On Wednesday, 8th of February, the House of Commons has approved the bill allowing Theresa May’s government to officially begin the Brexit process. The bill has to now be presented to the House of Lords so that the higher house of Parliament gives out a final decision which could take weeks.

The bill was passed by a large margin with 494 MPs in favour and 122 against. Whilst a majority of deputies were against Brexit during the referendum campaign, the people have spoken and the elected MPs shall follow its lead. As David Davis, secretary of state for exiting the European Union said: “The decision on EU membership has been made by the people we serve. It is now time for everyone, whichever way they voted in the referendum, to unite to make a success of the important task at hand for our country. »

In order to obtain said unity, Theresa May promised a motion included in the final agreement with Brussels which will be submitted to the vote of both houses. This motion would express the extend to which the UK wants to exchange with the EU after Brexit, in other words, whether the UK wants a deal with the EU or whether it wants to cut all ties.

After losing her legal battle to the Supreme Court, Theresa May might be able to trigger Article 50 – the legal mechanism to begin the EU withdrawal – by the end of March as she vowed to do so. However, triggering the Article might be considered the easy part of the process. The two-year negotiations that will follow will be relentless as both parties have a point to prove: on one hand the UK has to remain firm in its decision to leave the EU whilst trying to keep some economic ties, on the other hand the EU will have no mercy for the British Isles as being too soft might break this union already crumbling under the rise of extreme right-wing political parties often eurosceptics.

Lucie LECLERC-VASALLO

Learn more:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/08/europe/brexit-bill-parliament-vote-article-50/

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/europe/2016-12-12/europe-after-brexit

http://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/trump-et-le-brexit-sources-danxiete-pour-les-britanniques.afp.com.20170207.doc.lh0wv.xml?utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_source=Twitter&utm_term=Autofeed&link_time=1486452110#xtor=CS1-9 [French]

http://www.lemonde.fr/referendum-sur-le-brexit/article/2017/02/08/brexit-les-deputes-britanniques-donnent-leur-feu-vert-a-theresa-may_5076788_4872498.html [French]

http://www.lemonde.fr/referendum-sur-le-brexit/article/2016/06/23/quelles-consequences-concretes-en-cas-de-brexit_4956191_4872498.html [French]

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