David Davis will open the Article 50 debate today
Brexit Secretary David Davis will this afternoon open two days of debate on the second reading in the House of Commons of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.
If passed, the Bill will hand Theresa May the authority to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and start EU divorce talks.
She has vowed to invoke Article 50 by the end of March.
Mr Davis will say: “It is not a Bill about whether or not the UK should leave the EU, or how it should do so. It is simply about implementing a decision already made, a point of no return already passed.
“We asked the people of the UK if they wanted to leave the EU; they decided they did."
We asked the people of the UK if they wanted to leave the EU; they decided they did
The 133-word Bill follows the Supreme Court's ruling last week the Prime Minister must first gain the consent of MPs and peers before beginning EU exit negotiations.
The Liberal Democrats, SNP and rebel Labour MPs will this week introduce five wrecking amendments aimed at derailing the Bill.
Each of these amendments will be debated over the next two days, with votes to be held tomorrow.
But it has been reported Government ministers and Tory MPs have also been told to stay in the House of Commons until midnight tonight amid fears of an “ambush” late-night vote by pro-Remain MPs.
Labour will only try to introduce their planned seven official amendments at a later stage in the process and not this week.
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has ordered his MPs not to block Brexit but could face a rebellion by up to 100 MPs.
If the Bill survives unscathed, it will return to the House of Commons for a third reading and a final vote on February 8, when it will then pass to the House of Lords.