Commons to debate Brexit bill next week
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British MPs will debate the bill allowing the UK to trigger Article 50 next week.
The European Union Notification of Withdrawal Bill is being introduced in the House of Commons today.
Labour MPs heckled Commons Leader David Lidington, shouting “disgraceful” when he confirmed that the committee stage would last just three days.
Parliament will hold a debate on the bill next Tuesday and Wednesday and it will then be examined during parliamentary committee sessions from 6 to 8 February.
Prime Minister Theresa May is trying to get the legislation approved before her March deadline for beginning two years of Brexit talks.
The legislation, which has just two clauses including the description of its short title, is “straightforward”, the Department for Exiting the European Union said.
Brexit Secretary David Davis said: “The British people have made the decision to leave the EU and this Government is determined to get on with the job of delivering it.
“So today we have introduced a bill in parliament which will allow us to formally trigger Article 50 by the end of March.
“I trust that parliament, which backed the referendum by six to one, will respect the decision taken by the British people and pass the legislation quickly.”
Supreme Court judges on Tuesday ruled against Mrs May’s government, demanding the prime minister win parliamentary approval before starting formal talks to exit the bloc.
MPs voted in December to stick to the March timetable in return for more information on the government’s negotiating demands.
The bill is expected to pass thanks to support from almost all of Mrs May’s Conservative MPs and from a sizeable chunk of opposition Labour MPs.
The Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats are expected to vote against the bill.
It will then be passed to the upper House of Lords, where it will undergo a similar passage before it can become law.
The upper house could block the bill, but its members would likely face the wrath of the public, who voted by 52% to 48% to leave the EU in the vote on 23 June.
1 Power to notify withdrawal from the EU
(1) The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.
(2) This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment.
2 Short title
This Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017.
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