Government defeated on Brexit Bill as House of Lords back amendment to protect EU citizens

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The Brexit Bill which is officially known as the European Union (Notice of Withdrawal) Bill is the proposed law by which the UK will notify the EU of leaving the Union.

The Bill is a response to the Supreme Court’s judgment which decided that the Prime Minister could not trigger Article 50 on her own and that a vote in Parliament was needed. The Brexit Bill is what the MPs and Lords are voting at the moment.

The House of Lords which scrutinises laws proposed by the House of Commons has by the vote of 358 to 256 defeated the government Brexit Bill which means that the change will go back to the MPs for them to debate.

The amendment that the Lords added requires the government to introduce proposals within three months after Article 50 is triggered to ensure EU citizens in the UK have the same residency rights after Brexit.

“Within three months of exercising the power under section 1(1), Ministers of the Crown must bring forward proposals to ensure that citizens of another European Union or European Economic Area country and their family members, who are legally resident in the United Kingdom on the day on which this Act is passed, continue to be treated in the same way with regards to their EU derived-rights and, in the case of residency, their potential to acquire such rights in the future.”

While the opposition MPs wanted to add this to the Bill at the beginning, the Conservatives have more MPs so they stopped it. In the House of Lords, they do not have the numbers to do it.

The MPs will debate the Bill on March 13 and March 14, and it is likely that they will remove the amendment which means the Bill will go back to the Lords, the Lords can put it back in and so the process may continue, or eventually one side or the other will agree on the Bill, with or without the amendment – remains to be seen.

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About Angelika Majchrowska 5 Articles
Angelika is a contributing writer and writes about politics, law and current affairs. She has a Master of Law in Corporate and Commercial Law, and a Master in European Public Law and Governance. She is particularly interested in privacy, data protection and cyberlaw. She is a paralegal at Sterling Lawyers and deals with immigration and employment law.

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