Brexit: Government faces 7th defeat in parliament

Lord Callanan

Lord Callanan

The third defeat was led by the Labour peer Alf Dubs, who won backing for his amendment that would ensure child asylum seekers would be allowed to join family members in the United Kingdom after Brexit.

At a meeting of May's top cabinet ministers, the prime minister and her Brexit secretary, David Davis, led the expressions of disappointment over the Lords' vote.

The House of Lords is thwarting the will of the British people by trying to keep Britain in the European Union indefinitely, says worldwide trade secretary Liam Fox.

Asked about the Lords vote, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "There is a role for it to play in providing scrutiny, but the British public have voted to leave the European Union and Parliament needs to get on and deliver that".

Prime Minister Theresa May and her government on Monday faced its seventh defeat in the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the U.K. Parliament, over amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We can't have a situation where the clearly expressed will of the people in a referendum is thwarted by effectively procedural devices that would keep us in the European Union indefinitely".

The cross-party amendment, with the support of 19 rebel Conservative MPs, was passed with a majority of 91 MPs and granted parliament the power to send legislators back to Brussels should the Brexit deal by May be voted down by MPs.

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"It is not acceptable for an unelected house [the House of Lords] to try to block the democratic will of the British people", the minister said on Tuesday.

Theresa May is approaching crunch point on how Britain wants to approach customs arrangements after Brexit, with mounting pressure from Brussels and Ireland, divisions among cabinet ministers and a rebellion among Tory MPs in parliament.

"So we will be leaving the European Union, we will be leaving the single market and we will be leaving the customs union".

Dr Fox refused to say whether he would quit if Mrs May changed course, adding: "Getting no answer you can draw your own inferences".

Liam Fox said today that neither post-Brexit customs options to be presented to cabinet ministers tomorrow solve key red lines, amid hints that he would resign if his ability to strike trade deals were curtailed.

Martin Callanan, the 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".

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