The British Union flag and European Union flag are seen hanging outside Europe House in central London on June 9, 2015.
Toby Melville —Reuters
June 10, 2015 1:40 AM EDT

Lawmakers in the U.K. cleared the first hurdle for a new nationwide referendum on Tuesday, which could allow voters the chance to decide whether the U.K. stays in the European Union in the future.

On Tuesday, members of the Parliament voted 544 to 53 in favor of the referendum plan.

“An entire generation of British voters has been denied the chance to have a say on our relationship with the European Union. And Mr. Speaker, today we are putting that right,” said Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, according to the BBC.

The bill must now make it through several debates and additional votes before a referendum is unveiled, however.


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