House of Lords on Brexit bill

Tantantara! Tzing! Boom!

ww-westminster
Teresa May aka The Wicked Witch of Westminster

As anticipated, Teresa May’s European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill rather hit the buffers of the Parliamentary train in the House of Lords yesterday.

Every schoolboy (and schoolgirl) should know from Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe (You Tube Video Here), that the House of Lords is composed of “…peers of highest station, paragons of legislation, pillars of the British nation…” which makes the House one of the best revising upper chambers in the world.

The Financial Times has this report: “House of Lords votes to protect rights of EU citizens in the UK – Call for May to ‘think again’ as peers pass amendment to Brexit bill“.

The Guardian has this: “Lords urge Tories to back Brexit bill amendment on EU citizens – Peer says Tory rebels could defy whip over provision to protect EU nationals in UK when bill returns to Commons“.

The full text of the debate can be found in the Hansard Report of the Proceedings  and it is well worth reading the contributions to the debate.  The Lords voted to to amend the bill by 358 to 256 .   A spokesperson for the Department for Exiting the EU said it was disappointing that the Lords had chosen to amend the bill when the government’s position on EU nationals “has repeatedly been made clear”.

Yes indeed it has:  the Government seeks to use the situation of EU nationals in the UK as bargaining chips in the negotiations to obtain protection for UK nationals in other EU states which is a disgraceful approach

The Torygraph Telegraph reports “30 Tory MPs could join Brexit Bill rebellion over EU citizen rights, claims peer“. One may hope that the Noble Baroness is right.

The Independent has this: “Government drops threat to abolish House of Lords if it holds up Brexit bill – ‘The Lords has a constitutional duty to perform and it’s right that it does that…I think we have seen a very healthy and vigorous debate,’ a No.10 spokesman said“.

However, when the consideration in the Lords is concluded the bill has to return to the Commons in the process known as “parliamentary ping pong”.  See this page on the Parliament website – Consideration of Amendments.

We shall see what happens but at least the House of Lords has proceeded on an honourable basis.

 

 

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