Johnson govt loses 1st parliamentary votes since election


The Boris Johnson-led UK government has lost three votes in the House of Lords over its Brexit legislation, its first defeats since it was re-elected by a majority in the December 2019 general election.

The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill, which paves the way for the UK to leave the EU with a deal on January 31, was approved by MPs earlier this month without any changes, said a BBC rpeort.

But despite their emphatic victory in the December 12, 2019 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 House.

Meanwhile on Monday, the first defeat for the bill was over the rights of EU citizens lawfully residing in the UK after Brexit.

Peers backed a cross-party amendment allowing EU citizens physical proof of their status, reports

The vote, by 270 to 229, majority 41, means the bill will have to go back to the Commons, where Johnson will be able to use his big majority to overturn it.

In the second defeat, peers voted by 241 to 205, majority 36, to remove the power of ministers to decide which courts should have the power to depart from judgments of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and by reference to what test.

A third defeat followed as peers backed a move to allow cases to be referred to the Supreme Court to decide whether to depart from EU case law.

Voting on this amendment was 206 to 186, majority 20, as peers warned against interference in the independence of the judiciary.

Also on Monday, the Commons voted to approve the Queen’s Speech, which outlines the government’s legislative agenda.

London, Jan 21 (IANS)


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