Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Commons day begins with questions to business ministers
  2. Main business today is debate on bill to trigger Article 50
  3. Bill gives power to PM to start process of pulling UK out of EU
  4. Education Committee investigate school funding
  5. Home Secretary Amber Rudd questioned by committee at 4pm

Live Reporting

By Aiden James, Kate Whannel and Gary Connor

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Debate adjourned

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    House of Commons

    The midnight hour is approaching and the debate is adjourned for the day.

    Labour MP Karen Buck begins her adjournment debate on school funding in Greater London.

    And that's where we leave our coverage.

    Join us tomorrow when it's PMQs - and MPs will resume their debate of the bill to trigger Article 50.

    Good night.

  2. No financial implications?

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Mark Durkan

    SDLP MP Mark Durkan tells MPs that there is more substance in some of the amendments than the bill itself.

    He adds that it is "bizarre" that the bill's accompanying notes does not foresee "any financial implications".

    Tell that to the regions that will lose vital funding, he says.

    He says the implications of the government's Brexit objectives have to be spelt out by the government and tested by parliament.

    Specifically he wants to know if the "lip service" the government is paying to the Good Friday Agreement "actually means anything".

  3. Courageous or bonkers?

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Matt Warman

    From one of the most remain constituencies, to the one that voted most strongly for leave.

    Conservative MP for Boston and Skegness Matt Warman, himself a remainer, tells MPs that his constituents voted 76% to leave the EU.

    Fellow Conservative MP Edward Leigh praises Mr Warman for his "courageousness" in making a principled stand during the referendum.

    "Courageous or bonkers?" wonders Matt Warman. 

    He warns that there has been a growing divide between Westminster and the constituencies such as his.

    "Only by politicians keeping their promises we will achieve the restoration of some kind of faith in politics," he says, adding that not voting to trigger Article 50 will undermine faith in democracy. 

  4. A two clause bill is 'unacceptable'

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour's Helen Hayes represents Dulwich and West Norwood  - one of the most heavily remain constituencies in the country.

    She argues that it is "completely unacceptable" to be asked to trigger Article 50 on the basis of a 12 bullet point speech and a two clause bill.

    "I cannot vote to give the government a blank cheque on Brexit. I cannot vote to trigger Article 50 on the basis of a single speech by the prime minister."

  5. 'Profound implications' for the continuation of the UK

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Hywell Williams

    Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Hywell Williams now speaks.

    He warns that Brexit will have "profound implications" for the UK's constitutional settlement and "the continuation of the UK".

    He therefore argues that "the fullest possible debate " is needed.

    He tells MPs that Plaid Cymru have been "clear and consistent" about the need to prioritise the economy and ensure unfettered access to European markets.

  6. Old battles and mutual respect

    Analysis of Brexit bill debate

    Sean Curran

    Parliamentary correspondent

    Bill Cash and Ken Clarke

    Europe has been one of the great fault lines running through British politics, a source of party splits and parliamentary rebellions. 

    The referendum certainly didn't end tensions and divisions and there will be many more arguments over the next two years. 

    But after almost ten hours, one of the most striking things about this debate, is how good tempered it's been.  

    Perhaps the tone was established early on by those two veterans of the European argument, Kenneth Clarke and Sir Bill Cash? 

    During his speech, Ken Clarke insisted he was on good terms with the people he dubbed "the hard-line Euro-sceptics" because he respected their sincerity. 

    And he joked that "hot tongs" wouldn't make Sir Bill Cash vote for membership of the EU. 

    Sir Bill returned the compliment. He paid tribute to Mr Clarke and declared: "I respect him and the way in which we have battled over these matters over all these years." 

    Who’d have thought we’d see such a public display of clubbable chumminess from two veterans of the bitter Maastricht rebellions?

  7. 'So much for a union of equals'

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Martin Docherty-Hughes

    SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes objects to the Scottish Parliament not being given a say in the triggering of Article 50.

    The Supreme Court rejected the Scottish government's argument that Holyrood should get a say on the triggering of Article 50.  

    He says it is a "particular insult" that the "unelected" House of Lords will have a greater say than the "elected institutions of my nation".

