Thursday, 2 March 2017

Theresa May: Brexit bill 'must be passed unamended'

The Government's bill to begin Britain's exit from the European Union must be approved "unamended", Theresa May has said.
The Prime Minister's intervention comes after a defeat in the House of Lords over protections for EU citizens.

Peers defied Mrs May and voted 358 to 256 in favour of an opposition amendment guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals in the UK post-Brexit.

But a spokesman for the PM said she remained "committed" to meeting the deadline to trigger Article 50 by the end of March.

He said: "Our message to MPs is that we expect this bill to go through unamended.

"MPs voted it through unamended and we expect that to be the case."

The Government has said that while it wants to secure the future rights of EU citizens in the UK, it needs to be able to secure the same rights for British citizens living in the EU at the same time.

The bill is now expected to return to the Commons on 13 and 14 March.

A similar amendment has already been rejected by MPs, and if they do so again the amendment will then "ping pong" back to the Lords.

Opposition parties have urged Conservative MPs in the House of Commons to back the amendment.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: "We have fought to defend the rights of EU migrants here who contribute so much to our public services and our economy.
"We urge the Government now to immediately bring forward the guarantee to protect the rights of EU nationals resident here.

"We are working now with our European colleagues to protect the rights of EU citizens here, but also UK citizens in the EU."

SKY    News.