Brexit news EU Theresa May House of Lords Brexit Bill

Brexit negotiators have claimed their EU counterparts are delaying talks

Brexit negotiators have claimed their EU counterparts are delaying talks to see how many of the Lords’ 15 changes to Mrs May’s flagship policy are supported by the Commons.

A minister said: “As we warned, the EU are now negotiating with Parliament not us and they are playing for time while they see what MPs say.”

They added talks with the EU have slowed down since the Lords began amending the bill and Brussels bosses had “all but admitted it”.

The revelation comes as the House of Lords passed another amendment to the Brexit bill which brings the amendments up to 15.

The latest attempt to damage the Bill would see environmental protections currently provided by the European Union continue after the split and a powerful new British watchdog set up to enforce them.

The Lords’ changes to the Brexit Bill also include compelling ministers to negotiate a future customs union arrangement and allowing Parliament a ‘meaningful role’ after the exit talks are complete.

All 15 of the amendments must first be approved by MPs in the Commons before they become law.

But Theresa May has a working majority of just 13, and every Brexit vote raises the possibility of around a dozen Tory rebels voting against the Government.

Brexit news EU Theresa May House of Lords Brexit Bill

All 15 of the amendments must first be approved by MPs in the Commons

The Bill will return to the House of Commons in the coming weeks in a major challenge for Mrs May.

Pro-EU Tory rebels could back the major changes including on staying in the single market and customs union.

The House of Lords Labour leader Angela Smith said: “The Bill now returns to the Commons in better shape.

“I hope Mrs May will take a pragmatic view of how best to proceed rather than follow a purely ideological route that rejects sensible amendments.”

Brexit news EU Theresa May House of Lords Brexit Bill

Angela Smith said the Bill now returns to the Commons in better shape

The Prime Minister warned MPs they risked destroying the “integrity” of politicians if they voted to stop Brexit and asked them to throw out the Lords amendments.

She said: “It is important, and I consider it to be a matter of the integrity of politicians, that having given the choice to the British people we should then deliver for them on that choice.”

Treasury Minister Mel Stride said the Labour motion “isn’t designed to help the country at a critical time in her history.

“It’s designed purely for the purposes of party politics and it should be seen for what it is”.

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