Britain’s Brexit bill passes first reading
The first legislative hurdle to starting the process of the UK exiting the EU has been cleared, as, following two days of impassioned debates, British MPs backed the government’s bill to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty by 498 votes to 114.
The Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats opposed the bill, while 47 Labour MPs and a Tory rebelled, BBC reports.
During the debates, cabinet minister David Davis had warned pro-EU MPs that they risked abusing the trust of the British electorate if they tried and frustrated or blocked the Brexit bill.
The second reading debate for the bill is scheduled for February 6.
The bill seeking the parliament’s permission to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty had to be put on the table after the Supreme Court had ruled that PM Theresa May could not take that decision unilaterally.
May wants to have the article activated by the end of March. Once it is, two years of exit negotiations with the EU will begin.
51,9% of UK’s citizens supported Brexit in a referendum in 2016 June.