UK Brexit Bill Becomes Law After Receiving Royal Assent

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In this screen grab image issued by the Prime Minister's Press Office, showing Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his New Year's message to be broadcast Tuesday Dec. 31, 2019. Johnson has said Britain can look forward to a decade of "prosperity and opportunity", as it finally ends the "rancour and uncertainty" of Brexit. (Prime Minister's Press Office via AP)

January 23, 2020 4:00 pm

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s delayed and disputed Brexit bill has become law, removing the last U.K. obstacle to the country leaving the European Union in just over a week.

House of Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans announced Thursday that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill had received royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II, the final formality in the measure’s legislative journey.

The queen’s assent came hours after the bill completed its passage through Parliament by getting approval from the House of Lords.

The European Union’s parliament also must approve the Brexit divorce deal before Jan. 31 if Britain is to leave on time. Lawmakers in Brussels are due to vote on it next week.

The U.K. is finally leaving the EU more than 3 1/2 years after voters opted for Brexit in a June 2016 referendum, and after many rounds of political wrangling.

“At times it felt like we would never cross the Brexit finish line, but we’ve done it,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

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