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In mid January 2017, the Prime Minister set out a 12 point plan for Brexit that focused on getting a good deal for British businesses, regaining control of borders and ending the Jurisdiction of European courts.

Theresa May’s 12 point plan was:

  1. Provide certainty about the process of leaving the EU.
  2. Control of our own laws. Leaving the European Union will mean that our laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
  3. Strengthen the Union between the four nations of the United Kingdom. 
  4. Deliver a practical solution that allows the maintenance of the Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland.
  5. Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe.
  6. Protect rights for EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU. We want to guarantee rights of EU citizens living in Britain and the rights of British nationals in other member states, as early as we can.
  7. Protect workers’ rights. Not only will the government protect the rights of workers set out in European legislation, we will build on them.
  8. Free trade with European markets through a bold and ambitious free trade agreement with the European Union.
  9. New trade agreements with other countries. It is time for Britain to get out into the world and rediscover its role as a great, global, trading nation.
  10. The best place for science and innovation. We will welcome agreement to continue to collaborate with our European partners on major science, research and technology initiatives.
  11. Co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism. We will continue to work closely with our European allies in foreign and defence policy even as we leave the EU itself.
  12. A smooth, orderly Brexit. We believe a phased process of implementation will be in the interests of Britain, the EU institutions and member states.

The Prime Minister explained that her plans for Brexit would not include membership of the single market as this would require the UK to accept free movement of people – something she recognised was a driving factor in the UK voting against remaining in the EU. She said that she would seek “the greatest possible access to the single market on a reciprocal basis, through a comprehensive trade agreement”. She also said that she would ideally remain part of the customs agreement with the EU member states but that she had “open mind” over whether this would be through associate membership of the customs union or through some other arrangement.

The Supreme Court ruled by eight to three and they upheld November’s High Court ruling in which it was stated that it would be unlawful for the government to rely on executive powers to implement the outcome of last year’s referendum. It said a law would have to be passed to authorise Article 50 but the precise form such legislation should take was “entirely a matter” for Parliament.

The Government has since published its Bill to trigger Article 50 and the Labour party has responded by proposing a series of amendments. MPs will have just five days to debate the bill. Whilst many Labour party MPs are keen to vote against the bill, or at least, to amend it, Jeremy Corbyn has said that he will be calling a Three Line Whip and insisting that his party votes for the Bill.

Whatever happens, it looks like it will be a very eventful few weeks in British politics and one that will alter the course of history.

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