David Davis, the Brexit secretary, has celebrated a “landmark moment” following the fact that the EU Withdrawal Bill was able to receive royal assent from the Queen, thus enshrining the said bill into law.
The said bill took almost a year to pass, after first being initially introduced in Parliament during the previous summer, with over 250 hours of debate in the Lords and the Commons, with more than 1,400 amendments presented, and a very serious challenge over the significant vote.
This is only the first of at least four other Brexit-themed acts that the government must be able to pass before March 2019, including some specific bills on immigration, customs, trade, and one on the final deal.
The Department for Exiting the EU (DexEU) said that the “historic act” would ensure that the laws of the United Kingdom that is entwined with more than 40 years of law from the European Union will “continue to work from the day we leave, ensuring a smooth and orderly exit”.
The department does this by shifting EU law into UK law wherever appropriate and establishing temporary powers to correct the laws that will not operate appropriately anymore.
The work to prepare the statute book of the United Kingdom for Brexit will start in the coming weeks as various government departments begin to present the relevant secondary legislation in Parliament – it is anticipated that approximately 800 pieces of secondary legislation will be needed before the process is considered to be complete.
Davis stated: “This is a landmark moment in our preparations for leaving the European Union.
The Brexit Secretary added: “The EU Withdrawal Act is a vital piece of legislation that will ensure we have a functioning statute book for exit… We will now begin the work of preparing our statute book, using the provisions in this act, to ensure we are ready for any scenario, giving people and businesses the certainty they need.”