Published: Wed, March 15, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Brexit bill 'likely to be passed by Lords on Monday'

Prime Minister Theresa May has said for months that she would invoke Article 50 of the EU's key treaty, the trigger for two years of exit negotiations, by March 31.

Davis did not make any pledges to lawmakers on allowing parliament to have a "meaningful vote" at the end of the divorce talks, arguing it would make European Union leaders less likely to offer a good deal.

Under parliamentary processes, the elected House of Commons, can accept the amendments or use its power to force the House of Lords to accept their bill without amendment.

The government's plans have also been disrupted by Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon's decision to call for a second referendum on Scottish independence while negotiations are underway.

With a vote set for Monday on a bill granting May the authority to open divorce talks with the European Union, some Conservative lawmakers are pushing for Parliament to have a say on what happens if negotiations break down without an agreement.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly (62 per cent to 38 per cent) to remain in the Brexit referendum - as did Northern Ireland, while England and Wales mostly voted to leave.

Speaking on ITV's Peston on Sunday he said: "I think we've got every prospect of doing a very good deal between now and the end of the negotiating period in 2019".

'So we will trigger Article 50 by the end of this month as planned and deliver an outcome that works in the interests of the whole of the United Kingdom'.

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Mr Barnier had suggested that a Brexit bill would have to be paid upfront before negotiations with the Brussels bloc began.

May has committed to triggering Article 50 by the end of March and her time-frame hinges on today's developments in both Houses of Parliament.

Monday's approval came after a back and forth in which the House of Commons rejected changes to the bill and then sent it back to the upper chamber for them to vote again.

It has been 262 days since Britain shocked the world by voting to exit the EU.

The 27 other members of the European Union have pinpointed a meeting of government ministers in Luxembourg on June 20 as the moment to authorize the opening of two years of talks, two European Union officials said on condition of anonymity.

"There will be a lot of different issues jostling for attention, so I think what will happen is we will get into a bit of a holding pattern", said Mr Anand Menon, director of the United Kingdom in a Changing Europe think-tank.

"The Liberal Democrats will keep fighting to give the British people the final say on the deal, so that a hard Brexit isn't imposed on the country that nobody voted for".

"Making an equivalent mistake would constitute a serious dereliction of duty by the present administration", they said in the report.

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