Lord Mandelson says House of Lords 'shouldn't throw in towel' on Brexit

The legislation is not expected to be blocked by the Lords, but the government could be forced into making concessions as it does not have a majority in the upper house.

Opposition peers shouted "Shame!" as he said amendments already tabled did not seek to amend the Bill's provisions but to "add to them substantially and perhaps delay the Bill".

Britain's upper house is getting ready to put the government's Brexit bill under scrutiny.

The legislation sailed through the Commons earlier this month by 494 votes to 122.

If the Lords change the bill, it will return to the Commons; That can lead to a process known as ping pong in which the bill can go back and forth between the chambers several times before consensus is reached.

The discussion in the unelected House of Lords was expected to last until midnight (0000 GMT Wednesday) as 190 lords planned to speak.

"Basically he wants to make sure that there's a final vote on the deal before Britain leaves the EU".

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On the same programme, Meet the Lords, D'Souza said: "I can remember one occasion when I was leaving the house quite late and there was a peer - who shall be utterly nameless - who jumped out of a taxi just outside the peers' entrance, left the engine running". The government is still expecting to stick to its timetable of triggering Brexit by the end of March.

In a June referendum, 52 percent of voters opted to leave the European Union after four decades of membership, sending shockwaves across Europe.

An ICM survey found 43 per cent of respondents would be more likely to back abolition or reform if the Lords impeded the withdrawal process, compared with 12 per cent who would be less likely in such circumstances.

Nearly 200 peers could speak in the debate on the second reading of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill this week, before specific amendments to the legislation are considered next week. "He wants any leave campaigners who are having second thoughts to have the chance to vote again". But given that the Article 50 bill is of such huge constitutional importance, those voting on it should be chosen by voters themselves.

'But you are also going to see, broadly speaking I suspect, the same numbers of migrants coming to this country as now - partly because already have the migrants don't come from the European Union, they come from the rest of the world.

"It is a simple bill on do we trigger Article 50, the British people have voted for that, they were clear in the referendum and the House of Lords now needs to get on with it which is what I understand they will be doing", she said.

She said as a former trade negotiator, the ex Labour cabinet minister should instead be directing his efforts at getting the best deal for Britain. "Article 50 is the mechanism by which we start that process, so this government is very clear that it will deliver on the result of that referendum".

  • Adam Floyd