May, appointed prime minister shortly after Britain voted to leave the EU in June, has faced down attempts in both the lower and upper houses of parliament to add conditions to the legislation giving her the right to launch the divorce.
Now that parliament has passed the Brexit bill, she said a “defining moment” was beckoning for the “whole country” a rebuke to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who has just demanded a second independence referendum.
“This is not a moment to play politics or create uncertainty and division… It is a moment to bring our country together, to honour the will of the British people and to shape for them a brighter future and a better Britain.”
May has revealed little of her Brexit strategy but has a long wish list wanting to win a free trade deal, maintain security cooperation, regain control over immigration and restore sovereignty over British laws.
The EU has balked at her demands, saying they amount to “having your cake and eating it”.