>> Ayes to the right, 498.>> The Brexit law clearing it's first legislative hurdle. Wednesday's vote paving the way for UK Prime Minister Theresa May to launch formal divorce proceedings for the European Union. By the end of March, as she'd promised. Britain's Supreme Court ruled last week that May could not invoke Article 50, which launches the process without Parliament's approval.
She won it after two days of impassioned debate, which showed Britain's largely pro-EU establishment still reeling from the shock of June's popular vote to leave the bloc. Reuter's William James is in West Minster.>> There are lots of lawmakers in West Minster who oppose the government triggering Article 15 in the way that it wants to do it.
This is a very short bill. It's designed to just seek approval to notify or not notify. Those pro lawmakers want to attach lots of conditions to that. They want to see extra scrutiny. They want to see more consultation with involved governments in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland.>> A first batch of amendments will be debated next week.
Then the bill has to pass through the upper house. The unelected House of Lords. It's not in the bag yet for May. But few expect her plans to be derailed.>> Theresa May's plan was always to trigger Article 50 by the end of March, no later. That plan is still on tract if you listen to the Government, they think they can get this bill through the House of Commons, through the House of Lords in plenty of time to make that notification to the EU before the end of March.
>> And that's when the real work starts. Launching two years of talks that will chart Britain's political and economic future.