May’s blueprint

LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May’s blueprint to leave the EU emerged unscathed on Tuesday from a first day of debate in Parliament on legislation to sever ties with the bloc.

The debate, expected to last for weeks, is on the EU withdrawal Bill, seen by Mrs May as crucial to give companies confidence that there will be no major legal changes that affect business when Britain leaves the EU in March 2019.

Opponents want to use the debate to force concessions on Mrs May’s plan for leaving the bloc, but the initial challenges — including on the hour and day Britain should pull out as well as on the future role of the EU court — were voted down or dropped.

The PM will face tougher battles as the debate goes on, testing her ability to steer through a Bill intended largely to “copy and paste” European rules and regulations into British law by the time it leaves the 28-member EU.

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