Government orders MPs to scrap Lords plan to let EU nationals stay in Britain

The Government will instruct MPs to reject House of Lords amendments giving them a “meaningful vote” on the Brexit deal and letting EU nationals stay in Britain, David Davis confirmed on Saturday night.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union said the Government wanted to move ahead on triggering Article 50 “with no strings attached” and that no amendments added by the Lords would be accepted.

Ministers are however coming under increasing pressure to give Conservative MPs reassurances from the dispatch box that the Commons will get a vote on the final deal and also information about what will happen in the event no deal can be reached. 

The Lords added amendments to the Exiting the European Union Bill clarifying the fate of EU nationals in Britain, and on giving MPs a meaningful vote. 

Ministers have indicated they want to use EU nationals as one of their “main cards” in negotiations and have refused to say they will definitely be allowed to stay. They also say a final vote on the Brexit deal will be between the deal and crashing out of the bloc on WTO terms.

Mr Davis said on Saturday evening: “However they voted in the referendum, the majority of people now want the Prime Minister to be able to get on with the job.

“By a majority of four to one, MPs passed straightforward legislation allowing the Government to move ahead with no strings attached. I will be asking MPs to send the legislation back to the House of Lords in its original form so that we can start building a Global Britain and a strong new partnership with the EU.

“Our new position in the world means we can restore national self-determination, build new trading links  and become even more global in spirit and action.”

Though the Conservatives only have a slim working majority, the Government is expected to win the vote with support from the DUP and a few eurosceptics. 

There were signs this weekend that ministers were expecting a tight vote, however – after Government whips refused to issue permissions slips for MPs to miss the vote, according to the Telegraph newspaper

The announcement comes as MPs on the Foreign Affairs Committee warn that the Government is not doing its job properly by failing to plan for the possibility no deal will be reached with the EU.   

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