LONDON, Dec. 8 (NsNewsWire) — British Prime Minister Theresa May won a battle over her Brexit strategy in parliament’s House of Commons on Wednesday night.
MPs voted by 461 votes to 89 — a margin of 372 in a non-binding motion to support a proposal that will see politicians backing May’s plan to invoke Article 50 to start the Brexit process by the end of March, reports Xinhua.
In return, May’s government is to give the parliament details of her Brexit plan before Article 50 is triggered as MPs backed Labour’s motion, saying the government should publish a plan and it was “parliament’s responsibility to properly scrutinize the government” over Brexit, by 448 votes to 75 – a margin of 373.
The votes followed a compromise between Labour and the Conservatives, who had argued over the questions to be put.
The main opposition Labour party claimed that it as a climbdown by May as it commits her government to their demand to spell out to MPs details of the government Brexit plans for scrutiny by the House of Commons.
Supporters of May said it had averted a potential rebellion by a number of her own party who are pro-Europe.
Commentators said the prime minister may have won the battle, but the Brexit war continues, with some politicians still threatening to create obstacles.
Tim Farron, leader of the minority Liberal Democrats, has said his party will block May triggering Article 50 unless she guarantees a second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal.
At one point during the seven-hour debate in the chamber of the Commons, speakers referred to the hearing taking place 200 meters away in the Supreme Court.
There, the 11 highest judges in Britain will have to decide whether the government can trigger the process without a thumbs up from the two houses of parliament.
In the hearing in the nearby courthouse, reference was made to the debate going on across the road.
It was an indicator of the complicated legal and constitutional complexities that the June 23 referendum has generated.
The Supreme Court, on the third day of what is the most important case in the court’s history, continued to hear lengthy submissions from lawyers saying parliament should be involved in the so-called Article 50 process that will start an exit program lasting up to two years.
Lawyers for the government have already insisted that under centuries old rules, May and her government can trigger Article 50 without the consent of parliament.
The High Court has already ruled against the government, prompting the appeal to the Supreme Court.
The court hearing is expected to end Thursday with the 11 judges scheduled to announce their ruling early in January.