British government introduces Article 50 bill authorizing Brexit

DW – January 26, 2017

The concise draft legislation, a two-clause bill published Thursday and entitled “European Union Notification of Withdrawal Bill,” would confer on Prime Minister May the power to start negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Brexit Minister David Davis called on lawmakers to quickly pass the bill and there by enact the will of the people.

“The British people have made the decision to leave the EU,” he said, alluding to the June 2016 referendum. “I trust that Parliament, which backed the referendum by six to one, will respect the decision taken by the British people and pass the legislation quickly.”

The bill’s publication leaves parliament just three days to debate the measure before a final House of Commons vote on February 8. Opposition parliamentarians have protested the short timetable, with some calling it “disgraceful,” and promised to propose numerous amendments to the draft, which could slow down its passage.