Brexit Bill Set To Become Law, Allowing Theresa May To Trigger Article 50


Flickr/markusunger

Members of Parliament are set to pass the Notification of Withdrawal Bill through the Commons on Monday, overturning two amendments passed by the House of Lords in the week prior.

The historic bill will hand Theresa May the authority to trigger article 50, kicking off the legal process for Britain’s departure from the European Union.

The Government has been pushing for the bill to pass through parliament untouched. David Davis, the Brexit Minister, stated that he “will be asking MPs to send the legislation back to the House of Lords in its original form so that we can start building a Global Britain and a strong new partnership with the EU.

Jeff Overs/BBC handout via REUTERS

“Our new position in the world means we can restore national self-determination, build new trading links and become even more global in spirit and action.”

Despite talk of rebellion among Conservative MPs, the government is expected to comfortably get its way in the Commons, sending the bill back to the Lords without amendment.

Rebellious Lords

Peers made the controversial move last week to amend the Brexit Bill, calling for the rights of EU citizens in the UK to be secured, saying they should not be “left in limbo”. Peers also want parliament to have a “meaningful vote” on the government’s deal with the EU before it’s finalised.

Both amendments passed the House of Lords with relatively large majorities.

But despite success in passing the amendments, many rebellious peers have made it clear that if the House of Commons choose to turn down the amendments on Monday, they’ll make way for the bill to pass without opposition, wary of the fact that they’re an unelected chamber. 

The pullback in opposition will mainly come from Labour peers, who don’t want to “obstruct and delay” the Brexit Bill.

The Queen will then be required to sign the bill before Theresa May has the right to trigger Article 50.

Triggering Article 50

Speculation mounted last week of Theresa May planning to trigger Article 50 on Tuesday, a day after the Brexit Bill’s final passage through parliament, and potential hours after Royal assent from the Queen.

The suggestions were fueled by the Government’s decision to move Theresa May’s statement following last week’s EU summit from Monday to Tuesday.

REUTERS/Neil Hall

But Nicola Sturgeon’s intervention on Monday, calling for a second Scottish independence referendum, seems to have led the government to postpone the date of triggering Article 50. Downing Street sources have briefed that Article 50 will not be triggered on Tuesday, despite recent speculation.

Political journalists have responded by suggesting that Nicola Sturgeon’s intervention is the primary reason behind the delay.

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