Legislation to start the Brexit process will be passed within a fortnight, the government has said, despite opposition parties rushing to amend the bill triggering Article 50.
MPs condemned the government for fast-tracking the two-clause European Union (notification of withdrawal) bill, which was published yesterday and will have five days of scrutiny in the House of Commons over the next two weeks.
Its publication immediately exposed rifts in the Labour Party over Brexit, with one shadow minister, Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq, resigning over Jeremy Corbyn’s command to his MPs not to block the bill.
The Labour leader confirmed a three-line whip for Labour MPs despite the party putting forward a number of amendments seeking to change the bill.
The SNP are also preparing 50 amendments to the legislation, and will attempt to block the bill from progressing to a second reading because the government has “failed to properly consult with the devolved administrations”.
Opposition parties are expected to unite in a bid to force the government to give MPs a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal in 2019. Theresa May has said that if the deal she strikes with the EU is rejected by MPs, the UK will leave anyway without any preferential trade terms.