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MPs have rejected forcing Theresa May to seek parliamentary approval if she decides to lead Britain out of the EU without a negotiated deal.

By a majority of 45, the House of Commons overturned a Lords amendment that would have tied the government’s hands at the end of the Brexit process. Several pro-European Tories abstained.

The amendment could have given parliament the ability to force Mrs May back to the negotiating table, if she had not been able to reach a satisfactory deal with other EU states.

To date the government has promised a vote on any Brexit deal, but said, if the deal is not approved, Britain would simply leave the EU on WTO terms.

The amendment failed by 331 votes to 286, a wider margin than the government’s working majority.

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