The Labor Party of the United Kingdom hopes to defeat Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Lords this week in a move that could force her to change her Brexit policy towards closer ties with the European Union.
The main opposition has joined with the Lords of the Conservatives in May, as well as with the Liberal Democrats and independents to sponsor more than a dozen amendments to the Brexit legislation of the government. The key would tell the government to keep the United Kingdom in a customs union with the EU after Brexit, a policy that companies endorse but May rejects.
In eight cases – including the customs union – there is the possibility of defeating the government by 50 votes or more, according to Labor spokeswoman Brexit in the Lords, Dianne Hayter.
"All serious amendments have a Tory, a Deputy, a Liberal Democrat and a Labor Party: the whole house has been covered," Hayter said Monday in an interview in Parliament. "I'm pretty optimistic that, unless the government makes some significant concessions on some of them, we must make them happen."
It is still unclear how the government will react to a defeat, and to what extent the amendments will force it to change its policy. At least, it will increase the pressure on her to execute a U-turn and stay in a customs union.
Read more: May red line Brexit in the customs union could be close to leaving
Probably also a majority in the lower house of parliament in favor. While May has repeatedly ruled out staying in the customs union, since it would prevent Britain from having its own trade policy, some in her administration endorse the idea.
One official said the government would probably oppose the amendment if it was sent back to the House of Commons. However, another official said that the clause only requires the government to explain what it has done to try to remain in a customs union, something that could easily be done without impact on politics. The Lords vote will be on Wednesday.
"I certainly know a series of Tories that I will not name, but they will absolutely vote with us in the customs union," said Hayter. The amendment is also a good opportunity to gain popularity in the House of Commons elected when the bill is returned to the lower house, he said.
At least 10 of the May Conservatives themselves backed an amendment to a different bill in the lower house calling for a customs union, enough on paper to defeat it in the Commons. That bill has been delayed.
"Ms. You may not have put it in the Commons at this time, so obviously you're worried that I will not win it," Hayter said.
If the Lords approve the customs union amendment, it will bring the issue to a critical point in the Commons, according to one of its sponsors, John Kerr, an independent who helped draft the now famous Article 50 that governs the Brexit process .
"You do not want to tell your chickens, but I think there's a lot of support in the Lords for the amendment," he said. "Now comes the time when we should crystallize our thoughts."
If the amendments approved in the Lords have then traction in the lower house depends on the size of the majority, according to Hayter.
This is because although the Lords generally differ from the camera chosen after a law has been passed between the two chambers two or three times, a large majority of the Lords may be enough to embolden the Tory rebels in the Commons. , where May has a thin majority of wafers. [1 9659002] Apart from the customs union and the protections of environmental and worker rights, other areas covered by amendments between parties in the Lords seek:
- Limit the scope of the so-called powers of Henry VIII that would allow the ministers elude parliament in changing laws and regulations
- Go beyond a successful rebel amendment in the Commons in December that secured a meaningful vote for lawmakers in May's final Brexit agreement by giving Parliament more say on whether the prime minister should seek a new negotiation or leave the EU without one
- Protect the peace process in Northern Ireland
- Eliminate the fixed government of Brexit on March 19, 2019 to give additional flexibility
- Facilitate the future cooperation of the United Kingdom with EU agencies
The amendments are scheduled for discussion during six sessions in the Lords, scheduled for on April 18, 23, 25 and 30 and May 2 and 8.