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Labour's Brexit Bill stance pathetic - Nicola Sturgeon

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British Prime Minister Theresa May

MPs have voted to back the Brexit bill so that the United Kingdom can begin formal negotiations to leave the EU.

Labour MPs who rebelled against Jeremy Corbyn's three line whip and opposed the Government's Brexit bill in a Commons vote this week will receive a formal warning from the party but can remain in their shadow cabinet posts, it has emerged.

Her mandate to negotiate with the European Union still needs to be approved by the House of Lords, Britain's upper parliamentary chamber.

Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Clive Lewis, was among the 52 MPs from the Labour party challenging the party orders of supporting the Bill.

If ever there was a time for a strong and united opposition to hold the government to account and safeguard the interests of those who want a constructive arrangement with Europe, then this is it.

Pressed about claims that he would have to reconsider his position in a year if his poll ratings had not improved, Mr Corbyn replied: "We are demanding social justice in Britain".

Meanwhile, 19 Labour MPs, including five members of Corbyn's shadow frontbench team, joined with the Liberal Democrats to vote for an amendment calling for a second referendum to ratify the terms of the Brexit deal.

He spoke out after Sturgeon hit out at Corbyn for not doing more to stop a Brexit bill from being voted through.

"We will scrutinise; we will examine; we will not block", she said.

Asked by Sky whether the House of Lords would face recriminations if it amended the bill, he said: "The simple thing is the Lords is a very important institution".

Brexit's not exactly been the smoothest of moves for the United Kingdom government, and European Union citizens working in Britain have been particularly concerned about where the vote leaves them - doesn't look like anyone's thinking about United Kingdom citizens living in European Union states -.

The bill passed comfortably as a threatened Conservative rebellion failed to gain much momentum and the vast majority of Labour MPs backed the bill.

The bill's clearance by the House of Commons is a success for Theresa May, who appears to be on track with her pledge to trigger article 50 by the end of March. The fact is that the electorate voted to leave the EU.

The Brexit bill will now be debated in the House of Lords, after it returns from recess on February 20.

Sir Oliver Letwin yesterday warned peers that they could call into question the future of the upper chamber if they hampered the passage of legislation that will allow the government to launch Brexit negotiations.

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