UK government suffers double Brexit defeat

Empics Entertainment                   An anti Brexit march in Manchester last year

Empics Entertainment An anti Brexit march in Manchester last year

Prime Minister Theresa May was dealt a new defeat by Britain's upper house of parliament on Tuesday over her main Brexit legislation, this time opposing her plans to leave European Union agencies.

This marks the 11th defeat to the British government's EU Withdrawal Bill and is indicative of the increasingly divided sentiment in United Kingdom politics, especially with regards to Brexit and Britain's future relationship with the bloc.

"What is the point of putting the date on the face of this bill when it may have to be changed in circumstances which we can not foresee?" "This date should not be defined and specified on the face of the bill in case it becomes necessary and in the national interest to agree an extension" to talks.

Peers voted by 247 to 218 to require the government to negotiate a Brexit deal that keeps the United Kingdom in the European Economic Area (EEA), in a major reversal for Downing Street.

The House of Lords, where the opposition Labour and Liberal Democrats outnumber PM Theresa May's Conservatives, has proven a consistent thorn in the government's side on Brexit.

The upper house of parliament also voted on Tuesday in favor of an amendment whereby Britain would continue to participate in European Union agencies after leaving the bloc. In total, they have voted through 12 amendments against government wishes.

Just over an hour later, peers defeated the Government by voting to remove the Brexit date of March 29 2019 from the Bill.

Pro-EU Tories, seeking to capitalise on the lack of agreement in the Cabinet and a Lords' victory on the customs union, pushed for Prime Minister Theresa May to abandon her Brexit strategy and instead commit to a Norway-style approach within the European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Association (Efta).

There are now 13 key issues the Commons will have to decide whether to reverse thanks to the House of Lords. At least 10 Conservative lawmakers have put their names to an amendment on a separate piece of legislation in support of staying in a customs union - enough to defeat the government on the Lords amendment on the same topic.

As before, the amendments are co-sponsored by peers across the political spectrum. The government's decision to amend it in the Commons by adding the date had been unnecessary.

The Government has suffered 14 defeats over its flagship EU Withdrawal Bill, with the latest reversals coming on the sixth and final day of the bill's report stage in the upper chamber.

But Labour's Lord Alli, who moved the successful amendment, said continued EEA membership was vital to ensure the future profitability of the UK's export business.

China increasing inspections of US pork as trade conflict continues
'Bill & Ted 3' Is Officially Happening