Britain plans for all options as Brexit nears

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After weeks of bitter wrangling in both Houses, the British Government comfortably fought off two Liberal Democrat bids to again amend the Brexit Bill in the Lords.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier is said to have made clear to Brexit Secretary David Davis that figures for the bill will not have to be finalised before negotiations get going on a deal.

The unelected House of Lords, wary of being seen as trying to block the outcome of last June's Brexit vote, is not expected to fight for their changes a second time.

May is still awaiting one final step, the consent of Queen Elizabeth, but that could come as early as Tuesday.After that she will be free to formally notify the European Union she is triggering Article 50 of the bloc's treaty, which covers how a member can withdraw.

European Council President Donald Tusk has said he will issue draft "negotiating guidelines" within 48 hours of Article 50 being triggered.

"If Scotland is to have a real choice - when the terms of Brexit are known but before it is too late to choose our own course - then that choice must be offered between the autumn of next year, 2018, and the spring of 2019", Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Monday.

But she can't do it until Parliament approves a bill authorizing the government to start the divorce process. "What we can't have is either house of parliament reversing the decision of the British people - they haven't got a veto", Davis said.

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However, Downing Street sources have said this will not happen this week and the PM is expected to wait until the end of the month to officially notify the European Union of the UK's intention to leave.

In a 2014 referendum, 55 percent of Scottish voters rejected independence from the UK.

"This is a choice between a society for the few who will use the current crisis to justify their position and a society for the many which recognises the vital and important contributions migrants make to the country".

Research from the industry body shows that almost a quarter of the total hospitality and tourism workforce is comprised of non-UK workers, rising to nearly 40% for eating and drinking-out businesses, and almost half of those come from within the EU.

"The government should therefore require each department to produce a "no deal" plan identifying the likely consequences and making proposals, including guidance to individuals and businesses, to mitigate potential risks".

Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis had called on Parliament over the weekend to not block the Bill any longer or "tie the prime minister's hands" over Parliament getting a final vote on the deal and on European Union citizens' rights in the UK.

The Labour Party's Brexit spokesman, Keir Starmer, told Sky News that he expected it to happen on Wednesday or Thursday.

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