House of Lords thwarts May's Brexit plan
The House of Lords has voted to amend the Brexit bill. The majority of the Lords voted for the rights of EU nationals living in the UK to be guaranteed after the UK's withdrawal from the EU. This means the bill must now go back to the House of Commons, which will delay its approval. The press is at odds over whether this is good or bad news for Britain.
Lords have weakened London's hand in the talks
It would be a grave mistake to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK at this stage, The Daily Telegraph warns:
“Everyone agrees that EU residents should be treated properly and their current status underpinned. But the whole point of the Bill is to allow the Government to give notice of the UK's intention to leave, at which point a fair agreement on reciprocal rights can be struck with the rest of the EU. ... Moreover, it risks weakening Britain's hand in the forthcoming talks and, as Lord Strathcylde pointed out, makes no provision for one million of our own citizens living in the EU. Doubtless, peers felt better in themselves by defeating the Government; but they were grandstanding, with little thought given to the practicalities involved.”
Britain a model of democracy
The amendment demanded by the House of Lords is a commendable step even if it does thwart Theresa May's Brexit timetable, former Turkish ambassador to the UK Ünal Çeviköz writes in Hürriyet:
“The amendments demanded by the House of Lords will be carried out swiftly by the government and the amended bill will then be presented once more to the House of Commons. … However, prolonging the procedure in this way may jeopardise Theresa May's plan to begin the government negotiations on March 31. All these mechanisms show how democratic processes are turned into law without haste, with patience and only once all the minor details of an issue have been considered. From this perspective the United Kingdom is known for applying parliamentary democracy with great success.”