May to address MPs after Brexit bill approved

2017-03-14 08:26
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. (AP file)

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. (AP file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - British Prime Minister Theresa May will make a major statement to parliament on Tuesday, just hours after MPs enabled her to start the withdrawal process from the European Union.

After weeks of wrangling, lawmakers on Monday finally granted May the right to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which would start the two-year divorce process with the bloc.

The bill still requires the formality of royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II to become law, which could come as early as Tuesday, allowing May to begin Brexit any time after.

The government is reportedly looking to do so after a March 25 summit in Rome to mark the EU's 60th birthday.

The victory of May's government in parliament on Monday, however, was marred by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlining plans to hold a second independence referendum - an indication of the obstacles that lie ahead.

Warnings from Brussels that Britain will have to pay a hefty divorce bill and face tough conditions for leaving have added to the uncertainty, as have warning signs that Brexit is hitting the economy.

Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, there are fears that leaving the EU could see a return to a hard customs border with Ireland, antagonising nationalists and threatening a hard-won peace in the region.

'Uncertainty and division' 

May on Monday condemned the idea of another Scottish referendum, saying most Scots did not want it and warning it would create "uncertainty and division".

The British government has the power to block Sturgeon's request, but this would likely only energise the Scottish nationalists' cause.

In the first vote in 2014, Scots voted by 55% to reject separation. However, polls suggest any new referendum would be closer and Scotland's EU membership could be a key reason.

During the EU referendum, 62% of the Scottish electorate voted to remain, compared to only 48% for the whole of Britain.

A eurosceptic press in London has lashed out at Sturgeon's referendum plans, with the Daily Mail, Britain's second biggest-selling newspaper writing "Hands off our Brexit, Nicola!," while the Daily Telegraph described the SNP leader's move as "The new battle for Britain".

As negotiations loom, the prime minister could also face growing dissent within her own ranks.

"The unity of the Tory party is shakier than it seems," Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London, told AFP.

Decades-old splits in the Conservatives over Europe may resurface. While the eurosceptics are in charge now, most Conservatives wanted to stay in the EU.

May's majority in the Commons is only slim, which has led to calls from senior Tories for a snap election to bolster her support as Britain heads into the Brexit negotiations.

Read more on:    theresa may  |  uk  |  brexit

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.