House of Lords to begin second reading of Brexit bill
- Author: Essie Rivera Feb 21, 2017,
Feb 21, 2017, 0:15
The government does not have an in-built majority in the chamber and opposition peers are determined to try to amend the legislation.
He insisted there is a "strong body of opinion" among peers over guaranteeing the future of European Union nationals living in the United Kingdom and in giving Parliament a vote on the final Brexit deal in which the Government could be sent back to negotiate a better arrangement.
Theresa May has taken the extraordinary step of attending the House of Lords in person to watch peers debate the Government's Article 50 Bill.
As the Brexit Bill reaches the House of Lords tomorrow, she was confident that Peers would not hold it up.
"We will not be threatened into not fulfilling our normal constitutional role", said Baroness Smith. She urged colleagues not to "restrict the government's hand before it enters into complex negotiations or attempt to re-run the referendum".
"Voters will not look kindly on unelected politicians seeking to obstruct both the result of the referendum, and the vote of their elected representatives in the House of Commons earlier this month", he said. This would send the bill back to the Commons, which could either throw out or accept the changes.
"We will treat this bill appropriately and as seriously as we do all primary legislation", she said.
She said: "As we've seen the Dubs Amendment for example you can't always rely just on what the Government says". If the Lords change the bill, it will return to the Commons; That can lead to a process known as ping pong in which the bill can go back and forth between the chambers several times before consensus is reached.
'Brexit is the most important single issue which has faced the country for decades'.
Blair said Friday that pro-EU people should "rise up in defense of what we believe", and that as the realities of leaving the bloc become clear, Britons may lose their appetite for Brexit.
"We are trying to be helpful rather than hard".
May said that she hoped there would be debate and scrutiny in the Lords but that the upper chamber would not hold up the bill.
The Remainer poured cold water on Theresa May's plans to get a good deal with the EU: "At the end of the day what we are going to see is... less trade..."
He said: "When a deal is reached the country is entitled, either directly or through Parliament, to pass judgement on what's on offer".
Meanwhile, Brexit Secretary David Davis said the United Kingdom will continue to be a "good European citizen" after leaving the EU, following talks with Estonia's chief Brexit negotiator Matti Maasikas in Tallinn.