Following the ruling of the Supreme Court last week that dictated that Parliament had to be consulted prior to the invoking of Article 50 - the mechanism of leaving the European Union - the Government laid a Bill before Parliament giving the Prime Minister the authority to do just that.

This was laid before the House on Thursday and at the time of writing will be debated at second reading on Tuesday and Wednesday (31st Jan / 1st Feb) when there will doubtless be many contributions. It will then be voted on sometime on the Wednesday evening. By the time you read this column that vote will have taken place and, whilst it is always unwise to predict anything in politics - particularly at present, it is expected to clear this first hurdle of parliamentary procedure.

The Bill is very short and concise, as its purpose is purely to give the Prime Minister the authority to commence Article 50. It will be back on the floor of the House the following week for what is known as Committee Stage, and there will be further debates over three days with the likelihood of further votes.

This small piece of legislation is commanding huge attention and it will follow the normal procedure of any piece of legislation going through Parliament. For reference there is a glossary of terms on my website that explains many of the parliamentary terms such as Second Reading, Report Stage etc. and also parliamentary processes, which I hope people may find useful.

There was much comment over whether the Supreme Court were right to rule the way they did and the relationship between the judiciary and Parliament, however their decision has been made and we have to work with it. This Bill is necessary as a consequence of that ruling, it is one that I will support as I believe that the Prime Minister is right to look to invoke Article 50 by the end of March as she has made clear she will.

Last week also saw the Prime Minister meet with the new American president Donald Trump. She was the first major overseas Leader to do so. Britain has always had strong relations with the United States. The relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan has been much referred to recently, the relationship between Tony Blair and George Bush was also much scrutinised and Theresa May will build a working relationship with Mr. Trump. I believe it is important to maintain our links with the US, but the Prime Minister should be firm with Mr. Trump over some of his more unacceptable utterances and I believe she is strong enough to do so.


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