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FOCUS - Osservatorio Brexit N. 1 - 21/06/2017

 Alea Iacta Est. Bye bye Brexit Bill, welcome European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018

In our last bulletin, we mentioned how the amendments to the Withdrawal Bill, tabled by the House of Lords, could finally determine which direction Brexit was going to take. By tying the Government’s hands on important issues - such as the UK’s access to the internal market - the amendments were to work, at the very least, as tools defining what the UK’s withdrawal from the EU could not look like, by way of excluding some of the Government’s options. The good (or bad) news is that the Government achieved a significant victory in the House of Commons, sweeping away all the tabled amendments, consequently keeping its hands free in the negotiations. But there is more. The EU Withdrawal Bill – or the “Brexit Bill” – is now law. It has survived its Parliamentary ‘ping-pong’ between the House of Commons and the Lords and in true British constitutional fashion, it has changed its name, upon receiving Royal assent from Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II, which converts it into an Act of Parliament. It became the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 on 26 June 2018. Needlessly to say, Theresa May now breaths a (well-deserved) sigh of relief. The Prime Minister welcomed the bill’s approval, defining it as an “historic moment for our country, and a significant step towards delivering on the will of the British people.” The Act has also been celebrated as a confirmation that, despite the negotiations with Brussels proceeding slowly, Brexit will be happening. International Trade Minister, Liam Fox, said “Lest anyone is in any doubt, the chances of Britain not leaving the EU are now zero”. Indeed, and unfortunately for the 100,000 people who marched through London last Saturday, the idea of any further referenda on the Brexit negotiations seems even more remote than before… (segue)

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