Last year, the British people voted to withdraw from the European Union. On Wednesday, the British Parliament decisively voted to move Brexit forward. The vote was a huge victory for the Conservative government. 

Britain moved closer to leaving the European Union Wednesday as lawmakers backed a bill authorizing divorce proceedings and kept alive the government’s plan to trigger Brexit talks within weeks.

The House of Commons decisively backed the bill by 498 votes to 114, sending it on for committee scrutiny. The result was a victory for the Conservative government, which had fought in court to avert the vote out of fear Parliament would impede its Brexit plans.

Lawmakers also defeated a “wrecking amendment” proposed by the Scottish National Party that sought to delay Britain’s exit talks with the EU because the British government has not disclosed detailed plans for its negotiations.

During two days of debate in the House of Commons, many legislators — Euroskeptic and Europhile alike — said they would back the bill out of respect for voters’ June 23 decision to leave the EU.

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