Juliette Fletcher: House of Lords to put Brexit bill under scrutiny

The House of Lords will begin to debate the issues and amendments on Monday, with nearly 200 peers keen to speak on the subject in the upper chamber, where the government has no majority.

He went on to accuse Leave campaigners such as David Davis of fraud - even though both Michael Gove and Boris Johnson said the United Kingdom would most likely leave the single market during the campaign.

Lord Mandelson told the Andrew Marr programme that the Lords should "reinstate" the protections into the bill in the coming weeks.

The Lords can send an amended bill back to the Commons and delay its passage, but cannot push through changes themselves.

"At the end of the day, the House of Commons must prevail because it is the elected chamber", Mr Mandelson told BBC television on Sunday.

Ms Truss said her understanding of Article 50 was that it was "irrevocable" and, despite supporting Remain in the referendum, if there was a second public vote "I would vote for out, because it's the settled will of the British people".

United Kingdom correspondent Juliette Fletcher told Andrew Dickens what that means.

Why was May at the House of Lords
Why was May at the House of Lords

The Labour former cabinet minister believes the Lords will force changes to legislation meant to allow Prime Minister Theresa May to have the power to start the formal two-year Brexit process. The House of Commons has already rejected amendments on both issues.

MPs rejected calls for the status of European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom and a parliamentary vote on the final terms of exit to be explicitly guaranteed in the bill - although ministers have conceded the Commons will have its say and it fully expects citizens of other European Union countries to be able to stay in the United Kingdom after Brexit pending negotiations.

Asked whether Brexit was really going to happen, Mandelson assured viewers that Parliament would respect the decision of the referendum - before pointing out that only "36pc of the public voted to leave".

She told Andrew Marr that the House of Commons had "conclusively" voted to trigger Article 50, with the majority of Labour MPs backing the government. The mood of peers and the degree of their appetite for revolt will become clear during the debate, although the Lords will not vote on the issues until next week. The group said it had conducted research by ICM that showed 43% of 2,000 respondents would be more likely to back abolition or reform of the Lords if the chamber appeared to be obstructing Brexit.

Discussions in the unelected upper house of parliament get underway after the lower House of Commons overwhelmingly approved the draft legislation earlier this month.

As the government's Article 50 bill makes it way to the Lords this week, it's a case of the ghosts of New Labour past in the fight to prevent a hard Brexit - or any Brexit at all.

That view was also signalled by Dominic Raab, a Tory MP and member of Change Britain, which grew out of the Brexit campaign.

  • Leroy Wright