Theresa May Hails 'Defining' Brexit Moment

تم نشره في Tue 14 March / Mar 2017. 01:00 AM
  • The prime minister welcomed Parliament's approval of legislation needed to trigger Brexit talks - (House of Commons)

LONDON — Parliament's backing for the government's Brexit bill will be a "defining moment for our whole country", Theresa May has told MPs.

The prime minister said her timetable of triggering formal negotiations by the end of March remained on track.

And she told the SNP - which has called for a second independence referendum - not to "play politics or create uncertainty or division".

Labour's Jeremy Corbyn accused the government of being "complacent".

Mrs May's statement to MPs on last week's European Council summit came after the EU withdrawal bill was backed by the House of Lords, clearing the way for it to receive Royal Assent and become law.

This gives her the power to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin formal negotiations, which is expected to happen at the end of March.

It also comes after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted an independence referendum to be held between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of the following year.

Welcoming Parliament's backing for her Brexit bill, the PM told MPs: "This will be a defining moment for our whole country as we begin to forge the new relationship with Europe and a new role for ourselves in the world."

Brexit, she said, would "work for the whole of the United Kingdom", adding: "That's why we have been working closely with the devolved administrations, including the Scottish government - listening to their proposals and recognising the many areas of common ground, such as protecting workers rights and our security from crime and terrorism.

"So this is not a moment to play politics and create uncertainty - it's a moment to bring our country together, to honour the will of the British people and shape for them a better Britain."

Ms Sturgeon has said a second independence referendum was needed to protect Scottish interests in the wake of the UK voting to leave the EU.