Europe

UK lawmakers start debate on bill authorizing Brexit talks

  • Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis arrives for a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London, Tuesday Jan. 31, 2017. British lawmakers are starting debate on a bill authorizing the start of European Union exit talks, as the government races to meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline to begin the process. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)

    Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis arrives for a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, London, Tuesday Jan. 31, 2017. British lawmakers are starting debate on a bill authorizing the start of European Union exit talks, as the government races to meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline to begin the process. (Yui Mok/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis speaks in the House of Commons, London during the second reading debate on the EU (Notification on Withdrawal) Bill, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. British lawmakers are starting debate on a bill authorizing the start of European Union exit talks, as the government races to meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline to begin the process. (PA via AP)

    Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis speaks in the House of Commons, London during the second reading debate on the EU (Notification on Withdrawal) Bill, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. British lawmakers are starting debate on a bill authorizing the start of European Union exit talks, as the government races to meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline to begin the process. (PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

British lawmakers are starting debate on a bill authorizing the start of European Union exit talks, as the government races to meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline to begin the process.

The government was forced to introduce legislation after a Supreme Court ruling last week torpedoed Prime Minister Theresa May's effort to start the process of leaving the 28-nation bloc without a parliamentary vote.

Ministers hope the bill can be pushed through both houses of Parliament within weeks, before the March 31 deadline

Brexit Secretary David Davis said Tuesday that Britons had voted to leave the EU, and lawmakers were being asked "a very simple question: Do we trust the people or not?"

The main opposition Labour Party says it will try to amend the bill but not block it.