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Prime minister Theresa May has told MPs that the UK’s notification that it intends to leave the EU is a “historic moment from which there can be no turning back”.

“We know there will be consequences,” she said.

She said:

Today the government acts on the democratic will of the British people and too on the clear and convincing position of this House.

The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union.

She said she wanted the UK to be a “best friend” to its European partners, and stressed a desire for the UK to be a “tolerant” country.

I choose to believe in Britain and believe our best days lie ahead.

Talks will be handled “respectfully” and in a spirit of cooperation, she added.

In response, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the government was setting the country on a “reckless” path.

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