Brexit trigger Bill set for final vote in Parliament

Lucy Hill
March 15, 2017

After weeks of wrangling, British lawmakers on late Monday granted May the right to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which would start the two-year divorce process with the bloc.

He was speaking after MPs warned that ministers must prepare for the possibility that, with European Union treaties allowing just two years to agree a new relationship, Britain might well leave without a deal.

But her spokesman told reporters the PM had always said she would notify the European Council of the UK's intention to leave by the end of March, adding: "I've said "end" many times but it would seem I didn't put it in capital letters strongly enough".

But the final showdown is likely to be rather low-key event: in the House of Commons only a handful of Conservative MPs appear to be gearing up to oppose the Government or abstain in the vote on the bill, which means it should leave the lower chamber unamended.

The referendum also brought the resignation of former Prime Minister David Cameron, who during a re-election campaign had promised to hold the vote.

The committee, which previously criticized the government's failure to plan for Britons voting to leave the European Union at last year's referendum, said making such preparations would also add credibility to the government's position that it is prepared to walk away from a bad deal.

Theresa May's EU (Notification of Withdrawal) bill is to return to the House of Commons on Monday with two amendments.

"We have heard, regrettably, that the Commons has not heard the vote in this house", she said.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, said May and her ministers had adopted a "complacent" strategy to the Brexit negotiations.

It is now widely expected that Article 50 will be triggered at some point in the week of March 27.

Most people in Scotland do not want a second referendum, she said.

Alexander Stubb, the former Prime Minister of Finland has warned that Britain's negotiating hand is weak, before claiming the United Kingdom will not have to immediately pay a Brexit divorce bill.

Both Houses of Parliament have to agree the text of the bill before it can be sent for Royal Assent from Queen Elizabeth II and become law.

However, speculation swirled on Monday that Downing Street was unnerved by the unexpected call for a second independence referendum by Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and pushed back the date. In the last one, in 2014, Scotland voted 55% to 45% to remain in the United Kingdom.

"This will be a defining moment for our whole country as we begin to forge a new relationship with Europe and a new role for ourselves in the world", she said in a statement on last week's European Union summit. "A "no deal" scenario would open a Pandora's Box of economic consequences", said Paul Drechsler, president of the Confederation of British Industry, in a recent speech in London.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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