Britain's parliament backs legislation to sever ties with the European Union, a reprieve for Prime Minister Theresa May who now faces demands by lawmakers for concessions before it becomes law. Graham Mackay reports.
After more than 13 hours of debate in Britain's parliament, Brexit is now another step closer, after UK lawmakers backed a second reading of the EU withdrawal bill in the early hours of Tuesday (September 12). (SOUNDBITE) (English) SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, JOHN BERCOW, SAYING: "The aye's to the right 326, the no's to the left 290. So the aye's have it, the aye's have it. Unlock." The bill is largely about cutting and pasting European law into British law to make sure the UK has the same regulatory framework as the EU at the moment Brexit is triggered. It was expected to be a nerve-wracking night for Prime Minister Theresa May who's opponents have slammed the bill as power grab by the Conservative government, but in the end, many fell in step with May, spurred by fears of a chaotic Brexit if the they voted no because Britain would lack laws to steer the process. But there are plenty more hurdles still ahead for the prime minister who now faces demands for concessions before the bill becomes law. It'll now face days of line-by-line scrutiny while both Conservative and Labor lawmakers attempt change it. Ultimately, the Upper and Lower Houses will both need to agree on the precise wording of the legislation before it can be passed - a process that's expected to take months to complete.