LONDON Prime Minister Theresa May is seeking parliament's approval to trigger the legal process for leaving the European Union. To do that she is trying to pass a new law giving her the right to notify the EU of Britain's intention to leave.
May is expected to win approval in time to trigger exit talks by March 31, although pro-EU MPs, including a small handful from her own party, are using the legislative process as a chance to try to attach extra conditions to the Brexit plan.
Jan. 26 - The government published the 'European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill'
Feb. 1 - The bill passes the first legislative test, winning a vote in parliament on the broad principles of the law by 498 votes to 114.
Feb. 6 - MPs begin debating specific amendments to the bill. Two groups of amendments are due to be discussed and could be voted upon:
- Amendments relating to parliamentary scrutiny of the process for withdrawal. This debate is due to last four hours, starting at approximately 1700 GMT.
- Amendments relating to devolved administrations or legislatures. This debate is currently scheduled to finish around seven hours starting after the first debate starts.
Feb. 7 - Debate continues in parliament, with two further groups of amendments up for discussion and votes:
- Amendments relating to a vote on the final terms of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. Likely to be the most troublesome for the government, this debate will last four hours and is scheduled to start at 1245 GMT.
- Amendments relating to calls for the publication of assessments on the impact of Brexit. This debate will finish around seven hours after the first debate starts.
Feb. 8 - Final day of debate in parliament, split into two sections with votes, scheduled to start at 1245 GMT.
- Amendments relating to the priorities for Britain's exit talks. This debate will last five hours.
- A final debate finishing around seven hours starting after the first debate starts.
- According to the government timetable, if approved, the legislation will then be passed to the House of Lords upper chamber.
Feb. 9 to 20 - Parliamentary recess
Feb. 20 - House of Lords is provisionally scheduled to begin its scrutiny process with a two-day debate.
Feb. 27 and March 1 - Lords due to begin 'Committee stage' of legislation. Further amendments will be discussed.
March 7 - Lords debate final wording of bill.
- After this stage, if the bill has been amended by lords, these amendments will be passed to the lower chamber for approval. The bill can be passed back and forth until they agree.
- Once approved by both houses, it will go on to receive 'Royal Assent' and officially become law.
(Reporting by William James)