Brexit bill officially becomes law, allowing Britain to leave the EU

The UK government’s flagship Brexit legislation has become law, ensuring Britain will not face a legislative cliff-edge on the day it leaves the European Union next year.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced on Tuesday that the European Union Withdrawal Bill had received royal assent and passed into law. The announcement drew cheers from pro-Brexit MPs.

The bill, which translates thousands of pieces of EU law into British statute, faced a rocky journey through parliament.

Pro-EU MPs and members of the House of Lords tried to amend it to soften the terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc.

Saturday marks two years since a June 23, 2016 referendum resulted in a decision to quit the 28-nation EU. Source: AP

Most of the changes were overturned by narrow Commons votes. But pro-EU MPs say they will try to defeat the government on other EU-related legislation if it tries to push for a “hard Brexit” that severs close economic ties between Britain and the bloc.

Prime Minister Theresa May later told senior colleagues the granting of assent was “a historic moment for our country and a significant step towards delivering on the will of the British people”.

May thanked Brexit Secretary David Davis, chief whip Julian Smith and the Government’s Leader in the Lords Baroness Evans for their hard work delivering legislation which she said would be “a major building block for the UK’s bright future outside the EU”.

May’s official spokesman said all cabinet ministers around the table indicated their satisfaction at the achievement of royal assent.