The British Government’s bill seeking authorisation to start the formal Brexit process by triggering Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty has been formally introduced to Parliament.
Legislation authorising the Government to begin the legal process of exiting the European Union will be debated in Parliament on January 31 and February 1, the Government said, 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 it should be able to do so unilaterally.
The ruling is not expected to derail Ms 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.
Co-chair of a group aimed at securing the key demands of the leave campaign – Leave Means Leave – Richard Tice said he was relieved to see the Government moving so quickly on Britain’s exit from the EU.
Speaking on the ABC’s The World program, Mr Tice said Ms May had confirmed Britain would be leaving the single market.
“All if this means that we can move towards taking advantage of the benefits of Brexit,” he said.
“So, as far as we’re concerned in the Leave Means Leave campaign, the sooner the better.”
Mr Tice said he expected the bill to pass easily through Britain’s lower house, the House of Commons.
There might be a slightly longer debate in the House of Lords, he said.
“But they also know that, frankly, if they try and deny the will of the people in the unelected House of Lords, they’re effectively signing their own death warrant.”
He said it was important for Britain to move quickly on Brexit to take advantage of global trade opportunities.
Mr Tice dismissed claims by opponents of Brexit that the process could take as long as 10 years.
“These are the negative doomsayers who are actually working against our national interest,” he said.
“We made it clear in our campaign that no deal is better than a bad deal; we must leave within a maximum of two years of serving Article 50.
“We will be leaving the European Union.”
British media reported an anti-Brexit march was being planned in London as Ms May prepared to trigger Article 50.
January 26th, 2017: ABC News