After battles, UK’s key Brexit bill becomes law

The Latest on Britain upcoming departure from the European Union (all times local):

12: 15 p.m.

The British government’s flagship Brexit legislation has become law, ensuring the country will not face a legislative cliff-edge on the day it leaves the European Union next year.

House of Commons Speaker John Bercow announced Tuesday that the European Union Withdrawal Bill had received royal assent and passed into law. The announcement drew cheers from pro-Brexit lawmakers.

The bill, which translates thousands of pieces of EU law into British statute, faced a rocky journey through Parliament. Pro-EU lawmakers and members of the House of Lords tried to amend it to soften the terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc.

Most of the changes were overturned by narrow Commons votes. But pro-EU lawmakers say they will try to defeat the government on other EU-related legislation if it tries to push for a “hard Brexit” that severs close economic ties between Britain and the bloc.


9:20 a.m.

Britain’s leading car manufacturing trade association says investment in U.K. auto manufacturing has fallen by half in the last year due to worries over the impact of Britain leaving the European Union.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders says only 347 million pounds ($460 million) is being invested in new models and facilities during the first half of 2018 compared to 647 million pounds used that way during the same period the year before.

Chief executive Mike Hawes said Tuesday the current government position on Brexit “goes directly against the interests of the U.K. automotive sector which has thrived on single market and customs union membership.”

He says there is no credible plan for “frictionless” customs arrangements with the EU.

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