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Bill authorising European Union withdrawal passes Commons

10 February 2017

The bill can't become law until both houses of Parliament have approved it, so if the Lords amends it, it must return to the Commons.

The bill will now pass to the upper chamber of parliament, the House of Lords.

Before 1999, the House of Lords was primarily composed of hereditary peers who had inherited their seats from their ancestors.

The Secretary of State for exiting the EU, David Davis called the vote "historic", saying it was now time for everyone, whichever way they voted in the referendum, to unite to make a success of the important task at hand for the country.

Are peers likely to try to block Brexit then?

Bill will begin its passage through the Lords on 20 February after MPs overwhelmingly backed it last night.

"Our goal will be to protect Britain's membership of the single market, protect the rights of European Union citizens in the United Kingdom and to give the people the final say on Theresa May's deal". Just getting on with the job, seeking to improve the Bill as we think possible, getting the odd Government concession here and there, and if needs be sending it back to the Commons for a further look - which will happen anyway in normal course of events.

May initially sought to bypass parliament, prompting an appeal to the UK's Supreme Court that last month ruled she must obtain their approval to trigger Article 50.

There have been many attempts to reform the House of Lords and the changes that have been secured have done nothing to alter the fact that voters have no say over who sits on the red benches.

The opposition Labour Party and the smaller Scottish National Party (SNP) tabled amendments demanding guarantees on market access, workers' rights and those of European Union citizens in Britain. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said his party will continue to fight Conservative plans for the details of Brexit, including any moves to cut corporation tax.

SNP lawmakers voiced their frustration during the vote by singing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy", the EU's anthem, before being told off by Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle.

"There is no mandate for the hardest of hard Brexits the government favours, which risks leaving us poorer, weaker and more isolated", he said.

Bill authorising European Union withdrawal passes Commons