  [Photo/Agencies]

Queen Elizabeth II gave royal assent on Thursday to a bill allowing British Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, beginning the process through which the United Kingdom will leave the European Union.

A two-year process of exit talks is now expected to follow.

John Bercow, the House of Commons speaker, announced the final go-ahead in the parliamentary chamber, prompting cheers from ruling Conservative Party MPs.

"Her Majesty has signified her royal assent," he said.

The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill was passed by MPs and peers on Monday.

According to the BBC, May said she will trigger the exit process by the end of the month, by sending a letter to the European Commission in which she will inform them of Britain’s decision to leave.

May has said she will inform the British parliament at that time, telling MPs she has triggered Article 50. An initial response is expected from the Commission within 48 hours.

"This will be a defining moment for our whole country as we begin to forge a new relationship with Europe and a new role for ourselves in the world," May told MPs on Tuesday.

Full negotiations, however, are not expected to start for several weeks or possibly months, as both sides make preparations.

May had been widely expected to trigger Article 50 this week but the plan appears to have been delayed by a surprise announcement by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday in which she said she would seek a new referendum, asking Scottish voters whether they would like to break away from the United Kingdom.


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