Brexit Can Go Ahead After House of Lords Votes Bill Through

Henri Michaux
Mars 20, 2017

The EU has balked at her demands, saying they amount to "having your cake and eating it", and May's government acknowledges it is a bold opening position.

After a two hour debate and at least one vote, the bill is then sent immediately back to the upper house for debate and approval, now expected to start from 2030 GMT.

The path is now clear for Theresa May to begin Brexit negotiations after the Lords passed her Brexit Bill unamended.

The people of Britain voted in June to leave the European Union - the first member state ever to do so - in part out of concern about migrant workers from other member states exploiting the U.K.'s relatively generous social welfare scheme, and anxious by the country's apparent loss of sovereignty to an unelected European Union bureaucracy in Brussels.

The U.K. government's Brexit bill passed its final stage, allowing Prime Minister Theresa May to begin divorce proceedings with the European Union by the end of the month.

The royal assent allows May to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start the two-year process of leaving the EU.

"I don't know for how long, but I can't see this being resolved in the two years".

This would put Britain on course to become the first country to leave the 28-member bloc by March 2019.

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Earlier May's spokesman said parliament would be involved in the Brexit process.

But 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.

A committee of MPs was then elected to inform the Lords of their decision, calling on them to accept their vote.

The first of the rejected amendments suggested a guarantee of the rights of European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom, one of the key and most debated issues since the Brexit referendum past year.

The government wants to do so swiftly but is waiting on equal assurances for British nationals living in the EU.

The focus will now switch to 10 Downing Street on Tuesday to await any announcements about May's timetable to inform Brussels that Brexit Day has arrived.

Triggering Article 50 could also encourage the Scottish nationalists who hold power in the devolved government in Edinburgh, who are meeting on Friday. In the Brexit referendum last June, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU.

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