UK lawmakers voting on bill to trigger EU exit talks

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  • Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis speaks in the House of Commons, London during the second reading debate on the EU (Notification on Withdrawal) Bill, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. British lawmakers are starting debate on a bill authorizing the start of European Union exit talks, as the government races to meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline to begin the process. (PA via AP)

    Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis speaks in the House of Commons, London during the second reading debate on the EU (Notification on Withdrawal) Bill, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. British lawmakers are starting debate on a bill authorizing the start ... of European Union exit talks, as the government races to meet a self-imposed March 31 deadline to begin the process. (PA via AP) (The Associated Press)

  • British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Britain's House of Commons is to vote on a bill Wednesday 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. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in London, to attend Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017. Britain's House of Commons is to vote on a bill Wednesday 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. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) (The Associated Press)

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.

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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.