British Prime Minister Theresa May is getting closer to invoking Article 50 to trigger negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union as the Brexit Bill comes for its final vote in the parliament on Monday.
If the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill passes through without any hiccups, Prime Minister May could trigger Article 50 as early as on Tuesday.
However, there will be some back and forth involved with the Bill today as MPs debate amendments made by the Lords and then return it to the Upper House for passage.
Once it is agreed, the bill will go for Royal Assent by Queen Elizabeth II, after which it becomes law.
It is widely believed that the MPs will overturn the two amendments to the Bill suggested by the Lords one that calls for a guarantee of the rights of EU citizens in the UK and the second which ensures Parliament has a vote on any final deal with the EU.
The peers are unlikely to block the Bill further when it returns to them, expected to be later on Monday.
Opposition Labour party has urged the British PM to consider keeping the “really important” Lords amendments.
“The issue of the rights of EU nationals to remain here is a decent human one and part of our economic success or not,” said Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
However, the party is not expected to block passage of the Bill.
Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis had called on Parliament over the weekend to not block the Bill any longer or “tie the prime minister’s hands” over Parliament getting a final vote on the deal and on EU citizens’ rights in the UK.
Meanwhile, ahead of the Commons vote, the heads of 35 Oxford University colleges are pleading with MPs to allow European Union citizens the right to stay after Brexit.
In a letter to The Times, which is signed by Louise Richardson, the Oxford vice-chancellor, and the heads of all but three of the colleges, the academics dismiss as insufficient the indications by ministers that European citizens already resident in Britain were likely to be allowed to stay.
“Our EU colleagues are not reassured by a government which tells them that deportation is not going to happen but declines to convert that assurance into law; some are worried, some are desperate, some are already making plans to leave,” the letter said.
May has committed to triggering Article 50 by the end of March and her time-frame hinges on Monday’s developments in both Houses of Parliament.