MPs will today vote on Boris Johnson’s Brexit bill just more than a month before 31 January deadline.
The withdrawal bill was first introduced to the House of Commons in October and will have its second reading today.
MPs will have a chance to debate it, before voting on its general principles.
The bill would also ban the government from extending the transition period beyond 2020.
It would mean the UK stops following EU rules regardless of what agreements have or haven’t been put in place.
The Prime Minister has said it would end “delay and rancour” and provide “certainty”, but opponents say it does the opposite, and that a trade deal with the EU could take years to be agreed.
The government insists one can be in place by the end of the transition period, however.
The bill is expected to pass today’s test easily, with the Conservatives having secured an 80-seat majority at last week’s general election.
It will then be further scrutinised by MPs as well as the House of Lords.
MPs have been allocated three days to debate it in the New Year – 7, 8 and 9 January – with the plan to make it law by the end of the month.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said the UK was set for “an historic day” today.
“The reality is the British people in the general election made clear they want Brexit delivered, but also they want us to bring the country back together – to start the healing process and to move on to the many other issues in the manifesto that we want to focus on,” he said.
“Today… is an opportunity after three years of dither, of delay, of divisiveness, to actually deliver and step forward and move this legislation to leave by 31 January, and be able to then start bringing the country back together.”