Brexit Bill passes through Commons without amendments as MPs back Theresa May's plan

The Bill on the UK's exit from the EU was cleared the Commons with no changes, putting Theresa May on course to trigger Article 50 by her target of early March

9 February 2017, 8:04am
MPs in the House of Commons during voting on proposed amendments to the Article 50 Bill
MPs in the House of Commons during voting on proposed amendments to the Article 50 Bill
Prime Minister Theresa May won approval from parliament's lower chamber on Wednesday to trigger Britain's exit from the European Union, defeating attempts by pro-EU lawmakers to attach extra conditions to her plan to start divorce talks by 31 March.

MPs again gave their overwhelming backing to the Prime Minister to start withdrawal talks on her terms, voting 494 to 122 in favour of legislation, bringing to an end days of intense debate.

They rejected no fewer than nine attempted amendments, including one to guarantee the future rights of EU nationals, which means a ‘clean’ Bill will go to the upper chamber.

"We've seen a historic vote tonight," Brexit minister David Davis said. "A big majority for getting on with negotiating our exit from the EU and a strong, new partnership with its member states."

Clive Lewis, Labour’s shadow business secretary, announced he was quitting the shadow Cabinet in order to vote against Article 50, but Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, backed it.

Infamously, Abbott missed last week’s vote with a “migraine”, but obeyed Jeremy Corbyn’s three-line whip to vote for the Bill this time round.

The Bill now needs the approval of the upper chamber, in which May does not have a majority, before it becomes law.

The government wants to complete the legislative process by 7 March.