What now for government after Lords defeat?

The Lords have given Theresa May another Brexit headache - but what happens next?
Photo: PA / Stef

The Lords have given Theresa May another Brexit headache - but what happens next? Photo: PA / Stefan Rousseau - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The prime minister's plans for Brexit have been dealt blow after blow in the House of Lords – but what happens now?

This is what it means for the government:

• What headache for the government have those pesky peers caused this time?

The Lords voted by a majority of 91 to give parliament a decisive say on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

• What does it mean for the prime minister's exit strategy?

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It would put an end to May's position that the UK will leave the EU with no deal if MPs reject the final package she secures. The government says it would weaken the UK's hand in negotiations with Brussels and could even give parliament the power to delay the UK's exit from the European Union indefinitely.

• Did any Conservative peers rebel?

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Some 19 Tories rebelled, including former fronthbenchers Lord Heseltine, Lord Patten of Barnes and Lord Willetts. They say the country's future should be determined by parliament rather than the government. Take a bow one and all.

• So, what happens next?

The amendment to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will go to the Commons to be voted on by MPs. The government will seek to overturn the result and Tory Remainers will face intense pressure to fall into line. The whips are already in a frenzy.

• Was it the only defeat peers inflicted on the government?

Nope. It was the first of three just on Monday evening. They also supported a move to give parliament approval of the mandate for negotiations over the UK's future relationship with the EU and backed a post-Brexit system that enables lone child refugees to join family members living in the UK.

It takes the tally overall to nine defeats, with ministers seeing off just two challenges.

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