Ministers are expecting a parliamentary battle over the Brexit bill next week as the House of Lords is likely to pass amendments rewriting the legislation, David Davis has said.
Speaking in Sweden, the Brexit secretary said he was expecting the bill to be subject to a parliamentary process known as “ping-pong”, which happens when the House of Lords sends legislation back to the Commons with amendments to the text.
The Brexit bill was passed by MPs last week without amendment despite the efforts of Labour, the Lib Dems and a handful of rebel Conservatives.
However, some opposition peers believe they have a chance of victory over a few amendments in the Lords, particularly on the issue of guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens in the UK, as the government has no majority in the upper chamber.
Labour has promised no “extended ping-pong” as it does not want to frustrate the timetable for triggering article 50, but it has laid eight amendments on issues from EU nationals to quarterly reporting to parliament about the Brexit process.
Asked about the bill’s progress through the Lords, Davis said he still expected Theresa May to be able to trigger article 50 notifying the EU of the UK’s intention to leave by the end of March.
However, Davis said he was also expecting that the upper house “will do its job of scrutiny, we’ll have some passing backwards and forward, we call it ping-pong, you can imagine why, backwards and forwards of the bill, but I expect that to…