British lawmakers back March Brexit plan

LONDON • British Prime Minister Theresa May won lawmakers' backing to trigger the start of Britain's exit from the European Union by the end of March next year after promising to give Parliament the chance to scrutinise her plan first.

After over six hours of debate, the House of Commons voted by 448 to 75 in favour of a motion that commits lawmakers to support her timetable for formally notifying the EU that Britain is leaving. The motion also ties Mrs May to setting out her negotiating plan so lawmakers can examine the details before she begins the Brexit process.

Wednesday's vote is not legally binding on either the government or members of Parliament, but it is a politically significant moment for the UK's complex efforts to withdraw from the EU following June's referendum.

Mrs May has been unwilling to give details of her plan, saying it would give an advantage to Brussels before the start of talks next year.

She will now have to set out in more detail the shape of the final deal she wants to see before triggering the Brexit process under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2016, with the headline 'British lawmakers back March Brexit plan'. Print Edition | Subscribe