Dennis Skinner and Kate Hoey among Labour Brexit rebels
Seven Labour MPs sided with the Tories to help push through Brexit.
Theresa May was handed an effective ‘Brexit majority’ of 36 after seven Labour MPs rebelled against Jeremy Corbyn – and many more abstained.
Parliament voted shortly after midnight on Monday to support the EU (Withdrawal) Bill at second reading, which seeks to transfer European laws onto the UK statute book when Britain quits the EU.
The prime minister faced no major rebellions from within her party, as the government secured a victory of 326 to 290.
For all the talk of a Tory revolt, not one voted against but five Conservative MPs - including Ken Clarke - abstained.
There was less obedience on display for the Labour leader, who had ordered his MPs to vote against the legislation.
A total of seven Labour MPs voted with the government, arguing that the referendum demanded the legislation be passed.
The rebels included Dennis Skinner, who previously said he voted for Brexit because it would make "fighting capitalism" easier, and Kate Hoey, who famously posed with Nigel Farage on the ‘Brexit flotilla’ and went on to head a list of 20 seats where constituents voted to stay in the EU but their representatives are Brexit supporters.
The full seven Labour Brexit rebels were:
Among the Labour MPs abstaining was former Europe minister Caroline Flint, who sits in the strongly pro-leave Don Valley constituency.
To the frustration of some of her colleagues, Flint said she accepted the bill’s scope of powers would need attention but said it was not Labour’s job to kill it.