The Government has called on politicians and peers to respect the vote of the British people
Ministers have timetabled five days of debate in the House of Commons – two this week and three the week after – sparking accusations it was too rushed.
The 137-word European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill will then go to the House of Lords – where the Government does not have a majority and more opposition is expected although ministers hope unelected peers will in the end fight shy of defying voters and their elected MPs.
The Bill is to let Theresa May trigger up to two years of formal Brexit talks with the European Union by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
She has said she will do that by the end of March but has been forced by this week's Supreme Court ruling to get Parliament's permission first.
The Labour leadership has vowed not to block the Article 50 and Jeremy Corbyn today finally confirmed he will put his MPs on a three-line whip – the strongest possible order – to obey.
But his announcement raised the prospect of fresh chaos in Labour's fractious ranks with some of his frontbench team potentially ready to revolt, risking resignations from his frontbench team.
The Brexit Secretary said parliament allowed a referendum so should support the outcome
Publishing the two-clause Bill, Brexit Secretary David Davis urged Parliament – which he stressed had itself backed giving the people a vote on whether to break from Brussels – to honour the referendum result.
The British people have made the decision to leave the EU
Brexit Secretary David Davis
"The British people have made the decision to leave the EU and this Government is determined to get on with the job of delivering it," he said in a statement.
"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."
Earlier in the House of Commons, Mr Davis refused to say when the Government will publish its White Paper setting out details of its Brexit negotiating aims, which Mrs May has promised.
Government Loses Brexit Vote Appeal
Tue, January 24, 2017
Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process Article 50 for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.
1 of 12
Issued by the Supreme Court of (top row, from the left) Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, (bottom row, from the left) Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge, who agreed with the majority decision that the Government could not trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary approval.
He said it would be "as quickly as possible" but declined to say if it would be before MPs are asked to agree the separate Article 50 process.
And he stressed the Prime Minister had made her aims crystal clear in her recent speech.
The Bill to "confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the EU" was formally presented today in the Commons without debate, at so-called First Reading.
It will get its first "Second Reading" debate, on its general principles, on Tuesday and Wednesday, with a vote at the end of Wednesday's sitting.
Chuka Umunna has blasted the Tory's for trying to 'muzzle' the House of Commons
Detailed "Committee Stage" debate is set for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the next week, ending with its "Third Reading" vote on the Wednesday, February 8.
Labour expects at Committee Stage to propose a handful of amendments to guarantee its own priorities for Brexit including protection of workers' rights.
The Scottish National Party has indicated it will table 50 amendments. The Lib Dems say they will oppose the Bill unless ministers promise a public vote on the final Brexit deal.
Having passed through the Commons the Bill goes to the House of Lords and any changes made there will go back to the Commons for further consideration.
The Government insisted the Bill was "straightforward" but some MPs criticised its haste.
Labour's Chuka Umunna said the Government was trying to "muzzle" the Commons.
Labour former minster Ben Bradshaw said: "Just three days to debate the detail of the most important issue facing this country in a generation, the repercussions of which will face generations to come, is totally unacceptable."
Commons Leader David Lidington said it was plenty of time and critical MPs' rage was "synthetic".
Later Mr Corbyn put himself on collision course with some of his troops by stating, after days of dithering, that they will be on a three-line whip next week not to block Article 50.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has ordered his MPs not to block Article 50
Frontbenchers are generally expected to quit or be sacked if they defy a three-line whip.
A Labour source urged people not to "assume anything about disciplinary action" if shadow ministers rebel but added: "What is normally expected of people will be expected of them."
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson today hailed "global Britain's" prospects after Brexit.
He told the House of Lords' International Relations Committee the UK was well-placed to prosper at a time of world change including Brexit and Donald Trump's election.
The world, he said, had changed from the days of the British Empire: "Most of us, my generation, grew up feeling that those days were mercifully behind us but also that Britain was in a long, slow glissando of post-war, post-imperial decline.”
But in 2017 he saw Britain becoming ever more global and influential, including through the huge number of Britons living abroad sharing our culture and values.
The new US administration had made clear Britain was "front of the line" for a trade deal and Brexit meant Britain could again "reach out around the world and forge new trading links" after 44 years of being unable to do that within the EU, the leading Brexit-campaigner told peers.
He highlighted new British trade opportunities in the Gulf, the far East and south-east Asia.
"These are huge growing economies and we have a growing cachet … The idea of doing business with Britain is something which captures people's imaginations and we should capitalise on it." he said.
BORDER-FREE Schengen: Countries you can visit WITHOUT a passport
Mon, January 23, 2017
If you are an EU national, you do not need to show your national ID card or passport when you are travelling from one border-free Schengen EU country to another. The Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders.
1 of 25
Countries were urged by a British City watchdog to back free trade and open markets by adopting broad regulatory frameworks that smoothed access to global markets.
Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Autohrity, told a finance markets conference in Berlin that this would be "a step in the right direction at a time when the openness of the world economy is more under threat.
"Free trade and open markets remain in my view the best approach to secure stronger growth."
He did not mention Brexit directly but warned any move to limit market access – which City firms fear the EU will attempt to punish Britain for leaving and steal London's trade – would be "a big mistake, in my view".
Mr Corbyn also suffered his first resignation over the vote when early years education spokeswoman Tulip Siddiq quit, saying the best way to fight "Theresa May's hard Brexit” was from the backbenches.
She said voting to start leaving the EU would betray her constituents in Hampstead and Kilburn, where about 75 per cent voted Remain. Her final decision was triggered by his requiring MPs to back the Article 50 Bill.
But another potential rebel, Shadow Business Secretary Clive Lewis, said he would not rebel at Second Reading because he would "respect the result of the referendum" although Labour would seek amendments to protect workers' rights and living standards.
John Mills, chairman of the Labour Leave group, said Labour MPs even considering voting against triggering Article 50 showed how out of touch the party was with its traditional supporters.
Noting that 70 per cent of Labour-held seats voted last year to leave the EU, he added: "There is now an existential crisis facing the Labour Party. If we continue down this road, and MPs oppose the will of the British people in favour of Brexit, there is no plausible way in which I can see the Party forming a government in 2020."