Brexit will see Britain quit EU customs union

MPs have voted to allow Theresa May to trigger Article 50 and begin negotiations for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

"I am not failing to trust the people, I just disagree with some of them and I agree with the 48 percent who chose to remain", Labour MP Paul Farrelly said during the debate on Tuesday.

The Scottish National Party, which is opposed to Brexit, is expected to table dozens of amendments.

Last week, Mrs May promised a Brexit White Paper and lawmakers had called for the government to publish it before a vote on triggering Brexit is held in Parliament.

Sir Keir also claimed the White Paper offered "nothing that progresses the situations of European Union nationals in this country" as he repeated Labour's demand for the Government to take "unilateral action" on guaranteeing the rights of European Union migrants already living in the UK.

The British parliament is set to debate for the first time the government's bill to trigger the country's departure from the European Union, following a referendum a year ago in which a majority voted for Brexit.

The bill will then move to the Lords for debate from February 20, with the government hoping for their approval by March 7.

Prime Minister Theresa May has issued her much-demanded Brexit white paper, less than 24 hours after MPs voted in favour of granting her the power to begin European Union divorce proceedings.

If the vote goes the government's way, the bill will return to the Commons next week for the committee stage, when opposition parties will try to push through a series of amendments.

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, May said MPs had a responsibility to respect the result of the June 2016 referendum, when Britain voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48%.

He added: "The referendum was not a consultation, but an instruction - I will do my duty and vote to trigger Article 50".

But while most Tories are jubilant after last night's vote, Jeremy Corbyn is facing a bitter Labour split after a fifth of his MPs, 47 in total, defied his three-line whip and voted against triggering Article 50.

Bill in the House of Commons authorises the Government to invoke Article 50, marking the start of the formal two-year Brexit process.

Britain's House of Commons started a marathon session in a bid to rush through parliament a bill to trigger the process for leaving the European Union.

In Redbridge, support swung the other way as 69,213 people voted to stay while 59,020 voted to leave.

  • Jon Douglas