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Theresa May on Wednesday night won a historic House of Commons mandate to start Britain’s divorce from the EU amid warnings that the looming exit negotiations could descend into a diplomatic “fist fight”.

Mrs May is on course to start the two-year Brexit process next month after MPs voted by 498 to 114, a government majority of 384, for the bill that gives her the power to invoke the EU treaty’s Article 50 exit clause.

The vote saw Mrs May lead virtually all Conservative MPs through the voting lobbies alongside Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, who had instructed his MPs to respect the Leave vote in last year’s EU referendum.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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