THERESA May has won a victory in her bid to push on with Brexit after MPs overwhelmingly backed the Tory great repeal Bill in the Commons.

The Prime Minister described the vote, which came just after midnight, following 13 hours of debate over two days, as “historic”.

The SNP called it a “dark day for democracy”.

Though Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems and others opposed the EU (withdrawal) Bill, it passed its second reading by a whopping 326 votes to 290.

A majority of 36 is a relative landslide in a House of Commons where the government is a minority.

That was in part down to a sizeable pro-Brexit Labour rebellion, with seven MPs backing the Bill and others abstaining.

Europhile Tories also followed the party line, choosing not to pick a fight with the Prime Minister at this stage of the parliamentary process.

Despite repeated requests for changes to the Bill, with many of her own backbenchers expressing concerns over the granting of sweeping powers to amend legislation with no oversight to the government, May refused to budge.

Neither was she shaken by arguments from the devolved assemblies about the “power-grab” of Clause 11, which sees powers repatriated from Brussels going straight to London, even if they’re in an area where parliaments in Edinburgh or Cardiff have competence.

Last night’s debate and vote was on the principle; MPs will now take the Bill as is and go through it line by line in the Committee stage.

Optimistic Tory MPs believe they will have a chance during the upcoming eight days of debate to make substantive changes and win concessions from May and her Brexit secretary David Davis.

In a statement after the vote, May said: “Earlier this morning parliament took a historic decision to back the will of the British people and vote for a bill which gives certainty and clarity ahead of our withdrawal from the European Union.

“Although there is more to do, this decision means we can move on with negotiations with solid foundations and we continue to encourage MPs from all parts of the UK to work together in support of this vital piece of legislation.”

The SNP’s Foreign Affairs spokesman Stephen Gethins called it “a dark day for devolution and democracy in the UK”.

He argued that passing the Bill had brought Britain, “another step closer towards the damaging impact the Tory government’s Brexit strategy – or lack of – will have on the UK’s economy, jobs and living standards.”

Gethins added: “Despite the disappointment, I am pleased to see Labour’s shift in stance towards backing the SNP’s long-standing position on the importance of securing the best possible legislation and deal, and the dangers if opposition parties remain divided in their approach in holding this Tory government to account.

“This is echoed by yesterday's welcome comments by Jeremy Corbyn on seeking a deal whereby the UK stays in the Single Market.

“The challenge now is for MPs across the Chamber to unite behind a common purpose in ensuring that this UK government is prevented from railroading further Brexit legislation through that risks the very foundations of devolution.”

Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, said the result was “deeply disappointing”.

He added: “This bill is an affront to parliamentary democracy and a naked power grab by government ministers. It leaves rights unprotected, it silences parliament on key decisions and undermines the devolution settlement.

“It will make the Brexit process more uncertain, and lead to division and chaos when we need unity and clarity.

“Labour will seek to amend and remove the worst aspects from the bill as it passes through parliament. But the flaws are so fundamental it’s hard to see how this bill could ever be made fit for purpose.”

During the debate Gethins clashed with new Stirling Tory MP Stephen Kerr, who criticised his use of the phrase“power grab”.

“That is the new in-fashion statement from the Scottish National party,” Kerr said, asking Gethins to “name one power that the UK Government will grab back from Holyrood?”

Gethins replied: “On fishing, on agriculture and on energy, we were told that these powers would come back to the Scottish Parliament without touching the sides, so where are the full powers over fishing, agriculture, energy and education?

“They are being retained by this Parliament on the 20th anniversary of the devolution process.”

Aberdeen South Tory MP Ross Thomson said voting against Bill would constitute “an act of betrayal against the referendum result and the will of the people, who we trusted to make the decision on our EU membership.”

“Leaving the EU will make Scotland’s Parliament inherently more powerful,” he insisted, adding: “Not only does the SNP position on new powers show how truly brass its neck is; it shows the shameless depths of scaremongering that the SNP will delve into to play constitutional tricks, fuelled by their politics of division.”

The SNP’s Hannah Bardell said the Bill was ”a wrecking ball for British democracy and the cross-party working and consensus that created the Scottish Parliament.”

Earlier in the day, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had created some confusion when he indicated his party were now open to the idea of staying in the single market. It was something of a U-turn, as previously Labour had only called for access to the single market.

A spokesman for Corbyn later clarified that he hadn’t U-turned, and that he still wanted just access.

“We want a relationship which allows us to trade within the single market,” he said.

“Whether that’s formal membership – which is only possible, I believe, if you are actually a member of the EU – or whether it’s an agreed trading relationship, is open for discussion. The outcome is more important than the nomenclature on the way.”

Asked if there was the possibility that Brexit might not happen and the UK could stay in the EU, Corbyn said it was a tricky situation for him as most of his voters backed remain, but the UK as a whole had backed leave – which must be respected.

A spokesman for Corbyn said after the interview that the party’s position had not changed. “We won’t be ‘members’ of the single market after the transition,” he said. “We want to achieve full tariff-free access to the single market. That could be achieved by a new relationship with the single market or a bespoke trade deal with the EU, which was what Jeremy was referring to.”

Meanwhile, the UK Government is to look into claims Europeans living in Britain are being discriminated against, amid reports employers and landlords are unwilling to take a “risk” on someone whose status may be at risk after Brexit.

The Whitehall equalities minister, Nick Gibb, told MPs that his office “is aware of, and is looking into” reports of increasing discrimination against EU nationals.

The 3 million campaign group, who represent EU citizens living in the UK, compiled a dossier of job and housing adverts either specifying British applicants only, or offering different terms for EU nationals.

A Commons written answer by Gibb to Labour MP Paul Blomfield, said: “The Government equalities office is aware of, and is looking into, the reports of discrimination against non-UK EU nationals seeking employment which [have been] forwarded to the secretary of state for exiting the EU.”

Concerns about the future of EU citizens living in Scotland were among the issues raised when Holyrood’s Europe Committee met with the EU’s chief negotiator in Brussels, Michel Barnier, yesterday.

Joan McAlpine, the SNP MSP who chairs the cross-party group of MSPs, said Barnier was interested and well informed and keen to talk, speaking to the Scottish politicians for longer than the hour he’d allocated in his diary.

McAlpine said: “The Committee presented Mr Barnier with reports from their long-running inquiry into the consequences of Brexit for Scotland and raised their concerns about the consequences of leaving the single market and the impact on key Scottish sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, higher education and exporting industries.’’

She added: “Mr Barnier was interested in Scotland and was well-informed about our concerns around Brexit. We discussed the importance of reaching a deal and the concerns about the pace of the negotiations.

“He has a very clear mandate to negotiate for the EU27 as one. We discussed what needs to happen before negotiations can move on to any future relationship between the UK and the EU as well as models for transitional arrangements. I made it clear that a majority of the Committee favoured remaining in the single market.

“The meeting ran over its scheduled time of an hour and Mr Barnier said he would be happy to speak to us in the future.”