Last night’s historic Commons vote drives Brexit forward and all eyes are on what happens next. Here’s Guido’s rundown of crucial events in the coming months.
20-21 Article 50 Bill Second Reading, House of Lords. The government doesn’t have a majority in the Lords. Labour peers promise not to derail the Bill, but rogue Lords could cause trouble. The majority of Lib Dem peers want a second referendum and single market access which the government has set its face against.
27-28 Article 50 Bill Committee Stage, House of Lords. If the Lords do make major amendments to the Bill they will be discussed in detail over two days.
7 – Article 50 Bill Third Reading, House of Lords. A Bill amended by pro-EU peers seeking to frustrate Brexit would be returned to the Commons for “ping-pong” – but government sources have threatened peers that the Lords could be abolished if they take this course. Otherwise, a non-amended Bill will become law.
8 Phillip Hammond delivers the Budget, a key opportunity to build on May’s 12 principles and present in more detail the economic vision for Brexit Britain.
9-10 European Council meeting in Brussels. An obvious opportunity for May to formally tell EU leaders that Britain is leaving.
13, 14, 15 Days on which the Commons will undo any Lords’ amendments.
25 – EU Summit to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Treaty of Rome. Awkward.
31 – May’s deadline for enacting Article 50, triggering a two year negotiation window for a Brexit deal to be in place before the March 2019 European elections.
Then the real work begins…