May plans to set Brexit date in law10/11/17Government
UK Prime Minster Theresa May is to set the UK departure date and time from the EU in law, warning she will not tolerate any attempt to block Brexit.
She said the EU Withdrawal Bill will be amended to formally commit to Brexit at 23:00 GMT on Friday 29 March 2019.
May was writing in the Daily Telegraph as a fresh round of Brexit negotiations are due to begin later.
The UK is due to leave the European Union after 2016’s referendum in which 51.9% of voters backed Brexit.
The Prime Minister said the decision to put the specific time of Brexit ‘on the front page’ of the Brexit bill showed the government was determined to see the process through.
‘Let no-one doubt our determination or question our resolve, Brexit is happening,’ she wrote.
‘It will be there in black and white on the front page of this historic piece of legislation: The United Kingdom will be leaving the EU on March 29, 2019 at 11pm GMT.’
The draft legislation has already passed its second reading, and now faces several attempts to amend it at the next part of its parliamentary journey, the committee stage.
May said most people wanted politicians to ‘come together’ to negotiate a good Brexit deal, adding that MPs ‘on all sides’ should help to scrutinising the bill.
She said the government would listen to MPs if they had ideas for improving the bill, but warned against attempts to halt the process.
The PM said the bill was ‘fundamental to delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit’ and would give ‘the greatest possible clarity and certainty for all businesses and families across the country’.
Brexit Secretary David Davis said the government had attempted to remove “any confusion or concern about what ‘exit day’ means”.