The decisive 372-vote margin of victory was seen as a warning to peers not to thwart the will of the people by trying to block the measure in the House of Lords.
On a historic night in Westminster, the Government’s EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill passed its last Commons hurdle by 494 votes to 122
Leading Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “The British people spoke in a referendum, the House of Commons agreed in a Bill, the unelected Lords must concur.”
MPs have voted to give Theresa May the power to leave the European Union
Brexit Secretary David Davis said: “We’ve seen a historic vote tonight – a big majority for getting on with negotiating our exit from the EU and a strong new partnership with its member states. It is now time for everyone to unite to make a success of the important task at hand for our country.”
A Government source said: “If the Lords don’t want to face an overwhelming public call to be abolished, they must get on, protect democracy and pass this Bill.”
Amid scenes of high drama Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was torn asunder as 52 of his MPs defied a three-line whip to oppose the Brexit Bill.
But an expected rebellion by Remainers collapsed with veteran Europhile Kenneth Clarke the only Tory MP to vote against the measure.
Theresa May's Brexit plan
Mon, January 16, 2017
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
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In one moment of high farce as MPs headed for the Commons division lobbies, SNP members hummed the EU anthem the Ode To Joy in protest at the move towards Brexit before Commons Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle ordered them to be silent.
If the Lords don’t want to face an overwhelming public call to be abolished, they must get on, protect democracy and pass this Bill
Last night's Commons vote means the Prime Minister’s plans for triggering Article 50 EU next month are firmly on track.
Now peers will debate the legislation when Parliament returns after next week’s half-term break.
Brexit campaigners were celebrating last night. Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “I never thought I’d see the day where the House of Commons overwhelmingly voted for Britain to Leave the European Union.”
Nearly 500 votes were cast in favour of the Brexit Bill
Labour MP Gisela Stuart, a leading member of Vote Leave and chairman of the Change Britain pressure group, said: “The vote tonight is a vital first step. But this is the start of the process and not the end. The Bill still has to get through the Lords and it is important that it goes through unamended.
“We need to work for a clean Brexit which takes us out of the EU’s single market and the EU’s customs union.
“This will enable us to take back the control required to respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead, and to start the process of national renewal.”
In a marathon of more than two hours of voting, MPs roundly rejected a series of amendments tabled by Labour, the SNP and other MPs.
With the vote secured, Theresa May can go ahead with her plans next month
Last night Theresa May said voters had backed leaving the EU in last year’s referendum with “quiet resolve” because they wanted Britain to be a “sovereign, independent” nation.
In a magazine interview Mrs May added: “What I said was – this is a balanced judgment the sky will not fall in if we leave the European Union – and it hasn’t.
“And this is where the resolve comes in, the sense that a lot of people voted for Brexit because they believed in this, they wanted us to feel that we were a sovereign, independent nation, not dependent on decisions taken elsewhere and they felt that that might bring some problems but that we would get over them.”