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Boris Johnson DEFEATED in the House of Lords as peers demand changes to Brexit bill

BORIS JOHNSON has suffered his first Parliamentary defeat since the general election after the House of Lords voted to demand changes to the Prime minister’s Brexit bill.

PUBLISHED: 16:48, Mon, Jan 20, 2020 | UPDATED: 17:30, Mon, Jan 20, 2020

Boris johnson brexit defeat

Boris Johnson has lost his first vote since the general election (Image: GETTY•PARLIAMENTTV)

Mr Johnson was defeated in Parliament’s second chamber as peers backed an amendment to the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill. In a closely lost vote, the Lords demanded the EU citizens be given physical documentation of their right to live in the UK post Brexit.


Peers voted for rhe amndement by 270 votes to 229 – a mojirty of 41.

It is believed the decision was made to try and prevent a “another Windrush”.

The House of Lords rejected ministers’ claims the move would amount to “ID card creep”

It was believed it was necessary to guard against discrimination by employers, landlords and the state.

Boris Johnson faced his first defeat since the general election

Boris Johnson faced his first defeat since the general election (Image: Getty Images)

The House of Lords demanded changes the the Brexit bill

The House of Lords demanded changes the the Brexit bill (Image: Getty Images)

The latest vote will set the scene for futher battles over Mr Johnson‘s withdrawal bill when it returns to the House of Commons.

It is estimated the 3.6million EU residents in the UK fear victimisation without physical documents after Brexit.

The Home Office insisted a “digital-only” approach will be more secure.

It argued physical documents “can get lost, stolen, damaged and tampered with”.

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Conservative MPs must overturn the decision next week

Conservative MPs must overturn the decision next week (Image: Getty Images)

The upper chamber of the House of Lords backed a cross-party amendment, tabled by Liberal Democrat Lord Oates.

He claimed without a physical document then EU citizins eligible to remain in the UK would be “severely disadvantaged” in dealings with landlords, airlines and other officials.

The Lord denied it was an attempt to challenge Brexit ot “frustrate” legislation, which was alreasy passed through the Commons ahead of Brexit Day. 

Afterwards Lord Oates said: “This amendment simply seeks to uphold the promise repeatedly made by Boris Johnson that the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK would be automatically guaranteed.

Lord Oates tabled the amendments

Lord Oates tabled the amendments (Image: ParliamentTV)

The upper chamber backed the cross-party amendments

The upper chamber backed the cross-party amendments (Image: ParliamentTV)

“It would remove the risk that those who failed to meet the cut off deadline would be automatically criminalised and subject to deportation.”

This means Conservative MPs will need to overtun the defeat next week, as the Bill is rushed through for Brexit Day on January 31.

If the defeat is reversed, peers in the House of Lords must then decide wether to accept it or not.

They may try again to pass the “physical document” amendment.

Peers have the power to ask the Commons to “think again”, but given the scale of mr Johnson’s General Election victory this may be unlikely.

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