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UK PM to begin Brexit process before German election

Theresa May has said she plans to introduce a bill to scrap the legislation that took the UK into the European Union. May also said the UK would not wait for the 2017 German election before triggering the Brexit process.

In a front-page story in "The Sunday Times" under the headline "May fires starting gun," British Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her plans to make Britain "a sovereign and independent country" by repealing the act that brought the United Kingdom into the European Union.

"We will introduce, in the next Queen's speech, a Great Repeal Bill that will remove the European Communities Act from the statute book," said May.

EU law and regulations would instead be enshrined in British law and then removed or kept, depending on what the UK parliament decided.

The act would take legal effect once Britain formally leaves the European Union, the newspaper reported.

In her interview with "The Sunday Times," May also said Britain would not wait for next autumn's German election before triggering Article 50 to begin the formal process of leaving the European Union. This process would be expected to take two years to complete.

Theresa May in Bratislava (Getty Images/AFP/S. Kubani)

May spoke of her plans to make Britain "a sovereign and independent country"

'Simple approach'

In her interview, May told the newspaper that the new bill would likely be introduced in April or May.

"This marks the first stage in the UK becoming a sovereign and independent country once again. It will return power and authority to the elected institutions of our country. It means that the authority of EU law in Britain will end."

"To ensure continuity, we will take a simple approach," said David Davis, head of Britain's Brexit department. "EU law will be transposed into domestic law, wherever practical, on exit day. It will be for elected politicians here to make the changes to reflect the outcome of our negotiation and our exit."

"That is what people voted for: power and authority residing once again with the sovereign institutions of our own country," he added.

The Conservative prime minister is due to address her first party conference as leader on Sunday. In the interview, she ruled out an early general election because it would cause "instability." However, she is coming under pressure from party members to call a snap election as a poll has shown May could more than quadruple her majority if she called an early vote.

Watch video 01:15

Counting the cost of Brexit for the EU

jm/cmk (Reuters, Sunday Times)

 

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