Tuesday 14 March 2017 12:55 pm

Theresa May: The Queen will sign Article 50 into law "in the coming days"

Theresa May has hinted she is in no rush to begin the process of leaving the European Union, saying the Article 50 Bill, which was passed last night, will receive royal assent "in the coming days".

In a speech to the House of Commons in which she signalled a steady approach to negotiating the UK's departure from the EU, May said she will return to Parliament by the end of the month to notify it of when she has formally triggered Article 50.

After the Bill was rushed through the House of Lords last night, many had expected the Queen to sign the Article 50 Bill today, giving May the freedom to begin the process of leaving the EU in the coming days. 

However, May's speech suggested she will be more methodical about it.

"[It] will be a defining moment for our whole country  as we begin to forge a new relationship with Europe and a new role for ourselves in the world," she said. 

In what may be perceived as a swipe at Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, who yesterday announced plans to seek permission for a second Scottish independence referendum, May said now was "not a moment to play politics".

"We have been working closely with the devolved administrations including the Scottish government, listening to their proposals and recognising the many areas of common ground we have.

"This is not a moment to play politics and create division. It is a moment to bring our country together."

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