The Article 50 bill will receive Royal Assent and become law over the "coming days", Theresa May told MPs on Tuesday (14 March).

The development comes after the draft legislation passed through parliament on Monday evening, giving the UK prime minister the legal authority to start Brexit negotiations with the EU.

May stressed that she remained "on track" to meet her self-imposed end of March deadline and promised to return to the Commons by the end of month to notify MPs of her formally invoking Article 50.

"This will be a defining moment for our whole country as we begin to forge a new relationship with Europe and a new role for ourselves in the world," she said.

"We will be a strong, self-governing global Britain with control once again over our borders and our laws."

The Conservative premier also attacked First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, who on Monday called for a second Scottish independence referendum. "This is not a moment to play politics or create uncertainty," May warned.

The SNP leader had earlier that day took to Twitter to point out that May had not won a general election. "I was elected as FM [First Minister] on a clear manifesto commitment. The PM is not yet elected by anyone," she said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, said May and her ministers had adopted a "complacent" strategy to the Brexit negotiations. The left-winger argued that jobs, businesses and public services could all be hit if the UK splits from the economic and political bloc without a deal.

The Article 50 bill

A bill to:

Confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty
on European Union, the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Power to notify withdrawal from the EU

(1)The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European
Union, the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the EU.

(2)This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European
5Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment.

2 Short title

This Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act

"Far from taking back control, leaving Britain to World Trade Organisation rules would mean losing control, jobs and frankly losing out," Corbyn said.

"So, when the prime minister says 'no deal is better than a bad deal', let me be clear: no deal is a bad deal."

He added: "As we move towards the triggering of Article 50, there is much uncertainty about Britain's future.

"A responsible government would set a positive tone with our negotiating partners and would move to protect our economy, workers and citizens at the earliest opportunity.

"Instead we have a reckless government playing fast and loose with the British economy. We will fight jobs and the economy using every parliamentary mechanism that is available. The government should welcome that scrutiny."

Theresa May's 12-point Brexit plan

  1. Government will provide certainty and clarity to politicians and businesses
  2. UK will 'control our own laws' by quitting the European Court of Justice
  3. Strengthen the 'precious union' between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland
  4. There will be no 'hard border' between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
  5. UK will 'control' EU immigration, while recruiting the 'brightest and the best' from around the world
  6. Government will seek a reciprocal residency rights deal for EU and UK workers 'as soon as possible'
  7. To protect workers' rights
  8. Ministers will seek a 'bold' and 'comprehensive' free trade agreement with the EU
  9. UK will seek a customs agreement so that it can broker its own trade deals with non-EU nations
  10. Maintain European science and innovation ties in bid to keep the UK a 'world leader'
  11. UK will continue to work with the EU to combat the threat of terrorism
  12. Ministers will seek to avoid a 'cliff edge' and seek a smooth split from the EU