MPs have today started a two-day debate in the House of Commons on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. If passed by parliament, this piece of legislation will be used by Prime Minister, Theresa May, to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which will start the two-year negotiation process by which the UK will leave the EU. The Government wants to invoke Article 50 by the end of March this year, and was forced to bring the Bill to parliament following the Supreme Court’s ruling that Mrs May does not have the power to trigger Article 50 without the permission of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
The Bill is likely to pass through the House of Commons easily, with most Labour and Conservative MPs voting in favour of it. MPs from the Liberal Democrat and Scottish National Party are set to vote against the Bill unless the Government agrees to amendments to the Bill. Suggested amendments include holding a further referendum on the final deal.
Despite Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s ordering his MPs to vote for the Bill, several Labour MPs are expected to defy Mr Corbyn’s order, particularly those who represent Remain supporting constituencies. Last week, Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, resigning from the shadow cabinet in protest at the Labour party’s official position as did the Labour MP, Jo Stevens, who was the Shadow Secretary for Wales.