The process of Britain leaving the European Union cleared a significant hurdle on Wednesday when members of the UK parliament voted in favor of allowing the government to begin divorce talks.
Members of the House of Commons voted by 498 to 114 to advance the bill that would give Prime Minister Theresa May the authority to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty — the formal process of leaving the EU.
The size of majority in favor of triggering Article 50 on Wednesday means the bill is almost certain to become law. But a battle is expected next week when the bill returns to the House of Commons for detailed scrutiny in the committee stage. Opposition parties will then try to push through a series of amendments.
The House of Lords, the UK’s upper house, will also need to approve the Article 50 legislation before it can become law.
Triggering Article 50 gives the UK two years to negotiate a separation deal with the 27 other members of the EU. May has said she wants to fire the Brexit starting gun by the end of March.
The Prime Minister told the House of Commons that she would publish her detailed plan for Brexit in the form of a “white paper” on Thursday.
Marine Le Pen and UKIP agree the EU is finished