Lords debate Brexit trigger bill - live

February 20, 2017 12:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
  • Peers debate Article 50 bill paving way for start of Brexit
  • Theresa May wants to invoke Article 50 - the formal two-year mechanism by which a state must leave the EU - by the end of March
  • Peers will seek to guarantee the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK and the role of Parliament in scrutinising the Brexit process
  • Follow our live coverage of today's events

11.35

Plans to divert foreign aid to Eastern Europe for Brexit negotiations are a disgrace, the Liberal Democrats have said.

Commenting on reports part of the UK foreign aid budget may be diverted to Eastern Europe as part of the Brexit negotiations, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Tom Brake said: "It is a disgrace this government is considering taking money away from the world's poorest countries in a desperate attempt to claw back support in Europe.

Tom Brake MP

"This is a sign of how weak their current negotiating position is.

"The Liberal Democrats are proud to have enshrined the 0.7% aid target into law.

"Britain's commitment to helping the poor and vulnerable should not be sacrificed on the altar of a hard Brexit."

11.12

Dick Newby, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, told BBC Radio 4 that the rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK must be guaranteed.

Reports have suggested millions of EU citizens living in the UK could face legal limbo after Brexit.

Today's debate in the House of Lords includes a Liberal Democrat amendment to give EU nationals in Britain the right to stay.

Lord Newby said: "The government is generating real fear and uncertainty amongst large numbers of people.

"Every day we are hearing passionate pleas from people whose partners, friends and colleagues are living with a shadow of doubt hanging over their future in the UK.

"This is no way to treat people who have settled in our country and contributed hugely to our economy and society.

"We want to give Theresa May the chance to think again and grant EU nationals in the UK the right to remain now."