UK Prime Minister May Defied Again by Revolting Lords over Brexit Deal
The UK Parliament will have to vote again on how much of a say it should have on Brexit after Lords in the upper house handed out another defeat to the Government last night.
After a bad-tempered debate, Peers voted that MPs should give final approval to the next steps if the UK Government failed to reach a deal on Brexit with the EU.
Their amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill was carried by 354 votes to 235 and the issue now goes back before MPs in the House of Commons this week.
The UK is due to leave the European Union in March 2019, but negotiations over the terms of its departure are bogged down, raising the prospect of no deal being reached by the deadline.
There is widespread disagreement among British politicians about what should happen if Parliament rejects any final deal between the two sides, or if no deal is reached.
Some insist that Parliament must step in to stop the UK from leaving without a deal – a hard Brexit – but their opponents say that even the suggestion this could happen would weaken the UK’s hand in negotiations with the EU.
Prime Minister Theresa May has already avoided one defeat on the issue but rebels from all parties were unhappy with the concessions offered to them in return for not voting against the government.
The latest amendment voted on by Peers came from former Conservative cabinet minister Lord Hailsham, who described Brexit as a “national calamity” in his speech.
- The UK government is to reveal initial details of an immigration scheme for EU citizens who wants to stay in Britain after Brexit. The ‘settled status’ initiative will apply to any of the 3.4 million EU nationals who wish to remain.
The previous UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd, who was forced to resign over the Windrush immigration scandal, said more than two years ago that it would be “as easy as setting up an online account at LK Bennett (an upmarket women’s fashion chain).”
But it has been repeatedly delayed and Nicolas Hatton, co-founder of the3million, a group lobbying on behalf of EU citizens who live in the UK, said: “Our main message to the government is that if they genuinely want EU citizens to stay they must remove all barriers in the registration process and make it free.”
A statement of intent will set out evidence that EU citizens must supply to the Home Office proving they are eligible to stay in the UK, but this is only a consultation document and more details are likely to follow at a later date.
Prime Minister Theresa May had previously said: “I couldn’t be clearer: EU citizens living lawfully in the UK today will be able to stay.”
But campaigners are concerned that the scheme is being run by the Home Office, which was at the heart of the Windrush scandal after threatening British citizens of Caribbean origin with deportation as part of the ‘hostile environment’ on immigration introduced by May when she was Home Secretary.
( Banner image: Flickr)