Once the legislation was passed in Parliament, it was sent to the Queen in her daily red boxes of state papers. No bill can become law without the Queen’s approval, so she had to urgently sign the bill for it to become an Act of Parliament. It was reported that the bill had recieved Royal Assent about 11pm, for which the 92-year-old monarch had had to stay up for.
After The House of Commons approved Yvette Cooper’s bill, Hilary Benn asks if Royal Assent could be obtained “tonight”.
The Commons Speaker, John Bercow, replied by saying he was “cautiously optimistic on that front”.
A matter of 30 minutes passed and at 11.15 pm the Queen had granted Royal Assent to the cross party bill that prevents a no deal Brexit.
Now that Her Majesty has approved the motion put forward by Ms Cooper, it means Theresa May will be forced to delay Brexit beyond April 12th preventing a no deal exit from the EU.
Ms Cooper and Sir Oliver Letwin have successfully managed to manoeuvre their bill into law within a matter of days.
Royal Assent is required to make legislation in the UK law, and the Queen has the power to make and repeal laws.
While the power to veto a law by withholding Royal Assent was once exercised often by European monarchs, such an occurrence has been very rare since the eighteenth century.
Laws usually originate from the Houses of Parliament, either the Commons or the Lords, and experience a lengthy process of debate and review.
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 to Article 50.
The swift passage of the bill, which took just three sitting days to complete, was made possible by the success of an unprecedented amendment which allowed MPs to seize control of parliamentary business on particular days.
This meant that the Government could not block its progress.