Article 50 could be triggered as soon as Tuesday, with Parliament finally expected to clear the Brexit bill this coming Monday, according to various reports.
The bill returns to the House of Commons on Monday after receiving two amendments in the House of Lords. MPs are expected to vote down those amendments, meaning the bill will then have to go back to the Lords, who will then likely cave and pass the bill unamended.
All of this could happen as soon as Monday night, meaning Prime Minister Theresa May will have the power to trigger Article 50 and begin the Brexit process as soon as Tuesday.
The Guardian reports that two government sources said Tuesday or Wednesday would be possible dates to begin Britain’s divorce from the European Union, although Downing Street has officially played down the rumours.
It comes as the Labour Party have written a letter to the Prime Minister desperately pleading for her to accept the two Lords amendments on the rights of EU citizens and granting parliament a “meaningful” vote.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer and Labour leader in the House of Lords Baroness Smith said: “We would urge you to reflect and reconsider on the overwhelming case to act on these two specific issues as this is the final opportunity to put vital guarantees and protections into legislation.”
However, the government has insisted it plans on doing these anyway, and that the Brexit bill must pass through parliament unamended or else it could tie the Prime Minister’s hands in negotiations.
Theresa May is due to give a statement to the House of Commons on Tuesday reporting on the recent summit with EU leaders. She may use that as an opportunity to announce she is triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
EU leaders have said they will respond to Britain’s triggering of Article 50 within two days.
European Council President Donald Tusk said: “When the UK notifies, it is our goal to react with the draft negotiation guidelines for the 27 Member States to consider.
“For this I think we need more or less 48 hours. Leaders will then meet, probably in April, to finalise these. But as for now we are still waiting for the UK to trigger.”