'˜Historic milestone' hailed as MPs vote through Brexit Withdrawal Bill

Flagship Brexit legislation has cleared the House of Commons in a significant parliamentary milestone on the way out of the European Union.

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. Picture: PA Wire

The EU Withdrawal Bill was passed by MPs at its Third Reading by 324 votes to 295, and now moves to the House of Lords for further scrutiny this month. It is likely to return to the Commons following amendments by peers.

Brexit Secretary David Davis hailed the vote as a “historic milestone” and said he hoped peers will debate the bill, which will transfer EU law into British statute on the day the UK leaves the bloc, “in the same constructive way” as the Commons.

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A cross-party amendment supported by the SNP and Liberal Democrats that would have tied the Withdrawal Bill to keeping the UK in the European single market fell after Labour ordered its MPs to abstain.

The amendment failed by 99 votes to 322, with 48 Labour rebels defying the party whip. SNP MP Peter Grant said Labour had chosen to “sit on the sidelines”.

An SNP attempt to have the bill thrown out because the government failed to implement promised changes to prevent a devolution “power grab” also fell. The SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the unamended bill was “a constitutional outrage”.

The bill will be corrected in the Lords, ministers have said. A Scottish Parliament delegation is due to meet with peers today.