Parliaments

Brexit vote: Highlights from the Commons debate

Reading out MPs' vote result
Image caption The moment in the House of Commons when the result of the vote was announced

After two days of debate, the bill which will give Prime Minister Theresa May the go-ahead to notify the EU that the UK will be leaving has cleared its first parliamentary hurdle.

MPs voted overwhelmingly by 494 to 114 in favour of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which will have further scrutiny in the House of Commons, and then in the House of Lords, before it becomes law.

There were many stand-out moments, speeches and quotes from the 17 hours of debates, which saw MPs voting enthusiastically for the legislation, reluctantly backing the bill, or choosing to vote against it.

Here are just a few, along with the pre-referendum position of each MP, and which way they voted at second reading - which is the first legislative stage in the bill's journey.

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Media captionDavis: Listen to the people on Brexit

David Davis, Exiting the EU Secretary, Leave, voted for the bill

"We voted to give the people the chance to determine our future in a referendum. Now we must honour our side of the agreement: to vote to deliver on the result."

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Media captionSir Keir Starmer: Brexit bill difficult for Labour

Sir Keir Starmer, Shadow Exiting the EU Secretary, Remain, voted for the bill

"This is obviously a difficult decision. I wish the result had gone the other way - I campaigned passionately for that - but as democrats we in the Labour party have to accept the result. It follows that the prime minister should not be blocked from starting the Article 50 negotiations."

Stephen Gethins, SNP Europe spokesperson, Remain, voted against the bill

"Pooling our sovereignty and working together is a good thing. If the House passes this bill and turns its back on our amendment, it will be turning its back on the progress made and disrespecting the devolution settlement."

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Media captionKen Clarke: Why I'm voting against Brexit

Ken Clarke. Conservative, Remain, voted against the bill

"I personally shall be voting with my conscience content, and when we see what unfolds hereafter as we leave the European Union, I hope that the consciences of other Members of Parliament will remain equally content."

Dame Margaret Beckett, Labour, Remain, voted for the bill

"Although I accept that decision and I will vote for the bill, I fear that its consequences, both for our economy and our society, are potentially catastrophic. I therefore hope that the practice of dismissing any calls, queries and concerns, however serious and well founded, as merely demonstrating opposition to the will of the British people will now cease, along with the notion that they would merely obstruct the process."

John Redwood, Conservative, Leave, voted for the bill

"I had reached the point where if the country had voted remain, I would have respected that judgment and not sought re-election at the next general election. I would have seen no point in this puppet Parliament - this Parliament that is full of views, airs and graces, but cannot change laws or taxes, or spend money in the way the British people want."

Sammy Wilson, DUP, Leave, voted for the bill

"During the referendum campaign, the people of the United Kingdom knew what they were voting for. Those who were voting to remain tried to scare the devil out of them. They told them that all kinds of horrors were going to beset them - that within a couple of days they would be eating dry bread and having to drink water, and losing their jobs - and still they voted to leave. "

Ian Murray, Labour, Remain, voted against the bill

"None of these decisions in the House is taken easily; in fact, it is with a heavy heart that I will vote against triggering Article 50 this evening, but I will do so in the knowledge that I will be able to walk down the streets of Edinburgh South, look my constituents in the eye and say to them that I have done everything I possibly can to protect their jobs, their livelihoods and the future of their families."

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Media captionLabour's Kate Hoey regrets 'venomous' response to Brexit vote

Kate Hoey, Labour, Leave, voted for the bill

"I have also had many nasty, venomous letters, not necessarily from my constituents, but from across the country. I resent and deplore the language that has been thrown around over the past few months. It comes not just from one side. There is a tendency to think that it is only the remainers who have had some pretty awful things said about them."

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Media captionHannah Bardell's Trainspotting-inspired anti-Brexit speech

Hannah Bardell, SNP, Remain, voted against the bill

"Choose Brexit. Choose making up numbers from thin air about the NHS and plastering them on the side of buses. Choose racist and xenophobic sentiments seeping out from some corners of the leave campaign. Choose hate crime rising by more than 40% and LGBT hate crime rising by more than 150% in England and Wales following the Brexit vote. Choose taking the people of our nations to the polls on one of the most important issues in a generation with nothing written down and no plan."

