Lords vote to allow United Kingdom parliament to block Brexit 'no deal'

Lords vote to allow United Kingdom parliament to block Brexit 'no deal'

Labour said the vote marked a "hugely significant moment" in the fight for Parliament's "proper role" in Brexit negotiations, which the government continues to fight against at every step.

With May running a minority government, shored up by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland, victory for the prime minister is far from guaranteed, particularly with a number of pre-EU rebels among her ranks.

Theresa May's government has committed to a vote in parliament on the final deal secured in Brussels in a "take it or leave it" format; that means that if the parliament defeated the final deal, Brexit would proceed without a deal.

Members of Britain's unelected House of Lords voted Monday to allow parliament to block the government from leaving the European Union without a deal, although the motion must be approved by MPs before taking effect.

It was one of three government defeats on the Brexit bill on Monday evening.

Fox yesterday said: "I think there's a very big debate now about whether the unelected house can actually thwart the view of the British electorate in a referendum and ... legislation coming from the House of Commons".

Sir Keir urged the Prime Minister to accept the cross-party amendment, warning that there was "no majority in Parliament for a no-deal Brexit".

May can try to overturn the changes, which have to be agreed by both houses of parliament before they become law.

To add to May's woes, media reports in London say several of her senior ministers have threatened to resign if she strikes a deal that will keep Britain in a customs union.

"If we were in a customs union with the European Union we would have to accept what the EU negotiated in terms of market access to the United Kingdom without the United Kingdom having a voice".

He pointed out this would include ratification by a newly elected European Parliament - elected without UK MEPs in 2019 - and by national and regional assemblies across the 27 remaining member states.

Martin Callanan, the United Kingdom government's Brexit minister in the Lords, said during the debate: "I do not believe that it is in the best interests of the country to redefine the nature of our democracy in this way".

Speaking specifically about the amendment, he said: "At best it undermines the government's ability to reach a good deal with the EU".

Lords also approved a second amendment, tabled by Lord Monks, which would require ministers to seek parliamentary approval for their phase two negotiating mandate, by 270 votes to 233.

But former Conservative leader Lord Howard said the idea of effectively giving Parliament a veto over Brexit "reveals the appalling lengths to which the die-hard Remainers are prepared to go to achieve their aims".

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