House of Commons Passes Brexit Bill

Britain’s lower house of Parliament passed legislation Wednesday to allow Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to officially begin the Brexit process.

Now that the legislation has been approved by the House of Commons, it will be put before the House of Lords for a final decision later this month.

Members of the House of Commons had already voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill to kick off Britain’s divorce from the European Union in its initial readings, and a seven-hour debate on amendments preceded the final vote, which was 494 MPs in favor and 122 against.

David Davis, the secretary of state for exiting the European Union, called the vote “historic.”

“It has been a serious debate, a healthy debate, with contributions from MPs representing all parts of the UK, and I respect the strong views on all sides,” he said.

“The decision on EU membership has been made by the people we serve,” he said. “It is now time for everyone, whichever way they voted in the referendum, to unite to make a success of the important task at hand for our country.”

The leader of the main opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, has mandated his MPs to support the bill. But a sticking point remained over how much say MPs will have on a final Brexit deal with the EU.

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SOURCE: CNN, Angela Dewan and Simon Cullen