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UK's House of Commons Passes Bill Authorizing Brexit

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    UK's House of Commons Passes Bill Authorizing Brexit
    AP
    Union flags displayed on a tourist stall, backdropped by the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower containing the bell know as Big Ben, in London, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. Britain's House of Commons is set to approve a bill authorizing the start of exit talks with the European Union — a major step on the road to Brexit. The bill sailed through an earlier vote last week 498-114 and is very likely to pass its final Commons test Wednesday evening.

    Britain's House of Commons has given final approval to a bill authorizing the government to start exit talks with the European Union, despite fears by opposition lawmakers that the U.K. is setting out on Brexit path with a sketchy roadmap.

    Wednesday's 494-122 vote is another step on the road to the EU exit door. The bill now goes to the House of Lords, which has the power to delay — but not derail — the legislation.

    The vote comes after three days of debate in which pro-EU lawmakers tried to pass amendments guaranteeing Parliament a bigger role in the divorce process and setting boundaries on the government's negotiating stance with the 27 other EU nations.

    The government wants to pass the bill through Parliament by early March and trigger the two-year EU divorce process by March 31.

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    (Published Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017)