LONDON — The House of Lords just defeated a proposed amendment calling for Britain’s final Brexit deal to be put to a second national referendum.
Peers in the upper chamber defeated the proposed amendment by 336 votes to 131 on Tuesday afternoon.
If passed into legislation, the amendment would have required Theresa May’s government to put whatever final deal she managed to secure with the European Union at the end of Article 50 talks to a second public referendum
The defeat means that the question of a second referendum is all but dead.
Here’s the breakdown of the vote:
Representing the government, Lord Bridges of Healey told peers that former Prime Minister David Cameron described June’s referendum as “once in a generation” and therefore must not be challenged by a second vote.
“The referendum was, to quote the leaflet sent to all households in the UK, ‘a once in a generation decision’,” Lord Bridges said.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he could not support the proposed amendment as it would be undemocratic.
The Lords is in the process of debating the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which once passed will give May authority to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and initiate Britain’s formal departure from the EU.
The government may have avoided defeat on this occasion but is set to be defeated later today when peers vote on whether Parliament should be given a “meaningful vote” on the final exit deal May negotiates with EU leaders.
Last week, the Lords dealt its first blow to the prime minister, voting in favour of government taking unilateral action to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, despite the EU’s refusal to make the same promise for Brits living elsewhere in the 28-nation bloc.
This is a developing story…
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