Legislation to delay Brexit and avoid a no-deal crash-out from the European Union became law late Monday after clearing all stages in both houses of Britain’s parliament and receiving Royal Assent.
The new law requires British Prime Minister Theresa May to ask the European Union to delay Brexit to avoid a no-deal departure on April 12 – the deadline set by the EU in case lawmakers did not pass a withdrawal agreement.
The cross-party proposal, which was also referred to as the Cooper Bill, as it was submitted by Labour MP Yvette Cooper last week, was fast-tracked by lawmakers. It was passed by the House of Lords this evening after two amendments and received the Royal Assent – the last stage of legislation.
"Our cross-party bill now has Royal Assent," Cooper said on Twitter.
"Parliament has voted tonight against the damage & chaos that No Deal would cause for jobs, manufacturing, medicine supplies, policing & security."
According to the new law, MPs will be able to tell May how long the delay should be, but they cannot dispute a new Brexit date set by the EU.
Under another change to the bill, May will not be able to ask for a date before May 22.
Meanwhile, talks between the May government and the Labour Party on new Brexit strategies continued Monday and will resume Tuesday.
May will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday a day before flying to Brussels to attend an emergency Brexit summit with EU leaders on Wednesday.
By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal in London