Brexit: Government loses first parliamentary votes since election – BBC

  • The government has lost three votes in the Lords over its Brexit legislation – its first defeats since the election.
  • Peers supported calls for EU nationals to be given a physical document as proof they have the right to live in the UK after it leaves the bloc.
  • They also voted to remove ministers’ power to decide which EU Court of Justice rulings can be disregarded or set aside by UK courts and tribunals.
  • Ministers will aim to reverse the moves when the bill returns to the Commons.
  • With a majority of 80, the government will be confident of getting its way.
  • The EU Withdrawal Bill, which paves the way for the UK to leave the EU with a deal on 31 January, was approved by MPs earlier this month without any changes.
  • But despite their emphatic victory in December’s general election, the Conservatives do not have a majority in the Lords and have suffered a series of defeats during the bill’s passage through the unelected House.
  • The first amendment passed by peers, by a margin of 270 to 229, would give EU citizens in the UK the automatic right to stay, rather than having to apply to the Home Office, and would ensure they can get physical proof of their rights.
  • Its supporters said it would allay the “deep concerns” felt by many EU nationals who have until the end of June 2021 to apply for settled status.

 

UK government suffers fourth defeat on Brexit legislation in House of Lords – Reuters

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government suffered a fourth defeat on its Brexit legislation when members of parliament’s upper chamber voted on Tuesday to ensure protections for child refugees after Britain leaves the European Union.
  • Johnson’s Conservatives won a large majority in the lower chamber, the House of Commons, in a Dec. 12 election and earlier this month lawmakers there quickly approved the legislation needed to ratify his exit deal with Brussels.
  • But the House of Lords, where Johnson’s government does not have a majority, made three changes to the legislation on Monday, including over the rights of EU citizens after Brexit.
  • On Tuesday, the Lords voted 300 to 220 to ensure unaccompanied child refugees can continue to be reunited with family in Britain, a promise made by Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May but stripped from his legislation.
  • Johnson’s spokesman said the government would seek to overturn the changes made to the Brexit legislation when the bill returns to the House of Commons later this week.

 

Battle lines drawn on post-Brexit trade talks – FT

  • Sajid Javid, UK chancellor of the exchequer, has laid down one of the battle lines of the post-Brexit trade talks with Brussels, warning that Britain will never be a supplicant that accepts EU rules.
  • Business executives and EU officials have been unsettled by the UK finance minister’s insistence, in a Financial Times interview on Friday, that “there will not be alignment” with EU regulation. The UK stance has potential consequences for Britain’s future market access.
  • But no one is sure of the precise implications of Mr Javid’s pledge or whether it is part of the UK government’s negotiating tactics for the talks which will start after Britain formally leaves the bloc on January 31. These will vary depending on how far, and in what ways, Britain plans to assert its regulatory independence.