Labour defeats government in the Lords over EU citizens’ right to remain

2nd March, 2017 7:58 am

Labour’s amendment to the Brexit bill has been passed in the House of Lords.

The government were defeated, by a majority of 102 votes, on an amendment to the article 50 bill that seeks to secure EU citizens right to remain in Britain.

Labour’s leader in the Lords, Angela Smith, had described the government’s plans to not secure their rights as “shameful”, and a potential threat to the economy.

Labour were joined in voting against the government by the Lib Dems, cross-bench peers and some Tory rebels.

Labour’s Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said: “This is a really welcome and important step forward. For months Labour has been urging the Prime Minister to end unnecessary uncertainty for EU citizens in the UK, and I am delighted our colleagues in the Lords have sent this clear message to the Prime Minister.”

“Labour believe that EU nationals should not be used as bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations. There is a growing consensus that this must be resolved before Article 50 is triggered, and the Prime Minister is now increasingly isolated.”

“Labour will continue to support this simple but effective amendment when it returns to the Commons, and urge MPs on all sides of the House to do so.”

Labour peer Michael Cashman tweeted:

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