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British queen gives approval for United Kingdom to leave the EU

The University of Oxford

One amendment sought to guarantee the residence rights of European Union citizens living in Britain, while the other wanted parliament to be given a "meaningful vote" on the terms of Brexit at the end of the two-year Article 50 negotiations.

Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday gave her royal assent to a bill that authorizes Prime Minister Theresa May to officially start Britain's exit from the EU. She described the passing of the Brexit Bill by politicians as a defining moment for Britain.

This means the Queen has formally approved the Brexit bill and has made it law.

Bill had been passed by MPs and Lords in Parliament earlier this week and the monarch's signature means May will be able to keep to her declared March-end timetable of informing the European Union that Britain has invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which relates to leaving the 28-member economic bloc.

Royal Assent nowadays is generally declared to both Houses by their Speakers and is listed in Hansard, the official record of proceedings in Parliament.

May has said she will begin the Brexit discussions by the end of March, a mere week after the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome which created the European Economic Community, the predecessor to the European Union.

But according to British government rules, if there is no commencement order the act will come into force from "midnight at the start of the day of the royal assent".

May has insisted the status of European Union citizens in Britain and the 1 million British people in European Union countries will be priority during the negotiations with Brussels.

Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has told Theresa May that she need not have sacked him from his advisory roles with the government for rebelling over Brexit.

Mr Khan said the current system involved a "tsunami" of paperwork and was not fit for goal.