British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered her first parliamentary defeat over Brexit with the House of Lords voting in favour of an amendment to guarantee the rights of European Union (EU) citizens in the United Kingdom after the country leaves the bloc.
The Lords voted on Wednesday 358 to 256 for an amendment requiring Ministers to protect the rights of EU nationals based in the U.K. after Brexit. In the House of Lords, Ms. May’s Conservative Party does not command a majority.
The amendment, backed by the House, requires the government to introduce proposals within three months of Article 50 to ensure EU citizens in the U.K. have the same residence rights after Brexit.
The vote came after a heated debate in the Lords where the government was accused of treating the EU citizens like “bargaining chips.”
The Department for Exiting the EU said: “We are disappointed the Lords have chosen to amend a bill that the Commons passed without amendment. The bill has a straightforward purpose — to enact the referendum result and allow the government to get on with the negotiations.”