The Government is concerned pro-EU MPs will try to call for an early day vote later today which could delay the passage through the Commons.
The emergency legislation was drawn up after the Government lost its Supreme Court appeal over the need to have parliamentary consent over the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that would signal the UK leaving the bloc.
As many as 100 Labour MPs and possibly a dozen shadow ministers could defy the three-line whip and vote with the Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party and vote against the Notification of Withdrawal Bill.
Brexit Secretary David Davis arrives at Number 10 for a cabinet meeting
The size of the Labour rebellion, which is expected to include a number of high-profile backbenchers such as Tottenham MP David Lammy, will test the support for leader Jeremy Corbyn who could be forced to sack any minister to defies him.
Talk of a possible “ambush” by Europhile MPs followed an attack by the Brexit Secretary David Davis who called those trying to thwart Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans as abusing the “trust of the people” who had voted to leave in a referendum last year.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis said that having put the decision on the UK's membership of the EU into the hands of voters in last year's referendum, MPs were considering a “very simple question: do we trust the people or not?”
Prime Minister Theresa May at a press conference in Dublin
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 deci
Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis
The Government has allocated five days for debate over the Bill.
While the length of the time between the various stages of the Bill have been shortened due to the need to pass the legislation so Mrs May can keep to her timetable of triggering Article 50 by the end of March, the amount of time allocated to debating the Bill has not been changed.
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President of the European Council, Donald Tusk tweets his frustration.
Mr Davis is expected to 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."
It is believed that a White Paper, setting out the negotiation principles and the Repeal Bill, which will transpose EU law into British law will be published by the end of the week.
Labour MP David Lammy is expected to vote against the Bill
Despite any rebellion by Remain MPs the Bill is expected to clear the Commons on either February 8 or February 9 when it will then pass to the House of Lords for scrutiny on February 20.
According to the Government’s timetable it should clear the Lords by March 7 which could leave the way open for Mrs May to formally announce that Britain will be leaving the EU at a summit in Brussels.
Prime Minister Theresa May at a press conference
This has lead to some believing the Prime Minister could trigger Article 50 on March 9, however a Downing Street spokesman told Express.co.uk this was mere “speculation”, adding the government remained committed to announcing the move before the end of March.