Parliament passes Brexit Bill, permitting Prime Minister to trigger Article 50

Parliament has passed the Brexit Bill, allowing Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Article 50 – the legal process that will mark the beginning of two years of EU exit talks.

Following the Parliamentary vote, the Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent, becoming law today.

The Prime Minister had previously expressed her intention to trigger Article 50 by the end of this month.

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David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, commented: ‘We are now on the threshold of the most important negotiation for our country in a generation.

‘We have a plan to build a global Britain and take advantage of its new place in the world by forging new trading links.’

The passing of the Bill came as the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) upgraded its UK GDP growth forecast for 2017 from 1.1% to 1.4%.

The upgrade has been attributed to an upward revision to UK GDP growth data during the last quarter of 2016, and stronger levels of consumer spending.

However, the BCC warned that rising inflation and ‘increased anxiety’ surrounding the Brexit negotiations could lead to ‘more muted growth’ in the long-term.

Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: ‘With several years of unspectacular growth ahead, coupled with inflationary pressures and the uncertain outcome of Brexit negotiations, it has never been more important to tackle the long-standing constraints that limit business confidence and growth here at home.’

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