Queen formally approves law giving UK PM May power to trigger EU exit talks

Queen formally approves law giving UK PM May power to trigger EU exit talks

By Agency
Britain's Queen Elizabeth welcomes Theresa May at the start of an audience in Buckingham Palace. PHOTO: REUTERS

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth welcomes Theresa May at the start of an audience in Buckingham Palace. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth on Thursday formally granted Prime Minister Theresa May the power to trigger exit talks with the European Union, approving legislation which passed through parliament late on Monday.

The announcement, made in parliament by speaker John Bercow, confirms that May can begin divorce talks at any time, although her spokesman hinted on Monday that any such decision was likely to come towards the end of the month rather than in the coming days.

Earlier this week, May cleared the final hurdle standing between her and the start of Brexit negotiations after parliament passed legislation giving her the power to start the EU exit process.

Members of the lower house of parliament on Monday voted to throw out changes to the bill made by the upper house earlier this month after the government argued it needed freedom to operate without restriction to get a good deal.

May succeeded in warding off a potential rebellion from a handful of pro-EU Conservatives in the lower chamber, the House of Commons, where May only has a slim majority.

The Commons voted by 335 to 287 to reject the condition on EU nationals’ rights, and by 331 to 286 to reject the condition giving parliament a greater say on the final deal.

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