Queen approves start of Brexit talks

File photo dated 10/03/17 of a road traffic sign in front of the Union Jack and the European Union flag hanging outside Europe House in Smith Square, London. The Queen will sign the Article 50 Bill into law on Thursday, clearing the way for Theresa May to formally start talks to leave the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 15, 2017. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire POLITICS_Brexit_065900.JPG
File photo dated 10/03/17 of a road traffic sign in front of the Union Jack and the European Union flag hanging outside Europe House in Smith Square, London. The Queen will sign the Article 50 Bill into law on Thursday, clearing the way for Theresa May to formally start talks to leave the European Union. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 15, 2017. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire POLITICS_Brexit_065900.JPG

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Theresa May has been given the legal power to start Brexit talks after the Queen granted royal assent to the Article 50 Bill.

Speaker John Bercow told MPs that the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which was passed by MPs and peers on Monday, had received its final sign off, prompting cheers from the Conservative benches.

Mrs May has said she will invoke Article 50, the legal mechanism for withdrawal from the EU, by the end of the month in what will be a “defining moment” for the country.