Anna Soubry, Conservative, Remain, voted for the bill

"I believe that history will not be kind to this Parliament, nor, indeed, to the government I was so proud to serve in. How on earth did we ever come to put to the people an alternative that we then said would make them worse off and less safe and would weaken our nation?"

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Media captionMichael Gove wants 'liberal, open, democratic' Brexit

Michael Gove, Conservative, Leave, voted for the bill

"A number of people are now asking for white papers, scrutiny and greater clarity, but we have already had the promise of a white paper, and a 6,000-word speech from our prime minister. We have had clarity in all these issues. Those people will not take yes for an answer; they are seeking not clarity but obfuscation, delay and a dilution of the democratic mandate of the British people."

Alasdair McDonnell, SDLP, Remain, voted against the bill

"I have never pretended that the European Union was perfect or that it does not need reform - even radical reform - but the EU has delivered for Northern Ireland. It helped to deliver parity of esteem and prosperity for all sides of our community, and it has helped to bring peace in difficult times."

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Media captionNick Clegg's 'sense of foreboding' about Brexit

Nick Clegg, Lib Dem, Remain, voted against the bill

"The British people did not give this government a mandate to threaten to turn our country into some tawdry, low-regulation, low-tax, cowboy economy. The British people did not vote to make themselves poorer by pulling out of the greatest free-trading single market the world has ever seen - incidentally, that is one of the many reasons why the Liberal Democrats believe that the British people should be given a say at the end of the process, much as they were given a say at the beginning."

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Media captionPeople are worried and frightened after the vote for Brexit, Jo Stevens told MPs

Jo Stevens, Labour, Remain, voted against the bill

"I will not stay silent on the basis that to speak is to be anti-democratic, while the current prime minister leads us towards a brutal exit with all the damage that that will cause to the people and community I represent."

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Conservative, Leave, voted for the bill

"All that this bill does - and this is why the amendments are all such flotsam and jetsam designed to obstruct the will of the British people - is to implement the noble, brave and glorious decision that the people made on that day of legend and song, the twenty-third of June in the year of our Lord 2016."

Caroline Lucas, Green, Remain, voted against the bill

"The government seem increasingly desperate to make deals with any despot they can find - we saw an arms deal with Turkey last weekend, and a trade deal with a divisive and dangerous US President to whom the prime minister has already clearly demonstrated she is entirely either unable or unwilling to stand up. That is not what the people voted for."

Ed Miliband, Labour, Remain, voted for the bill

"A heightened reason for saying that the process must begin is that we do not want to give the people who voted for Brexit a sense that they are being ignored once again."

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Media captionGeorge Osborne: Economy not government's Brexit priority

George Osborne, Conservative, Remain, voted for the bill

"It is very important that in the bitterness of that discussion we do not forget that there are some fundamental reasons why Britain wanted to be part of a European Common Market in the first place, nor should we allow the Europeans to forget that there was a fundamental reason why they created a European Community, which was to bring the nations of Europe together. We must try to keep those thoughts and hopes alive as we exit the EU."

Yvette Cooper, Labour, Remain, voted for the bill

"They are trying to concentrate power in the hands of the executive, when, in fact, they should be involving all of Parliament and the public in the debate about what kind of country we want to be and about where our future lies."

Tim Farron, Lib Dem leader, Remain, voted against the bill

"How, then, can anyone pretend that this undiscussed, unwritten, un-negotiated deal in any way has the backing of the British people? The deal must be put to the British people for them to have their say."

David TC Davies, Conservative, Leave, voted for the bill

"I say to anyone who is thinking of not coming through the Lobby with us tonight: think about the will of the British people and be part of what is going to take place—this exciting new chapter in the history of this great country. Come with us tonight - come with the British people."

Chris Bryant, Labour, Remain, voted against the bill

"My vote cannot change ​that, but I believe this bill - this way of Brexiting - will leave us poorer, weaker and at far, far greater danger in Europe, in the west and in this country, so I say not in my name. Never, never, never."

Alastair Burt, Conservative, Remain, voted for the bill

"As a confirmed remainer and supporter of the EU, I do not want the next generation of Conservative MPs to have the blight of this argument dogging them, their associations, their members and their voters in the way it has dogged us. It has soured friendships, deepened bitterness and damaged relationships - I swore at a mate in the Tea Room, and I am sorry."

Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid Cymru, Remain, voted against the bill

"I am confident that the people of Wales did not vote for poverty and did not vote for our economy to bear the brunt of Brexit."​

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