MPs Give Final Approval to Brexit Bill
The House of Commons has given its final approval to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill granting the Prime Minister the ability to begin the formal Brexit process.
MPs passed the bill by 494 to 122 after three days debating amendments.
In the end, no amendments were passed, and the bill proceeded to its third reading Wednesday evening, where MPs gave it final approval.
As they voted, pro-Remain MPs broke into a rendition of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the EU anthem, before being silenced by Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle.
MPs approved the bill’s second reading last week by 498 to 114.
The bill will now move to the House of Lords, which is due to begin considering it on Monday 20 February.
The Upper Chamber will have a short time frame in which to debate and approve the bill, with Prime Minister Theresa May hoping to begin the Brexit process on 9 March.
It remains to be seen whether pro-Remain peers will try to delay or throw out the bill, something that would almost certainly trigger a constitutional crisis.
Wednesday’s vote also saw a significant rebellion within the opposition Labour Party, with multiple MPs defying the party leadership to vote against Brexit. Among the rebels was Shadow Business Secretary Clive Lewis, who has duly resigned.