Landslide vote in favour of starting Brexit process hailed as ‘momentous’

MPs voted by 498 votes to 114 in favour of triggering Article 50. Picture: PA.

MPs voted by 498 votes to 114 in favour of triggering Article 50. Picture: PA. - Credit: Archant

Brexit supporters have hailed a “momentous” night after MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of beginning the process to leave the European Union.

The country took a massive step towards leaving the EU on Wednesday after MPs voted by 498 votes to 114 for a Bill giving Theresa May authority to invoke Article 50, which begins Britain’s two-year EU exit.

The vote followed two days of debate and bitter clashes in Parliament as nearly 100 MPs expressed their views.

It means the government’s Brexit legislation has cleared its first potential stumbling block and Mrs May is still on course to trigger the process by her March deadline.

All three MPs that serve parts of Havering voted to trigger Article 50.

Despite voting to remain in the EU last June, Angela Watkinson, MP for Hornchurch and Upminster, sided with constituents on Wednesday stating the importance of “enacting the referendum outcome”.

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell welcomed the vote and believes its now time to “usher in a new era of freedom and prosperity for this country”.

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He said: “During the EU Referendum campaign, it was clear to everyone the result of the vote was not advisory.

“That is why it was quite shocking to see some MPs who voted for the referendum actually refuse to implement its outcome.

“Do not forget, the 17.4 million people who voted to leave was the biggest vote for anything ever in British history.

“The Prime Minister’s task of negotiating with the EU will no longer be made unnecessarily difficult by the Remoaners.”

A final vote will now take place next Wednesday at the House of Lords committee stage.

Two days of further debate starting on Monday will see MPs scrutinise the Bill in detail and put forward amendments for votes.

The real battle over Brexit is expected in this final stage when MPs discuss issues such as legal rights for EU nationals already living in the UK and protection over workers’ rights.

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