Dates set for Brexit debate

  • 27/01/2017
The vote to quit the EU passed narrowly last year (Reuters)
The vote to quit the EU passed narrowly last year (Reuters)

Legislation authorising the British government to begin the legal process of exiting the European Union will be debated in Parliament on January 31 and February 1, the UK government says, outlining the first steps of the lawmaking process.

Earlier this week, Britain's top court ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May must seek parliamentary approval to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, rejecting the government's argument that it should be able to do so unilaterally.

The ruling is not expected to derail May's plans to trigger Article 50 by the end of March, starting two years of complex negotiations with the EU on the terms of Britain's exit and its new trading arrangements.

However, opposition parties have said they will try to amend the legislation to make the government reveal more details of its Brexit plans.

The bill seeking lawmakers' approval will be published on Thursday when it is formally introduced to parliament.

It will be debated for the two days next week and another three days between February 6 and 8 as part of the normal legislative process.