British MPs approve bill to begin Brexit

The House of Commons will consider the Brexit Bill on Monday afternoon, meaning the United Kingdom could be just a day away from official Brexit talks if MPs and peers pass legislation allowing Theresa May to trigger Article 50.

Prime Minister Theresa May has set out the next steps for triggering Article 50 and beginning Britain's exit from the European Union.

Ministers say they want to guarantee the rights of European Union citizens as soon as possible after triggering Article 50 - but they can't do that until they get the same assurances from the European Union states about Brits overseas.

In another blow to the Westminster government, Northern Ireland's nationalist Sinn Fein party also called for an independence vote.

The referendum also brought the resignation of former Prime Minister David Cameron, who during a re-election campaign had promised to hold the vote.

Once the House of Commons passed the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill without any amendments, the House of Lords too passed it unamended by 274 votes to 118.

She said the independence vote should take place between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of 2019.

There is speculation that May could wait to trigger Article 50 until after a Mar 25 summit in Rome to mark the EU's 60th birthday, a moment it hopes will emphasise the bloc's unity.

May could begin the process as early as Tuesday, but it's expected to be postponed until the end of the month to avoid a clash with Dutch elections on Wednesday.

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"However they voted in the referendum, the majority of people now want the prime minister to be able to get on with the job", Davis said in a statement.

The report "Article 50 negotiations: Implications of "no deal" is the first select committee report to focus specifically on the implications of a "no deal" between Britain and the EU.

MPs voted by 335 to 287 to reject the condition on European Union nationals' rights, and by 331 to 286 to reject the condition giving parliament a greater say on the final deal.

The bill will pass into law when the royal assent is announced in both Houses of Parliament, which is likely to happen early on Tuesday afternoon.

But Nigel Farage, the man who helped secure Brexit, has said the United Kingdom must move in order to make it politically impossible for the European Parliament to even think about blocking any future deal. On the same day, however, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would discuss with the Westminster government another independence referendum.

"We are now on the threshold of the most important negotiation for our country in a generation".

The PM's spokesman hinted, however, that she might do so closer to the end of the month.

Despite the pressure being applied by Liberal Democrat peers, it's 'unlikely that the Lords has the appetite to push back on this again', says Norman Smith, assistant political editor on BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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