The UK government is putting together the first draft of a bill to invoke Article 50 and initiate Britain’s formal departure from the European Union.
The Supreme Court is set to hear the appeal in early-December, which could threaten May’s plan to trigger Article 50 by the end of March. This news suggests the prime minister is preparing the bill now so that the timetable won’t be impacted if the government loses its appeal, as widely expected.
The bill, which the Tory government is legally required to put before parliament unless the upcoming appeal is successful, will need to be backed the majority of parliament before May invokes Article 50.
A majority of MPs will almost certainly support the bill, in fear of voting against the will of the public.
However, a significant number of members on both sides of the house will likely demand May to disclose details of her Brexit negotiating position before giving their approval. Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit minister, said he would press the government to reveal the terms upon which they believe Britain should leave the EU.
May’s original plan was to use royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 — an archaic power allowing the government to take action without first consulting parliament. However, three of the country’s most senior judges ruled that May must receive parliamentary approval before doing so, to the fury of some pro-Brexit politicians and newspapers.
The Daily Mail described the judges as “enemies of the people” while current UKIP leader Nigel Farage said he planned to lead a march of 100,000 people on the day the Supreme Court revisits the historic case.
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