When do MPs vote on the Brexit bill, when will Theresa May trigger Article 50 if she wins and what happens next?
MPs are preparing to cast their final vote on the Brexit bill in the House of Commons.
On February 2 a massive majority of MPs gave PM Theresa May permission to start Article 50 exit talks.
A three-day debate on the Brexit Bill began yesterday – with the House of Commons set to vote on handing over the powers.
When will MPs vote on the Brexit Bill?
A Supreme Court ruled the Prime Minister cannot trigger Article 50 without a vote from Parliament.
A two-day debate in the House of Commons followed, with Jeremy Corbyn issuing a three-line whip ordering members of the Labour Party to vote in favour of triggering Article 50.
Theresa May had warned rebel MPs they would be "defying the will of the people" if they block the Brexit bid.
And Brexit Minister David Davies warned pro-EU MPs that they risk abusing the trust of the British electorate if they try and frustrate or block the Brexit bill.
498 MPs respected the referendum result and voted in favour of the Bill, but 114 voted against. That included 47 Labour MPs, 50 SNP, three independents, three Plaid Cymru, one Green, one Tory and seven Lib Dems. See how your MP voted here.
After voting to pass the bill, a further three days of debates were held before the Government can go ahead.
What happens after the final Brexit Bill vote?
Once the bill has passed, the was a committee stage with three more days of debates.
There will be up to three more votes on amendments – which could be hampered by Labour and Tory rebels demanding May gives Parliament the final say on whether to walk out of Brexit negotiations with no deal.
Two pro-EU senior backbenchers told The Sun they are ready to vote with Labour next week to force the PM to concede the key power.
If the bill passes at this stage, it will be followed by the third reading of the bill on Wednesday, which will complete its passage through the Commons by February 8.
It then passes through to the House of Lords, where the Government does not have a majority, for scrutiny on Monday February 20.
When will Article 50 be triggered?
If and when the Bill is passed through the House of Lords, it next undergoes its committee stage.
At this point the Government is set to face numerous attempts to amend the legislation over two days.
This will take place on Monday February 27 and Wednesday March 1.
If peers successfully pass any amendments it will be sent back to the Commons for another vote, in a process known as "ping-pong". This could potentially delay the bill's completion.
The Government's timetable says it is expected to complete its passage through the Lords by Tuesday March 7.
It will then receive the Queen's approval, known as royal assent – and become an Act of Parliament.
If this is successful it would allow Theresa May to then trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty at a European Council meeting in Brussels later that week, three weeks before her self-imposed deadline of March 31.
What happens after Article 50 is triggered?
After triggering Article 50 it is supposed to take two years to completely leave the EU but many experts think it could take far more time.
Invoking the article fires the starting gun on leaving but there will then follow series of complicated negotiations.
The terms of exit have to be agreed between the UK and the 27 other member states who all have a veto over the conditions of leaving.
After that it will then have to be approved in each of the national parliaments meaning French, Irish or Dutch MPs could in theory scupper the process.
The UK leaving is quite a straightforward process, but what will take time is negotiating our new relationship with the EU.
Agreeing new trading and immigration policies with the remaining countries could as long as five years, according to some EU leaders.
Article 50: What it says
1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it. A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.
What will the outcome be?
It is too early to tell what life outside the EU will look like for the UK.
Currently the debate is between whether the UK will opt for a "Hard" or "Soft" Brexit.
A "Hard Brexit" would involve severing most ties with the organisation, abolishing the freedom of movement and not being part of the single market.
A "Soft Brexit" would make for a very similar arrangement to the one we have at the moment.
Given that the UK is the first country to ever leave the EU it is impossible to be clear on whether or not the organisation will come down hard on Britain or be quite accommodating to our requests.
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