A bill triggering Brexit will be published 'within days'

LONDON — The UK government is going to push through a “straightforward” bill authorising Britain’s exit from the European Union, within days, the Brexit secretary said on Tuesday.

Brexit secretary David Davis told MPs that the government respected the verdict of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, which ruled that MPs must now authorise the triggering of Article 50.

However, he suggested that the government would publish only a simple one-line bill authorising Brexit, thereby limiting the opportunities for MPs to attach any conditions to their support for Article 50.

“We will within days introduce legislation to give the government the legal power to trigger Article 5o and begin the formal process of withdrawal,” he told the Commons.

“This will be the most straightforward bill possible to give effect to the decision of the people and respect the Supreme Court judgment.”

Davis warned against any attempt to “frustrate or delay” the process.

He also insisted the government would stick to its original promise to trigger Article 50 by the end of March.

His comments suggest that attempts by Labour, the SNP and others to introduce extensive and prescriptive amendments on a large number of topics are likely to be restricted.

Under parliamentary rules, any amendments to bills must be “relevant to the subject matter of the bill and to the clause or Schedule to which they are proposed.”

Responding to Davis’ statement, Labour’s Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said the prime minister had been “wrong to try and sideline parliament,” and repeated Labour’s intention to seek to amend Article 50 to include protections for the single market, workers’ rights and environmental protections.

The SNP’s Brexit spokesperson Alex Salmond said today that his party would table a total of 50 amendments to whatever bill government brings forward.

This is a developing story.

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