British Lords Approve Amendment to Brexit Law

May heads for Brexit showdown on parliament role

Government defeated in House of Lords over 'meaningful vote' on Brexit deal

Britain's House of Lords inflicted another defeat on the government today over its flagship Brexit bill, sending it back to MPs and setting up a fresh showdown between Prime Minister Theresa May and her pro-European rebels.

On Monday, the House of Lords will debate different proposals for a so-called "meaningful" vote - the role that parliament will play if lawmakers reject the exit deal May negotiates with the European Union, or if she fails to agree an exit deal at all.

Re-tabling the government's amendment, which has been roundly rejected by Grieve and other Tory rebels, sets up a vote on the issue on Wednesday, when the ping-pong process return the bill to the Commons.

The pro-EU Conservative lawmakers want parliament to be able to intervene before Britain's deadline to leave the EU by next March, if May's government either fails to negotiate a deal with Brussels, or if it reaches a deal that lawmakers reject.

Nevertheless, they insist parliament can not be allowed to overturn Brexit or tie the government's hand is negotiations.

Both houses of parliament must agree the final wording before it can become law, but results in the lower house, where May rules with the support of the Democratic Unionist Party, are more consequential for her leadership.

Among the Tory peers who voted against the government were senior figures such as Michael Heseltine, Chris Patten and Sayeeda Warsi.

Dominic Grieve hit back at reporting of his comments over the weekend, that if parliament votes down the final Brexit deal the government would "collapse".

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"We have to have the Government having the position to have the best negotiating position possible, so we can get the best deal for the United Kingdom".

Tory former chancellor Lord Lamont drew jeers from peers after he suggested the amendment was unnecessary, and said it was "fantasy land" to suggest there could be a no-deal scenario and no debate in Parliament.

But Mr Field said he would be urging ministers to allow it to be debated by the Commons in government time.

"I don't want to collapse the government at all", he told Sky News.

The government says giving parliament too big a say would tie its hands in talks, and has offered instead to give parliament a vote on a statement on its next steps.

"We want what they have got - a meaningful vote", she said.

Last week, Conservative backbenchers that do not agree with the "no deal is better than a bad deal" position reached a compromise with the government. last week The UK prime minister promised a "meaningful vote", in the event there was no deal with the European Union by November 2018.

The Prime Minister stated she has listened to the concerns of the rebel Tory MPs, but noted future legislation can not hamper the Government's ability to negotiate the final Brexit solution.

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