According to a number of sources including Sky News, the first House of Lords REJECTION of the Article 50 Bill that has already been approved by the House of Commons is set to take place on Wednesday 1st March.
In a move that is highly unusual in the House of Lords, this vote on an amendment to ensure that the rights of EU citizens in the UK will be ‘rushed through’ around one week ahead of schedule.
The bill is currently at the ‘committee’ stage, which would explain why many people have expressed surprise at this development.
It is already believed that this amendment will pass easily in the House of Lords, in spite of the fact that the House of Commons has already voted against this exact same amendment on the way to passing the overall bill a few weeks ago.
The Sky News report states: ‘It is already backed by Labour, LibDem, cross-bench and several rebel Conservative peers, and Parliamentary sources expect the amendment to pass easily.’
It is unclear exactly how this defeat for Prime Minister Theresa May and the rest of the government will affect the overall timescale for the Brexit process to begin, but it will offer a glimmer of hope to many Remainers who feel that the House of Lords ‘holds the key’ to the whole process being delayed or even cancelled.
Some House of Lords insiders have said that the amendment vote will be rushed through because there is a growing feeling that the House of Commons and the rest of the government have not allowed enough time for the rights of EU citizens in the UK to be debated properly.
More worryingly perhaps is the fact that many peers have been motivated by a lack of signs that the government will give any concessions on this matter in the gap between the bill being passed by the House of Commons and the start of the peers’ debate.
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