    "So much for a union of equals."

  8. A to Z of Europe: Maastricht Treaty

    Treaty of the European Union

    Maastricht is perhaps the best known and most controversial of the European treaties.

    It became renowned not only for the long and fractious negotiations and baffling terminology involved in drafting it, but also for the difficulties many member states had in ratifying it.

    Maastricht is officially known as the Treaty of the European Union and with it the EU came into existence for the first time.

    By adding two new areas - justice and home affairs and a common foreign and security policy - to the existing European Community, the so-called three pillars of the Union were established.

    Read more.

  9. 'If you respect the differences, you remain a family'

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Richard Arkless

    Another MP who spoke a little earlier in the debate was the SNP's Richard Arkless.

    SNP MPs cheered as one of their own rose.

    He likened the UK to a family. 

    You don't buy the same size shoes for the family, he said, adding that "if you respect the differences you remain a family".

    Equally, he said, the implications of Brexit should not be forced on Scotland.

    He argued that the UK can leave the EU and Scotland can remain in single market. 

    He added that Scotland can "continue to benefit from the free market" while the UK leaves the customs union.

  10. 'I would be a hypocrite if I tried to block it'

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Tania Mathias

    I voted to remain, my constituency voted to remain, Conservative Tania Mathias told MPs earlier.

    She said that she would vote to trigger Article 50 because "I would be a hypocrite if I tried to block it today."

    She said that she would have "vehemently oppose" any moves to block the vote had the result been 52% remain.

    She also added that voting to block Article 50 would "entrench divisions" and "alienate voters". 

  11. MPs clash over disputed £350m promise

    Brexit bill debate

    Video content

    Video caption: Wes Streeting and Michael Gove dispute the NHS promise made during the referendum.
  12. Triggering Article 50 will be 'the end of the phoney war'

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Stephen Kinnock

    Labour MP Stephen Kinnock tells MPs that he believes the referendum result will weaken the economy, erode sovereignty and diminish the UK's place in the world.

    However, he goes on to say that "above all I am a democrat" and argues that frustrating the Brexit process would erode democracy.

    He tells MPs that when Article 50 is triggered "the phoney war will end".

    The success or failure of Brexit, he says, will depend on the terms of Article 218 rather than Article 50. 

    Article 218 sets out the EU’s rules for conducting negotiations with third parties.

    He says the country can choose an interim deal "that truly protects our national interest" or "tumble into a WTO Brexit that will have a catastrophic impact on our place in the world".

  13. Blocking Article 50 will lead to 'political implosion'

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Steve Baker

    Conservative Steve Baker warns that if MPs block Article 50 there would be "a political implosion which we can scarcely imagine".

    He then begins to praise the former Prime Minister David Cameron who he believes has "unfairly" been described as reckless.

    He argues that in years to come Mr Cameron will be seen as a great statesman.

  14. MP 'angry' over lack of reassurance for constituents' jobs

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Conservative Ed Vaizey says he will support the bill but adds that it will be "difficult" given that his constituency is solidly remain.

    He describes himself as "so angry" with the government for failing to give reassurance to those of his constituents who work at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.

    The Culham Centre for Fusion Energy near Oxford is largely funded by the EU and dozens of its scientists come from outside the UK.  

    He also says he is "sick and tried" of being told that holding the government to account amounts to trying to block Brexit. 

  15. Wes Streeting and Michael Gove argue over £350m promise

    Brexit bill debate

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Michael Gove and Wes Streeting

    Labour's Wes Streeting acknowledges that those who campaigned for remain should accept the result of the EU referendum.

    However, he says the victors must also abide by their promises in the campaign.

    "Just as Brexit means Brexit so too should £350m per week for the NHS mean £350m per week for the NHS," he says.

    Conservative - and leave campaigner - Michael Gove accuses the MP of being "economical with the actualité".

    He says that the Vote Leave campaign argued that "we should take back control of the money and spend it on our priorities" adding that he argued for £100m per week to go to the NHS.

    That sentence was rather too long to fit on a bus, suggests Mr Streeting.