British ministers are expected to try to overturn an embarrassing defeat in the House of Lords on the government’s Brexit Bill when the legislation returns to the House of Commons.
Peers in the upper chamber defied Prime Minister Theresa May in favour of an opposition amendment, guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals living in the UK after Brexit.
The government said the defeat was “disappointing” but made clear they are determined to reverse it in the lower chamber.
The Shadow spokeswoman on Brexit, Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town, warned against EU nationals being used as “bargaining chips” in negotiations to quit the EU.
She said: “These people need to know now – not in two years’ time – or even 12 months time. They simply can’t put their lives on hold.
“I now want to say to the government: you can’t do negotiations with people’s futures. They’re too precious to be used as bargaining chips.”
There is a growing consensus that this issue must be resolved before Article 50 is triggered, and the UK prime minister is becoming increasingly isolated.
But, some pro-Brexit MPs were angry with the peers, arguing they were frustrating the will of the elected House of Commons over the Brexit Bill.