Government promises Brexit bill 'within days' after Court defeat

"No turning back" says Brexit Secretary David Davis. The UK government announces its intent to stick to its target of serving notice to leave the EU by the end of March.

Government promises Brexit bill \\\'within days\\\' after Court defeat
The UK government promised to introduce legislation to trigger Article 50 to leave the European Union "within days" after the Supreme Court in London ruled ministers must get parliamentary approval to start the Brexit process.The court battle was brought by opponents on the grounds that parliament was sovereign and must approve Article 50 being invoked, despite the outcome of June's referendum, which resulted in a 52-48 per cent vote in favour of leaving the EU. Ministers had argued that they had the power to pull out of a trade deal without a vote in either the Commons or the Lords.

David Davis - "No turning back"

Shortly after Tuesday's ruling, Brexit Secretary David Davis told MPs that the government intended to stick to its target of serving notice to leave the EU by the end of March."There can be no turning back. The point of no return was passed on June 23 last year," Mr Davis said, adding that a "most straightforward" government bill would be presented to parliament in the coming days."The purpose of this bill is simply to give the government the power to invoke Article 50 and begin the process of leaving the European Union. That's what the British people voted for and it's what they would expect," he said."Parliament will rightly scrutinise and debate this legislation. But I trust no-one will seek to make it a vehicle for attempts to thwart the will of the people or frustrate or delay the process of exiting the European Union."

Scottish Nationalists and Liberal Democrats keen to seek second referendum

That, though, might be wishful thinking with both Scottish Nationalists and Liberal Democrats keen to see a second referendum on a final Brexit deal and with the main opposition Labour Party wanting to see the UK retain access to the EU's single market. Opposition in the House of Lords could also delay passage of the bill.
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Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, said he wanted the final Brexit deal put to a "meaningful vote" in parliament but said his party would not block the bill authorising Article 50 negotiations.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to Conservatives: Don't "turn Britain into a bargain-basement tax haven"

"Labour respects the result of the referendum and the will of the British people and will not frustrate the process for invoking Article 50," he said. "However, Labour will seek to amend the Article 50 Bill to prevent the Conservatives using Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain-basement tax haven off the coast of Europe."Labour is demanding a plan from the government to ensure it is accountable to Parliament throughout the negotiations and a meaningful vote to ensure the final deal is given parliamentary approval."

Brexit means uncertainty

Reacting to the court's decision, Philip Souta, head of public policy at the Clifford Chance law firm, said: "Today's result comes as a surprise to no one. Unfortunately for businesses and other institutions, Brexit still means uncertainty. Parliament remains divided and the outcome of the negotiations remain unknown."The government hopes that if they keep the scope of the expected bill very narrow, to just activating Article 50, then it is guaranteed to be amendment-proof. It is not that simple. That is the custom and practice of parliament, but they can depart from it if they want to."Defeat in the House of Lords would not stop Brexit from happening, but it could delay it until mid-2020."

British Chambers of Commerce and Trades Union Congress reactions

Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, added: "The practical impact of this ruling, not the political intricacies, is what interests business communities across the UK. What businesses will want to know is whether this ruling will affect either the terms of the government's approach, or the timeline that firms across the UK have been told to expect."Frances O'Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, said: "Before the Article 50 vote, MPs must see clear plan to protect working people from paying the price for Brexit and stop rights falling behind the EU. Parliament also needs detailed proposals for engaging UK devolved governments in Brexit talks and how we keep common travel area with Ireland."Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre

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