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Brexit to kick off in April or May, after UK PM says she will introduce 'Great Repeal Bill'

Britain's Prime Minister will introduce legislation as early as April to kickstart an exit from the European Union, The Sunday Times reported.

Theresa May told The Sunday Times she would introduce a repeal bill to scrap the 1972 European Communities Act, the legislation that allowed Britain to enter the EU. The "Great Repeal Bill" will be introduced in the next Queen's Speech, which the newspaper said was expected in April or May 2017.

Britain had previously said official talks with the EU over its exit would start early next year; Britain must trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to kick off a formal exit. Unraveling Britain's ties with the trade bloc is then expected to take about two years.

British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 20. May will on Sunday reveal plans to kickstart Britain's exit from the European Union.
Christopher Furlong | Getty Images
British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 20. May will on Sunday reveal plans to kickstart Britain's exit from the European Union.

May is due to reveal her plan at the Conservative Party conference on Sunday, The Sunday Times reported, noting that May's announcement marked 100 days since the June 23 referendum in which Britain voted to leave the EU.

"This marks the first stage in the UK becoming a sovereign and independent country once again. It will return power and authority to the elected institutions of our country. It means that the authority of EU law in Britain will end," May told the newspaper in her first interview since becoming prime minister in July, after incumbent David Cameron quit in the wake of the Brexit vote.

To read the full report, click here.

On Saturday, high-profile Conservatives outlined proposals for a post-Brexit system of permits for workers from the EU. Many of the 52 percent of Britons who voted to Brexit cited concerns about immigration from EU countries.

"The best system is a work permits system with caps on numbers," one of the authors of the work permits plan, former works and pensions minister Iain Duncan Smith told BBC radio.

"It's implemented very strongly at the lower end of low skilled work which is where most of the difficulties and problems have been and at the upper end... you have a very light-touch process that allows people to come and go," he added.

But business leaders have expressed concern d about a so-called "hard Brexit" involving immigration caps and an exit from the single market that allows goods and services to move freely within the EU without trade barriers.

On Friday, car maker Nissan said that it would not push on with new investment in its Sunderland-based plant unless the government promised it would be compensated for any tariffs imposed by the EU.

According to the BBC, the Sunderland plant is Nissan's biggest factory in Europe, producing a third of the U.K.'s car output, and Nissan is due to decide early next year where to build its new Qashqai SUV. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told the state broadcaster that the plant could "lose competitiveness" if U.K.-based companies had to pay a 10 percent tariff to import goods into the EU.

- Reuters contributed to this report.

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