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Britain's House of Commons Approves Brexit Talks

  • VOA News

FILE - A journalist poses with a copy of the Brexit Article 50 bill, introduced by the government to seek parliamentary approval to start the process of leaving the European Union, in front of the Houses of Parliament in London, Jan. 26, 2017.

British lawmakers voted Wednesday to allow Prime Minister Theresa May to go ahead with proceedings for withdrawing Britain from the European Union.

The vote in Britain's House of Commons means attempts by Brexit opponents to soften the terms of the withdrawal were thwarted. They had tried to attach conditions to the bill that would delay the start of Brexit talks, planned by March 31.

Watch: Brexit Bill Support Overwhelming from British Lawmakers

The vote Wednesday evening was 494-122.

The bill now goes to the House of Lords, a non-elected body of lawmakers that is expected to pass the bill — although, it, too, could try to add conditions that would force a delay. Any conditions attached would have to be approved by the House of Commons, which means they are unlikely to succeed.

A number of Labor Party members, who are currently in the opposition to the majority, voted against the advice of their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who said they should support the bill. Several members of Corbyn's policy team resigned before the vote, saying they could not support his position.

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