Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Mashujaa day: Kenyatta and Odinga call for peace before election rerun

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Kurdish referendum a ‘colossal mistake’, says son of late president Talabani

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The new 30s club: NZ's Jacinda Ardern joins list of maverick leaders

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Raqqa, Kirkuk, Xi Jinping

Read more

REPORTERS

The Dictator's Games: A rare look inside Turkmenistan

Read more

#TECH 24

Teaching maths with holograms

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is China exporting its pollution?

Read more

#THE 51%

Are female empowerment adverts actually good for the cause?

Read more

FOCUS

The mixed legacy of 'Abenomics' in Japan

Read more

Europe

UK lawmakers reject attempt to block Brexit

© HO, PRU, AFP | Video grab from the Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows MPs as they await the outcome of a vote on a bill to allow PM Theresa May to start pulling Britain out of the European Union, London on February 1, 2017

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-02-01

Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to take Britain out of the European Union easily cleared its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday, paving the way for the government to launch divorce talks by the end of March.

May’s government is seeking approval for a new law giving her the right to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty - the legal process for leaving the bloc - after the Supreme Court ruled she could not take that decision unilaterally.

The bill could complete the legislative process by March 7.

May wants to begin exit negotiations with the EU by March 31, starting two years of talks that will define Britain’s economic and political future and test the unity of the EU’s 27 remaining members.

Lawmakers voted by 498 to 114 in favour of allowing the bill to progress to the next, more detailed legislative stage. Earlier they rejected an attempt to throw out the bill, proposed by pro-EU Scottish nationalists.

The Scottish National Party’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.

Wednesday evening’s votes came after two days of impassioned speeches in parliament, which have underlined the lingering sense of shock among the largely pro-European political establishment that 52 percent of their constituents voted to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum.

Despite presiding over a Conservative Party divided over staying in the EU, May, who campaigned for a ‘Remain’ vote, secured almost unanimous support from her lawmakers for the legislation.

The opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn had also pledged his party’s support for the bill at this stage, but 47 of his lawmakers defied his order and voted against the bill.

Labour and other opposition parties will try to amend the bill at the next stage - due to start next week - to give parliament greater scrutiny over the Brexit talks.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-02-01

  • UK

    UK publishes bill to trigger Article 50, kicking off Brexit process

    Read more

  • UNITED KINGDOM

    UK PM loses Article 50 appeal, parliamentary approval required for Brexit

    Read more

  • UK

    British government braces for critical Supreme Court Brexit ruling

    Read more

COMMENT(S)