LONDON: British government on Thursday published a draft law that would authorize Prime Minister Theresa May to begin the procedure for leaving the European Union in an important milestone towards Brexit. The two clause “European Union Notification of Withdrawal Bill” asks parliament to give May authority to start the formal mechanism by which Britain will leave the bloc. The government said MPs would get their first chance to debate and vote on it on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.The bill is expected to get the go-ahead from MPs, although opposition parties have said they plan put forward amendments that could slow it down. House of Commons leader David Lidington told parliament that the bill’s third and final reading in the House of Commons — followed by a final vote by MPs — would be on February 8. If approved by the House of Lords, the bill would then have to be signed off by Queen Elizabeth II before May can trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty — the formal process for leaving the bloc.