Former UK PM Major slams 'unrealistic' Brexit expectations

Meanwhile, the Government shot down the first challenge in the House of Lords against its plan to formally trigger the negotiations.

He wrote: "In the end the outcome of Brexit will have to be confirmed by Parliament".

"My opponents will argue that the people have spoken, the mandate secured and the future cast", he said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has made a decision to Trigger Article 50 after the Conservatives won in a landslide in the last election after the referendum and has pledged to do so by the middle of March.

Labour and Lib Dem peers have always been confident of their chances of amending the bill, but Heseltine is the first big name from Conservative peers to back their efforts, lending his support to clauses which would hand parliament a "meaningful" vote on the terms of Brexit, and potentially force May back to the negotiating table.

Lord Newby, the Liberal Democrats' leader in the Lords, said he was "increasingly confident" that peers would inflict a defeat on the government. The bill will be passed back and forth until both houses agree on the wording of the bill.

With Labour promising not to try to stop the Brexit law, there is little chance May will lose the bill entirely.

"I don't think there is any possibility" of the government accepting opposition amendments, she told ITV's Peston On Sunday.

"I will vote in the House of Lords to ensure that position is legally intact".

Patrick McLoughlin, Conservative party chairman, called on peers to "give the prime minister as much flexibility as possible" for the negotiations.

The issue will test the Government and require a new Commons vote on an issue that saw three MPs - Ken Clarke, Andrew Tyrie and Tania Mathias rebel against the Government whip in similar votes earlier this month.

Opposition in the Lords focuses on two points: giving Parliament a substantive vote on the final terms of the deal, and protecting the rights of European Union citizens who live in the UK.

"It was perhaps unwise for our government to suppose that our parliament should be excluded where all others were included".

Richard Tice, co-chair of the Leave Means Leave group of Brexit supporters, called Lord Heseltine "unelected, unpatriotic [and] out of touch".

A United Kingdom outside the European Union will become more reliant on the United States and upon a president "less predictable, less reliable and less attuned to our free market and socially liberal instincts than any of his predecessors", former British prime minister John Major said Monday.

A new Chatham House poll, which aimed to find out what Europeans thought of specifically Muslim immigration, found that 55 percent of respondents from 10 EU member states wished for "All further migration from mainly Muslim countries" to be completely halted.

"The Bill should go through as it has come from the House of Commons, the elected House of Commons".

  • Joanne Flowers