The British government’s Brexit bill, which will enable the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, officially became law on Tuesday. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced that the EU Withdrawal Bill received royal assent, meaning that Queen Elizabeth II agreed to make it an Act of Parliament, BBC reported.
The EU Withdrawal Act will also repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, which took Britain into the European Union and made British law subordinate to that of the union. According to the Act, Britain will withdraw from the European Union on March 29, 2019 at 11 pm Greenwich Mean Time (4.30 am Indian Standard Time on March 30), AFP reported.
International Trade Minister Liam Fox said the bill “irrevocably paved the way” for Britain’s exit from the European Union, as the chances of the UK not leaving are now “zero”.
The bill was fiercely debated in the British Parliament, and many attempts were made to change its wording. The Theresa May government lost a vote in the House of Commons in December on giving Parliament a “meaningful vote” on the final bill. In April, the government lost another vote, this time in the House of Lords. The upper house voted to allow Parliament the power to block or delay the administration’s deal with the European Union, forcing it to be renegotiated.
However, government ministers last week secured the agreements necessary for the bill to pass through the House of Commons.