LONDON: British Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday gave royal assent to the bill empowering Prime Minister Theresa May the powers to trigger exit talks with the European Union.
She formally approved the legislation which passed through the parliament on Monday. The House of Commons speaker John Bercow said,” Her Majesty has signified her royal assent.” While May’s spokesperson said,” We look forward to beginning negotiations when we trigger Article 50 by the end of March.
The queen’s signature on the bill allows May to invoke Article 50 at any time, starting a process that will take a maximum of two years unless Britain and its EU partners agree to extend the deadline.
May has said she will address the British parliament to inform lawmakers that she has triggered Article 50, and an initial response is expected from the European Commission within 48 hours.
May said that she will send a letter to the European Council informing them of Britain’s decision to leave the block by the end of March, following a majority vote for Brexit in last year’s referendum.
May told MPs, “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.”