Brexit: First defeat for British PM Theresa May
The amended bill will return to the House of Commons on March 13 and 14 when MPs will debate whether to keep the changes.
In a first of her parliamentary defeat over Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May is stuck with delay in the bill empowering her to begin talks for the UK’s exit from the EU after Britain’s upper house voted to amend and thereby, delay the bill.
On Wednesday, the House of Lords voted 358 to 256 for an amendment requiring ministers to protect the rights of EU nationals based in the UK following Brexit. However, the government’s defeat in the Lords could prove a symbolic one as MPs can remove the amendment when it comes back to the House of Commons.
The Department for Exiting the EU said, “We are disappointed the Lords have chosen to amend a bill that the Commons passed without amendment. “The bill has a straightforward purpose – to enact the referendum result and allow the government to get on with the negotiations.” May has said that any guarantee of the rights of EU nationals must be part of a deal protecting UK expats overseas.
The Lords have backed the amendment which requires the government to introduce proposals within three months of Article 50 to ensure EU citizens in the UK have the same residence rights after Brexit.