Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday (January 23) formally approved the landmark law facilitating Britain’s departure from the European Union at the end of this month.
Taking it to Twitter, Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said, “Her Majesty the Queen has now granted #RoyalAssent to the #BrexitBill which therefore becomes the #BrexitAct,” adding, “Enshrined in law, this enables the UK to leave the EU on 31st Jan.”
Britain is due to leave the bloc at 2300 GMT on January 31. A consent vote in the European Union Parliament will take place on January 29. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to formally sign the Withdrawal Agreement in the coming days.
From 1 February, the UK will enter into an 11-month transition period in which it will continue to follow EU rules but without representation in the bloc’s institutions. This arrangement will come to an end on 1 January 2021, by which point the two sides hope to have completed negotiations on their future economic and security partnership, at the heart of which the government believes will be an ambitious free trade deal.
(With inputs from agencies)