NEWS
02/01/2017 00:33 EST | Updated 02/02/2018 00:12 EST

UK lawmakers voting on bill to trigger EU exit talks

LONDON — Britain's House of Commons is to vote on a bill authorizing Prime Minister Theresa May to start European Union exit talks — the first major test of whether lawmakers will try to impede the government's Brexit plans.

Wednesday's vote comes after two days of debate, in which many government and opposition lawmakers said they would respect voters' June 23 decision to leave the EU and back the bill.

But the pro-independence Scottish National Party will try to pass a "wrecking amendment" blocking the start of divorce talks. The opposition Labour Party says it will try to amend the bill, but at a later stage.

The government wants to have the bill approved by early March so it can meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline for triggering EU divorce talks.