Wednesday 1 February 2017 7:41 pm

MPs just voted overwhelmingly to back an Article 50 Bill

An overwhelming majority of almost 500 MPs have expressed their support for a Bill granting Prime Minister Theresa May the power to begin Brexit negotiations.

In the first vote in the House of Commons on the Article 50 Bill, 498 MPs backed the legislation moving to the next stage, where amendments can be tabled.

By contrast 114 MPs, including 56 members of the Scottish National Party, voted against the Bill.

A large number of the remaining votes against the Bill came from the Labour party, despite Jeremy Corbyn instituting a three line whip ordering his MPs to back the legislation.

Any members of Corbyn's frontbench who voted against it will be expected to be replaced, and Labour revealed that shadow environment secretary Rachael Maskell and shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler had resigned in the build up to the vote.

Shadow education minister Tulip Siddiq was the first to quit, resigning last week, and was followed days later by shadow secretary of state for Wales Jo Stevens.

It came after full day of debate that saw former chancellor George Osborne argue the government was prioritising immigration over the economy, and warn that Brexit negotiations with the EU should be expected to turn “bitter”.

MPs will hold a final vote on the Article 50 Bill on 8 March before debate moves to the House of Lords.