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Brexit bill passes through Commons as MPs back Theresa May's plan without any amendments
A triumphant Theresa May is on course to trigger Article 50 by her target of early March, after the Bill cleared the Commons with no changes - making it harder for the Lords to challenge.
MPs again gave their overwhelming backing to the Prime Minister to start withdrawal talks on her terms - by 494 votes to 122 - threatening a 'hard Brexit' say critics.
Crucially, they rejected no fewer than nine attempted amendments, including one to guarantee the future rights of EU nationals, which means a 'clean' Bill will go to the upper chamber.
Delighted Brexit supporters believe that will make it harder for the unelected Lords - despite a strong Remain majority - to amend the Bill, because of a reluctance to take on elected Mps.
The Bill is now expected to be given Royal Assent on March 7 - allowing the Prime Minister to formally notify the EU that she is invoking Article 50 at an EU summit later that week.
Just minutes before the vote, Clive Lewis, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary, announced he was quitting the Shadow Cabinet in order to vote against Article 50, but Diane Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, backed it.
Pro-Europe MPs loudly hummed 'Ode to Joy', the EU anthem as the final votes were cast, until the Deputy Speaker told them to be quiet.
[Source: By Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor, The Independent, London, 08Feb17]
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