UK MPs vote down Brexit amendments

British Prime Minister Theresa May cleared the final hurdle standing between her and the start of Brexit negotiations on Monday after parliament passed legislation giving her the power to start the European Union exit process.

The House of Lords has added two amendments to May's Bill, one guaranteeing the rights of European Union citizens living in Britain, the other for politicians to be given a meaningful vote on a final Brexit deal.

Members of the Lords have also called for explicit protection to the rights of European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom after Brexit.

"This is why it is vital for Parliament to have a meaningful say in the negotiations to come, and to have a say on both a Free Trade Agreement and what should happen in the event of no deal being agreed".

The bill will now be sent back to the Lords Monday night for debate and a vote.

Brexit minister David Davis said it was in "everybody's interests that we get a good outcome", but said the government was "planning for the contingency, all the various outcomes".

After weeks of wrangling, British lawmakers on late Monday granted May the right to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which would start the two-year divorce process with the bloc.

Mrs May told the Commons that she remained on track for the Brexit timetable she set out six months ago.

On the same day, however, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would discuss with the Westminster government another independence referendum.

Earlier, the government had comfortably won votes on the issues in the Commons, with only a handful of Tory MPs rebelling.

However, ITV News' political editor Robert Peston said he did not think Mrs May would trigger Article 50 until the end of March.

Mr Verhofstadt said: "Since I've been appointed as the European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, I have also received numerous testimonies and letters of support from British people anxious about their future".

He also insisted that the government's hands should not be tied before negotiations start.

The bill is expected to receive royal assent and become law tomorrow (NZT).

The report "Article 50 negotiations: Implications of "no deal" is the first select committee report to focus specifically on the implications of a "no deal" between Britain and the EU.

This is in order to act as a check for the House of Commons. The idea that in two years, the EP could veto all of this work by 28 member states governments worries me very greatly and says to me that what Britain needs to do is to get out and campaign hard amongst the French wine producers, the German carmakers, the Belgian chocolate manufacturers.

It would also enable EU leaders to plan a summit for April 6 at which they would sign off on negotiating guidelines for the European Commission.

May said that another independence referendum would bring "economic uncertainty at the worst possible" time.