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PM wins Commons vote

May gets backing to open Brexit talks

Theresa MayMPs have voted by a majority of 384 to allow Brexit negotiations to begin.

The European Union Bill won the support of all but 47 Labour MPs to be carried by 498 votes to 114.

Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrat MPs and Tory ex-chancellor Ken Clarke opposed the bill which now faces further scrutiny in the Commons before moving to the House of Lords.

It is expected to become law before the 31 March deadline set by the prime minister for invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty for Britain to begin talks on leaving the EU.

The SNP’s Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins described the vote in a statement as “a devastating act of sabotage on Scotland’s economy”.

A majority of voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland in last summer’s referendum backed remaining in the EU, while voters in England and Wales supported Brexit.


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