UK parliament votes to empower May to trigger Brexit
UK parliament votes to empower May to trigger Brexit

The UK House of Commons on Wednesday approved HC Bill 132 [text], which empowers Prime Minister Theresa May [official website] to notify the EU of the UK’s intent to withdraw. Known as the “European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill,” the legislation would confer power onto the prime minister to initiate Brexit pursuant to Art. 50(2) [text] of the Lisbon Treaty, which formed the EU. The bill enjoyed support from Labour as well as the Conservative government, and passed 498 to 114 [BBC report]. While UK citizens voted to leave the EU [JURIST report] in a June referendum, a vote before parliament was required [JURIST report] by a Supreme Court decision in January. Provided the bill progresses through the House of Lords, May will have the power to initiate the exit at the time of her choosing, though she has stated her intention to commence the process by March 31.

Though many questions remain as to how Brexit will be initiated and what the cost will be [BBC report] to the UK economy, May’s administration has remained committed to the nation’s exit from the EU. May took power this summer after former prime minister David Cameron, who supported remaining in the EU, resigned. Despite calls for a second referendum and movements for independence [JURIST reports] within the constituent nations of the UK, the movement remains on track [CNN report].