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Article 50 bill states bare minimum to authorise notice

26 January 2017

A two clause bill to authorise the Prime Minister to give notice of the UK's intention to withdraw from the European Union under article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union was introduced to the House of Commons today. 

The measure, the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, follows Tuesday's ruling of the UK Supreme Court that Parliament had to authorise the notice and the Government was not entitle to act unilaterally under prerogative powers. 

Ministers hope it will be passed by both the House of Commons and House of Lords before gaining royal assent prior to the 31 March deadline by which the Prime Minister has previously committed herself to giving notice, but opposition parties are expected to try to amend the bill to introduce various conditions.

Clause 1 states: "(1) The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.

"(2) This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment."

The only other provision confirms the title of the bill, which would therefore come into force immediately on receiving royal assent.

A separate "Great Repeal Bill" will transpose EU law into UK law to ensure the maximum stability on exit.

Click here to access the bill.


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