British lawmakers back bill to trigger Brexit talks

British lawmakers back bill to trigger Brexit talks

Several legislators have backed the bill out of respect for voters’ June 23 decision.

The Dollar Business Bureau

The British lawmakers have moved a bill authorising the government’s Brexit negotiation proceedings as Britain is all set to resume talks within a few weeks.

The British lower house decisively sanctioned the bill by 498 votes to 114, thereby moving Britain closer to pulling out of the European Union.

Earlier, the Scottish National Party had proposed to delay Brexit negotiation talks, as the UK government has not unveiled comprehensive terms for the negotiations, which was also defeated by the lawmakers.

During the two-day debate in the lower house, several Euroskeptic and Europhile legislators underlined that they would go ahead with Brexit out of respect for British voters’ decision. The opposition parties, meanwhile, have been opposing “hard Brexit,” which will result in Britain losing its full access to the EU’s single market and will face restrictions or trade tariffs.

The bill will come back to the lower chamber for a final nod and then will finally move on to Parliament’s upper chamber. Prime Ministry Theresa May is looking to get the bill accepted by early March in order to meet its March 31 deadline.

Many lawmakers plan to oppose the commencement of withdrawal talks, as they accuse the British government of rushing toward the Brexit. The government, however, says it has come out with its withdrawal strategy on a white paper on Thursday. The paper will outline Downing Street's negotiating agendas for leaving the EU.

Reacting to Britain’s rush to trigger Brexit, Scottish National Party lawmaker Angus MacNeil said, “The House of Commons has taken leave of its senses.”

“It’s crossing its fingers and hoping for the best,” MacNeil said, underscoring that it will attempt to  amend it later to avert the so-called “hard Brexit.”

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The Dollar Business Bureau - Feb 02, 2017 12:00 IST