IT&Software

Ping Pong? Lords to vote on UK PM May's Brexit bill

Ping Pong? Lords to vote on UK PM May's Brexit bill

Michael Heseltine was among peers that overwhelmingly backed an amendment demanding a "meaningful" parliamentary vote on the final deal.

George Bridges, from the government's Brexit ministry, told the House of Lords: "By denying the prime minister's ability to walk away from the negotiating table, this would only incentivise the Euorpean Union to offer us a bad deal".

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

As unelected parliamentarians, the Lords can not make changes without the approval of the House of Commons, so the bill will return to the lower chamber for reconsideration. Earlier, the peers voted against putting the outcome to a second referendum.

Ministers are at risk of a second defeat in the House of Lords over the bill paving the way for Brexit talks.

Hilary Benn MP, Exiting the EU Committee Chair, said: "EU citizens who have come to live and work here have contributed enormously to the economic and cultural life of the UK".

A committee of politicians in the House of Commons Sunday called on British Prime Minister Theresa May's government to make a unilateral decision to safeguard the rights of 3.2 million nationals from European Union countries living in Britain. Her team has signaled she's likely to try to overturn the Lords defeats when the bill returns to the House of Commons for further consideration, probably next week.


While it has been reported that the European Commission's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is seeking a 60 billion Euro (£52 billion) "exit bill" from Britain, the committee said all estimates of the cost of withdrawal were "hugely speculative".

It has also seen the once-great sterling plumb embarrassing depths against a raft of other currencies, sending inflation higher and hurting the disposable income of ordinary working people.

Labour's leader in the Lords, Baroness Smith, said: "I have said all along that we would not block Brexit while reserving our right to challenge and scrutinise any legislation put before us".

The bill would then return to the Lords in the evening of the same day, when peers are expected to call a halt to their demands for changes and allow the legislation to reach the statute book. She plans to use that power later this month.

It said: 'We can embolden our elected representatives, the vast majority of our MPs support our membership of the European Union, but are being railroaded into a catastrophe by reckless and incompetent leadership.

"It must be for Parliament to decide whether to prefer no deal or the deal offered by the EU", Lord Pannick said. However, when the United Kingdom government triggers Article 50 - which is widely expected to happen in the coming weeks - all this could quickly change.