09/02/2017 - Parliament Gives Brexit Approval


The U.K.’s lower house of Parliament gave the government its approval to begin the formal process of leaving the European Union, in a vote that brings Prime Minister Theresa May a step closer to triggering Brexit.

The draft law was approved by 494 votes to 122 in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening. The bill now goes up to the unelected House of Lords, with the final vote expected on March 7. Once the legislation is passed by both houses, May can trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

The vote passed shortly after lawmakers from the Scottish National Party were reprimanded for singing the EU anthem; they began whistling and singing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” after the Commons voted to reject a final amendment to the Brexit bill.

While the government stays on track to meet May’s self-imposed deadline to kick-start Brexit by March 31, the win didn’t come without concessions. Brexit Minister David Jones had to promise lawmakers a vote on the final deal, with the EU to stave off a revolt from May’s own Conservative Party. In the end, the 137-word bill was unaltered in three days of debate.


President Donald Trump stepped up his criticism of the U.S. judiciary yesterday, saying courts seem to be "so political," a day after his U.S. travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries faced close scrutiny from an appeals court.

A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday heard arguments on the Trump administration's challenge to a lower court order putting his temporary travel ban on hold. Trump on Saturday accused the judge who issued the order of opening the United States to "potential terrorists."

The appeals court must decide whether Trump acted within his authority, or violated the U.S. Constitution's prohibition on laws favouring one religion over another, as well as anti-discrimination laws, and was tantamount to a discriminatory ban.

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