LONDON -UNS/BBC- British Parliament has passed the Brexit bill, paving the way for the government to trigger Article 50 so the UK can leave the European Union.
Peers backed down over the issues of EU residency rights and a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal after their objections were overturned by MPs.
The bill is expected to receive Royal Assent and become law on Tuesday.
The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said this would leave Theresa May free to push the button on withdrawal talks.
The result came as Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she intended to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence at a time when Brexit negotiations are expected to be reaching a conclusion.
Ms Sturgeon said she wanted a vote to be held between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of the following year.
The prime minister could theoretically invoke Article 50, which formally starts the Brexit process, as early as Tuesday.
However, Downing Street sources have said this will not happen this week and the PM is expected to wait until the end of the month to officially notify the EU of the UK’s intention to leave, thus beginning what is expected to be a two-year process.
“Parliament has today backed the government in its determination to get on with the job of leaving the EU,” Brexit Secretary David Davis said. “We are now on the threshold of the most important negotiation for our country in a generation.”