This is the Bill that will 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.
Following the public referendum on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in June 2016, there was a legal challenge questioning whether the Government could go ahead and trigger Article 50 without there first being a vote in Parliament. The Supreme Court ruled that Parliament did indeed need to vote before the UK could withdraw from the European Union.
This is a very short bill - containing just two clauses - that MPs will vote on in the House of Commons. If the Bill is passed, the Prime Minister can then invoke Article 50 and begin the process of withdrawal from the EU.
This is a Government Bill from David Davis MP, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.
| The Leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbin MP, has already said his MPs will face a three-line whip to vote in favour of the Bill. However, some MPs have said their vote will reflect the majority vote of their constituents in the EU referendum. So, for example, Scottish MPs and some London MPs will vote against the bill as they represent a predominantly ‘Remain’ constituency. The Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party have stated that they will vote against the Bill, but it will still need nearly all Labour MPs to defy the whip in order for this Bill to be defeated.
The Bill is now in ‘ping pong’ when amendments are considered and the Bill is passed between Commons and Lords until an agreement is reached. This process can last up to a year, although in this case, it is highly like to only last a couple of days.
How to get involved
Contact your MP, who will have a vote on this Bill.
If I don’t act, will it go through?
Although some MPs have already said they will vote in accordance with how their constituents voted in the referendum, as a Government Bill it is still likely to go through.