Britain published legislation Thursday to sever political, financial and legal ties with the European Union, an important step towards Brexit but one which the opposition said it would challenge. Pascale Davies reports.
Thursday marking one of the most important milestones in the UK's journey towards Brexit. The government publishing its repeal bill - the flagship legislation that will sever Britain's political and legal ties to the European Union. It's central to Theresa May's plan to exit the EU in 2019 - providing the mechanism for decades of EU law to be turned into British legislation - while also giving parliaments the power to amend them. And it's likely to prove a tough test for the UK Prime Minister. May lost her outright parliamentary majority after calling an ill-judged snap election last month. Leaving a divided parliament with greater say over the way Britain makes its exit. For pro-European MPs, it's a big chance to push their version of a softer Brexit, not the conservative party's vision of a clean break. The main opposition Labour Party says it will oppose the bill unless it meets six conditions, including guarantees for workers' rights. But Brexit minister David Davis is urging MPs to work together for a successful exit. This the most ambitious project in British legal history, and it's not expected to be debated until the autumn. Thomson Reuters research suggests that 52,741 laws have been introduced as a result of EU legislation since 1990 alone. And passing the bill through both houses of parliament all the way up to the Queen for royal assent could take a year or more. Leaving just months to incorporate all that legislation so that the statute book continues to function after March 2019 - the date set for Britain's EU departure.