Brexit bill: MPs reject amendment to protect EU citizens in UK

Attempts to force the government to give all EU citizens in the UK permanent residency after Britain leaves the bloc have been defeated.

The government successfully blocked the bid to add the protections in amendments to the Brexit bill in the House of Commons on Wednesday by 332 votes to 290. Three Tory MPs voted in favour of the amendment – Ken Clarke, Andrew Tyrie and Tania Matthias.

However, the Liberal Democrats said they were confident they have enough support from Labour peers to pass the amendments when the bill is debated in the House of Lords later this month.

“The Liberal Democrats will make protecting these citizens’ rights a top priority. We have tabled amendments in the Commons and we will do so again in the House of Lords,” Lib Dem Lords leader Dick Newby said. “We believe we have support on all sides to deliver on the promises the government should have made to millions of people who have made our country their home.”

Both parties are to table amendments in the Lords concerning the rights of EU citizens, though one Labour source said it would be “naive” to see any vote as a done deal. It is understood peers are keen for the issue not to be seen as party political, in case it deters sympathetic Conservative or crossbench peers from supporting whichever amendment is selected for a vote.

During the Commons debate before the vote, the former culture minister Ed Vaizey said Tory MPs had received reassurances from the home secretary, Amber…

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