UK House of Lords votes to amend Brexit bill giving parliament final say

DW – March 7, 2017

The unelected upper chamber of the UK parliament voted 366 to 268 on Tuesday to require approval from parliament, not just the government, on the final deal for Britain to leave the European Union and future trade ties.

It’s an amendment to the bill which was drafted to empower Prime Minister Theresa May to trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. Triggering Article 50 starts the clock ticking on the two-year process for the UK and the bloc to disentangle themselves from one another. May had promised to begin the withdrawal process by the end of March.

The timeline for her to do so is already about a week behind schedule as the House of Lords also voted on March 1 for another amendment which would guarantee the rights of the estimated 3 million EU citizens living in the UK, but May remained confident she would still meet her goal. Her government said the amendments would damage their standing in Brexit negotiations.

“It is clear that some in theLords would seek to frustrate that process, and it is the Government’s intention to ensure that does not happen. We will now aim to overturn these amendments in the House of Commons,” Brexit Minister David Davis said in response to the vote.