The bill authorising the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50, enabling the UK to leave the EU, has cleared the Commons. In this post Lords expert, Professor Meg Russell, Director of the UCL Constitution Unit, discusses how the second chamber is likely to treat the bill. She suggests that this illustrates important dynamics between Lords and Commons, which are often disappointingly misunderstood both in the media and inside government.
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill is a simple two-clause measure to authorise the government to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and thereby begin negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU. This follows the ‘Leave’ vote in last June’s referendum, followed by the Supreme Court ruling that parliament’s authorisation was required. A previous blog considered the bill’s likely reception in the Commons, where it completed its initial stages on 8 February. Today the bill begins its consideration in the Lords, where it is due a two-day second reading debate, followed by two-day committee stage next week, and a day spent on remaining stages the week after that.