Cable Unimpressed As Theresa May Wins Commons Brexit Vote

As was largely expected - and in spite of a whiney distraction from Jeremy Corbyn on Trump - UK Prime Minister Theresa May crossed the first hurdle towards Brexit as The House of Commons easily passed a bill authorizing the start of European Union exit talks.

Cable was largely unimpressed (dominated by USD flows from The Fed)

 

As AP reports, British lawmakers have backed a bill authorizing the start of European Union exit talks, voting by a decisive 498 to 114 to push the measure past its first major legislative hurdle.

During two days of debate in the House of Commons, many legislators from both government and opposition said they would respect voters' June 23 decision to leave the EU and back the bill.

 

But pro-EU members of Parliament from opposition parties will try to insert more amendments at the next stage of the process, seeking to prevent an economy-shocking "hard Brexit."

 

The Conservative government wants to have the bill approved by early March so it can meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline for triggering two years of EU divorce talks.

The FT notes that the vote saw Mrs May lead virtually all Conservative MPs through the voting lobbies alongside Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who had instructed his MPs to respect the Leave vote in last year’s EU referendum.

Parliamentary approval was required after the Supreme Court ruled Mrs May could not trigger Article 50 using royal prerogative.

 

But Brexit continued to wreak havoc for Labour, with dozens of pro-EU MPs refusing to back the bill. Dawn Butler, shadow equalities minister, and Rachel Maskell, shadow environment secretary, were the latest rebels to quit the front bench after refusing to obey Mr Corbyn.

 

Even as the prime minister celebrated her victory — and the sight of the Labour party in disarray — senior members of her own party and her former ambassador to the EU, Ivan Rogers, gave sober assessments of the talks to come.

The prime minister will set out what Downing Street called a “substantial” white paper setting out her negotiating objectives on Thursday, although the policy plan will cover the same ground as her Lancaster House speech last month which laid out her Brexit goals. Mrs May expects the bill to complete its passage through the Commons and Lords by March 7, although a decision has yet to be taken on precisely when Mrs May will send a letter of notification that Britain wants to withdraw from the EU.