Week ahead

David Davis
Image caption The Brexit Secretary, David Davis, will make a statement to Parliament following the Supreme Court judgement, outlining Parliament's future role

Having trailed the possibility of a Supreme Court ruling on Parliament's role in triggering the formal EU process for Brexit - Article 50 - for the last two weeks, we finally have a definite date for this crucial announcement: Tuesday.

The government will give its response in a statement from the Brexit Secretary David Davis, with business being interrupted at some point in mid-afternoon, after ministers have had a chance to digest the small print of the judgment.

If, as expected, the Supremes announce that a full-scale bill has to go through Parliament, he may well announce the timing there and then.

Any bill will of course require the full cycle of second reading, committee, report and third reading proceedings in both Commons and Lords - and the critical point will be the amount of time allowed, particularly to MPs.

The smart move would be to clear a pretty humdrum parliamentary schedule and let them debate Article 50 until they drop, to defuse any suspicion that discussion has been curtained by procedural jiggery-pokery.

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Week ahead

Supreme Court Image copyright European Photopress Agency
Image caption The Supreme Court judgement on Article 50 is imminent...

With rising chatter anticipating the publication of the Supreme Court ruling on whether Parliament has to vote on the triggering of Brexit, via the now-famous Article 50, next week's biggest parliamentary event will probably be the ensuing ministerial statement giving the government response.

And parliamentary follow-up can also be expected after it was confirmed that Theresa May will make her long-awaited major speech on Brexit on Tuesday, which might offer some glimpses of the government's negotiating aims.

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Week ahead

House of commons

They're back and with Brexit looming, it may not be long before the ramifications of leaving the EU begins to crowd out almost all other issues from the agenda in both Lords and Commons.

But not quite yet - with their lordships, in particular, cranking up for a considerable clash over the Higher Education Bill. And watch out for a Commons-Lords clash on peers' call for an independent inquiry into the way the police complaints system dealt with allegations of corrupt relationships between the police and newspapers... a modest appetiser, with a government decision looming on press regulation.

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Twelve parliamentarians to shape Westminster in 2017

Who are the 12 parliamentarians who will shape Westminster this year?

As 2017 gets underway, here's a rundown of the MPs and peers who are going to be making the political weather in the coming 12 months.

1. Lindsay Hoyle

Image copyright PA

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Brexit: How rebel MPs outfoxed Cameron to get an EU referendum

David Cameron's Bloomberg speech Image copyright PA

The Leave campaign's victory in the EU referendum made headlines around the world, but how did it all come about?

When the time comes to erect heroic bronze statues to heroes of Brexit, I have a couple of left-field nominations: Tony Wright and John Bercow.

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Week ahead

Image caption The prime minister will be appearing before the Liaison Committee on Tuesday, before the Commons rises for the Christmas recess.

Three Parliamentary days remain in 2016 - but there will be some important moments before honourable members and noble lords begin their Christmas break - notably Theresa May's debut before the Commons Liaison Committee. And there's also a farewell to a long-serving minister in the Lords.


In the Commons (2.30pm) it's Education questions, and as usual any post weekend urgent questions or ministerial statements will be dealt with at 3.30pm, including Theresa May's reporting back from the European Council summit in Brussels.

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Week ahead

Lechworth Garden City Image copyright Garden City Collection

It's telling how concerned lots of MPs are about lots of different aspects of the planning system.

The accumulating amendments and new clauses that assorted MPs want to attach to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill this week reflect issues many of them are clearly tripping over, around the working of the (relatively) new-look planning process, and the kind of developments that are getting through it, so that the bill provides what looks like the most contested action in the Commons this week.

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What next if the government loses its Brexit appeal?

EU flag in front of Big Ben Image copyright PA

What if, as expected, the government loses its Brexit appeal in the Supreme Court?

The High Court ruling that ministers could not start the process of Britain's exit from the EU without a vote by Parliament was made by the most senior judges in England and Wales, the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls, so there is little expectation that the appeal to the Supreme Court will reverse it.

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Week ahead

New Lib Dem MP Sarah Olney Image copyright Getty Images

A bolt of lightning has just passed through what was becoming a "Zombie Parliament".

Just as MPs were contemplating long weeks of uncontroversial legislation, one line whips and general debates, not just until the Christmas break, but well into 2017, the voters of Richmond Park have reminded them that, in 2016, it's never quiet in politics for very long.

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Wily MP plays first Article 50 card

Conservative MP Peter Bone Image copyright PA

In the blink of a Commons eye - it took just 21 seconds on Wednesday - the Conservative MP Peter Bone introduced a private member's bill aimed at cutting through the constitutional imbroglio over the triggering of the process to leave the EU.

His Withdrawal from the European Union (Article 50) Bill would require the government to start the formal process by 31 March 2017. The small snag is that it doesn't have a prayer of getting a second reading debate - so why is the wily Mr Bone, a veteran of the private members' bill process, as well as a key anti-EU agitator on the Tory backbenches, bothering?

Read full article Wily MP plays first Article 50 card