The UK Government has published draft legislation that begins the formal procedures that will allow the UK to start the process of leaving the EU.
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has been produced after the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday, as reported, that it would be legally necessary to engage with all representatives with the UK’s parliament before triggering Article 50.
Leader of the opposition Jeremy Corbyn has ordered Labour MPs to back the bill, which, if supported by a majority number of MPs, will give the UK Prime Minister Theresa May the power to trigger Brexit under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
The Liberal Democrats have vowed to oppose Article 50 unless there is a guarantee of another referendum on the final Brexit deal, while the Scottish National Party has vowed to table 50 amendments to the legislation.
The government has been forced to move quickly to draw up the legislation after losing its appeal at the Supreme Court
The bill, which is just over two paragraphs long in its entirety, is due to be initially debated by MPs on Tuesday and is expected to be cleared by the House of Commons on 8 February, after which it will move to the House of Lords.
The bill reads as follows:
“A Bill to confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU. by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:— Power to notify withdrawal from the EU 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.
This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment. This Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act.”
Alongside the introduction of the bill, on Wednesday UK PM May announced the government would set out more details of its Brexit plans in a formal policy document.