Published: Wed, March 08, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Brexit: Government suffers second defeat in Lords

Brexit: Government suffers second defeat in Lords

Starting at 1100 GMT, the Lords will debate five proposed changes to the bill, including an amendment calling for a more "meaningful vote" on the terms of Britain's exit.

At present, the government's position is that Parliament will get a vote on the Brexit deal, but rejecting the deal in this vote would not stop or delay Brexit, but instead would see Britain leave the European Union with no deal.

That has already triggered Parliamentary ping pong, since the Government has vowed to overturn the amendment - and any others passed in the Lords - so the Article 50 Bill can become law unamended.

The legislation, to trigger Article 50 and start the Brexit talks, is set to clear the Lords later in the day but will have to go back to the Commons after last week's heavy defeat over the rights of European Union nationals already living in the United Kingdom to remain.

Prime Minister Theresa May suffered her second defeat in a week over Brexit Tuesday when the House of Lords voted to give parliament the final say on how Britain leaves the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May intends to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty by the end of March.

The House of Lords is not expected to want to be seen to be frustrating the referendum result, so if the Commons rejects the amendments it has put forward, it may not push to reinstate them.

The Government will ensure that Parliament is kept informed throughout the process and has at least as much information as the European Parliament.

May's defeat means that she'll either have to accept the changes - which she's argued would weaken her in negotiations - or try to delete the amendments.

However, the scale of the Lords rebellion, and attacks on her strategy by Conservative figures such as Lord Heseltine, is a significant dent to her authority.

"This approach could produce the worst of all worlds, failing to deliver a meaningful reduction in immigration while also proving more onerous and costly for employers, prospective applicants, and those charged with enforcement", the Lords said in a report on Brexit and immigration policy.

He suggested that the UK's European neighbours have realised that there is a lot at stake for the EU if an amicable agreement can not be thrashed out after Article 50 has been triggered by May this month.

The committee's chairman, Lord Lang, said it was important to get the safeguards right, particularly given the Brexit campaign promise to "take back control".

The government had rejected the amendment, saying it would weaken May's hand by denying her the ability to walk away from the negotiating table, the Guardian added.

Representing the government, Lord Bridges of Healey told peers that former Prime Minister David Cameron described June's referendum as "once in a generation" and therefore must not be challenged by a second vote.

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