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The Queen

The Queen stays up late to grant Royal Assent to Yvette Cooper’s EU Withdrawal Bill

The Queen has formally granted Royal Assent to the Yvette Cooper’s EU Withdrawal Bill meaning it has now become law.

Her Majesty approving the legislation means Theresa May is now forced to delay Brexit beyond April 12th preventing a no deal exit from the EU.

Ms Cooper alongside Sir Oliver Letwin have successfully managed to manoeuvre their Bill into law within a matter of days. This is the first piece of backbench legislation to receive Royal Assent in living memory.

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Royal Assent is required to make legislation in the United Kingdom law, and The Queen has the power to make and repeal laws. Laws usually originate from the Houses of Parliament, either the Commons or the Lords, and experience a lengthy process of debate and review. Once the legislation has been passed by both houses of Parliament, it is then sent to The Queen in Her daily red boxes of state papers. There can be a slight delay here as Her Majesty has a great deal of papers to work through. It remains the case, however, that no bill can become law without The Queen’s approval.

Royal Assent, granted after a bill has been passed by Peers and MPs, is different from Queen’s Consent. Queen’s Consent is required for members of Parliament to debate a bill and has to be granted on issues which affect interests of The Crown.  The Queen has been asked to grant permission for a whole multitude of debates, covering everything from higher education, civil partnerships and identity cards to animal welfare and pensions.

If a Brexit deal is not reached within the next week, the default position is that the UK leaves the EU on Friday without a deal. However, Ms Cooper’s Bill forces the Prime Minister to seek an extension.