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Article 50 bill second reading passed

Tonight, the government voted by 498 to 114 to trigger Article 50 for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to begin the transfer of sovereignty back from the EU to Britain.


Congratulations - this is a moment of sincere joy and awe. We really did it. Working together, without prejudice of party or person, we united, David at the foot of Goliath, and as such, against all odds, prevailed.

But today is a day for short rejoice, for tomorrow the battle for British Brexit begins.

The bill must pass through another committee, Commons debate and vote, avoid potential amendments and survive a vote in the Remain-packed House of Lords. We must also fight off the three legal challenges that could still yet disrupt or even stop Brexit. They are the EEA case, the Dublin case and the expats’ case. Do not be lured into a false sense of security, these are serious legal challenges, and we must work together to make sure our Brexit dream becomes a reality.

What is next?

Thursday February 2: White Paper on Brexit
The Government is set to publish a White Paper setting out its plan and negotiating strategy for leaving the EU.

Friday February 3: EU informal summit
Prime Minister Theresa May will meet the EU head of state at an informal summit at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, Malta.

Monday February 6 and Tuesday February 7: Committee stage
MPs will scrutinise the bill and propose amendments during the committee stage of the process on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday February 8: Another debate in Commons and final vote
There will be another debate on the bill, followed by a final vote in the Commons.

Monday February 20: Lords debate the bill
The bill will start passing through the House of Lords after Parliament returns from recess on Monday February 20.

Tuesday March 7: Deadline to pass bill
The Government wants the Brexit bill to have passed through the Lords by Tuesday March 7. It needs royal assent to become law.

Friday March 31: Deadline to trigger Article 50
The Prime Minister has said that she plans to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.

March 2019: The end of Brexit talks - Britain formerly retires from EU membership?

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