British government faces yet another big setback

British government faces yet another big setback

LONDON - Britain’s upper house on Monday voted to give parliament powers to block or delay a final deal on departure from the European Union, defeating Prime Minister Theresa May’s government.

The House of Lords voted 335 to 244 in favor of a ‘meaningful vote’ amendment to May’s Brexit blueprint that could allow parliament to send ministers back to the negotiating table in Brussels or even halt the Brexit process if it disapproved of the final deal.

“This is not ... about creating a constitutional crisis, nor is it about asking the Commons (the lower house) to take on the negotiations ... it is to ask the Commons and parliament to decide whether the outcome of the negotiations is good enough,” said Dianne Hayter, the opposition Labour Party’s Brexit spokeswoman.

The result had been expected, and was the seventh time in recent weeks that the government has been defeated in the Lords on the legislation that will formally terminate Britain’s EU membership.

The Lords amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill have been criticized by the government and can be overturned in the lower house, where May has a working majority, albeit a slim one.

The government suffered an eighth defeat when lawmakers backed an amendment requiring ministers to seek parliamentary approval for their negotiating mandate in the next round of Brexit talks on Britain future relationship with the bloc.