Government defeated a fourth of time in the House of Lords over Brexit bill

PUBLISHED: 13:51 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:01 21 January 2020

The House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

The House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Ministers have been defeated a fourth time in the Lords over Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

Peers inflicted three defeats on the government on Monday night when debating the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.

And the mauling continued on Tuesday after a vote on Lord Dubs' bid to restore the right of unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with their families in the UK after Brexit.

The Labour peer, who fled the Nazis as a child on the Kindertransport, urged ministers not to use the small number of children involved as "bargaining chips" in negotiations.

He said the government was seeking to delete earlier protections for child refugees in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 but it was a simple matter of humanity to retain them.

You may also want to watch:

Urging the government not to "close the door" on the children affected, Lord Dubs said some lived in "shocking" conditions in French camps at risk of sexual exploitation.

By providing them with a safe, legal route to the UK, peers would be "thwarting the traffickers" and avoiding the need for youngsters to take more dangerous options to get to their families.

The Bishop of Durham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, said the law as it stood was "hard fought for, not easily won" and warned ministers against conveying a negative message.

The bishop said the issue acted as a "moral bellwether for the future of our country", adding: "We want to be known as a country that is welcoming and passionate and committed to playing our full part in responding to the deep issues that arise from the reality of refugees around the world."

Liberal Democrat Baroness Hamwee said: "There is a strong feeling that parliament should not reduce our commitment to these children or to safe and legal routes."

The vote was won by the opposition by 300 votes to 220 - a majority of 80.

The Bill is already set to return to the Commons on Wednesday when the prime minister is expected to use his big majority in the elected House to overturn the Lords defeats in the run-up to Brexit day on January 31.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.