Wednesday 25 January 2017

Brexit Bill Likely To Be Published On Thursday


David Davis is likely to introduce a “straightforward” Brexit bill on Thursday, two days after a significant ruling by the supreme court, sources have suggested.

The secretary of state for exiting the EU said he would respond quickly to judges’ demands to give MPs and peers a vote in parliament but warned that the “point of no return” for Brexit had already been passed.

“This does not change the fact that the UK will be leaving the European Union,” he said.

The government is hoping to publish the bill on Thursday but there is a possibility it could slip beyond that.

Davis said the legislation would be narrow, focusing only on the question of triggering article 50, and warned that it must not be used as a “vehicle for attempts to thwart the will of the people, or frustrate or delay the process of our exit from the European Union”.

“This will be the most straightforward bill possible, to give effect to the decision of the people and respect the supreme court’s judgment,” he added, stressing that it was not about whether the UK would leave the EU, because that had been decided by the June referendum.

Davis said government lawyers were scrutinising the long judgment, but made clear that he remained confident article 50 would be triggered by the deadline at the end of March.

“This timetable has already been supported by this house,” he said, saying the legislation would be separate to the “great repeal bill”.

Davis was urged by Brexiters in parliament to issue the legislation quickly and keep it short, but was also pressured by opposition figures and MPs on his own side to publish the government’s Brexit plan as a white paper in order to allow further scrutiny.

Ministers have claimed May’s Brexit speech at Lancaster House was an adequate plan.



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