Great Britain’s move to withdraw from the European Union took another step closer to reality on Wednesday when the House of Commons passed the measure with a decisive vote. The bill known as Brexit now goes to the House of Lords for approval.
Britain’s House of Commons gave its final approval Wednesday to a bill authorizing the government to start exit talks with the European Union, despite fears by opposition lawmakers that the U.K. is setting out on the rocky path to Brexit with a sketchy roadmap.
As the votes were being tallied, a few pro-EU legislators whistled Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” the bloc’s anthem. But the decisive 494-122 result was another big step on Britain’s road to the EU exit door.
The bill now goes to the House of Lords, which has the power to delay — but not to derail — the legislation; it should become law within weeks.
Lawmakers had backed the bill by a 498-114 margin during an earlier vote last week, so Wednesday’s result by a similar margin was not a surprise.