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UK Parliament gives final approval to trigger Brexit

Britain's House of Lords has given its final approval for a bill empowering Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Brexit negotiations. The bill now just needs royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II to become law.

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UK Parliament clears way for Brexit

The British government on Monday evening won final approval from parliament to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which will effectively begin the process of the UK's departure from the EU.

"Parliament has today backed the government in its determination to get on with the job of leaving the EU … We are now on the threshold of the most important negotiation for our country in a generation," said Brexit Minister David Davis following the vote.

"We will trigger Article 50 by the end of this month as planned and deliver an outcome that works in the interests of the whole of the UK," he added.

Earlier Monday, the lower house voted to throw out changes to the so-called "Brexit bill," which the upper house approved without amendments.

The bill is expected to receive royal assent, a formality in which Queen Elizabeth II agrees to make the bill law.

Brexit time

The vote effectively gives Prime Minister Theresa May the power to trigger Article 50, which will begin a long process of negotiations on post-Brexit relations between London and Brussels.

In June, British citizens narrowly voted in favor of the UK leaving the 28-nation bloc. Ahead of the vote, the pro-Brexit movement campaigned on an anti-migrant platform.

May said she will prioritize immigration concerns during the negotiations. However, Brussels has warned that if the UK fails to provide freedom of movement, it will not have access to Europe's single market, and likely the customs union.

Meanwhile, EU officials have claimed that the two-year withdrawal process must be completed before starting negotiations on future relations between the bloc and the UK. Some officials have also called for London to settle its EU membership bills - estimated at 60 billion euros ($63.9 billion) - before exploring post-Brexit relations.

ls/bw (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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