(Reuters/NAN) 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.
May’s Brexit bill cleared all its hurdles on Monday in the Houses of Parliament, opening the way for the prime minister to trigger article 50 by the end of March.
The decision came after a short period of so-called “ping pong” when the legislation bounced between the two houses of parliament as a result of disagreement over the issues.
The outcome means the government has achieved its ambition of passing a “straightforward” two-line bill that is confined simply to the question of whether ministers can trigger article 50 and start the formal Brexit process.
It had been widely predicted in recent days that May would fire the starting gun on Tuesday, immediately after the vote, but sources quashed speculation of quick action and instead suggested she will wait until the final week of March.