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Britain’s Upper House Defeats Government for Second Time on Article 50 Bill

The government had rejected the amendment, saying it would weaken May’s hand by denying her the ability to walk away from the negotiating table

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House of Lords Chamber, Wikimedia
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London, March 8, 2017: Britian’s upper house, the unelected House of Lords on Tuesday voted to give parliament a veto over the final outcome of Theresa Mays Brexit negotiations, inflicting a second defeat on the governments article 50 bill.

Peers supported a Labour-led amendment by 366 to 268, despite the government’s argument that it would “damage the national interest” by making May’s Brexit negotiations more difficult, the Guardian reported.

Michael Heseltine, the Conservative former Deputy Prime Minister, was one of those leading the rebellion against the government’s position, along with Labour, Liberal Democrat and crossbench peers.

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“Everyone in this house knows that we now face the most momentous peacetime decision of our time,” he said.

“And this amendment secures in law the government’s commitment … to ensure that parliament is the ultimate custodian of our national sovereignty.

“It ensures that parliament has the critical role in determining the future that we will bequeath to generations of young people.”

The government had rejected the amendment, saying it would weaken May’s hand by denying her the ability to walk away from the negotiating table, the Guardian added.

George Bridges, a Tory peer and minister, said it would “make negotiations much harder from day one for the Prime Minister” by increasing the incentive for European Union countries to offer Britain a bad deal in the hope of getting parliament to scupper Brexit.

The Brexit bill will now return to the elected House of Commons with the amendment forcing May to have a vote on her Brexit deal and another guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens.

MPs are likely to overturn those amendments, although some Conservative MPs remain unhappy that it is not clear whether parliament will get a vote if May ends up trying to take Britain out of the EU without a deal having been struck.

This will send the Brexit bill back to the House of Lords, which may end up backing down and acknowledging the supremacy of the Commons.

May has already verbally promised that parliament will get a vote on her Brexit deal but this will be on a “take-it-or-leave-it” basis, as the choices would be accepting the terms or crashing out of the EU to rely on World Trade Organisation rules.

But the House of Lords decided that the promise of a parliamentary vote on the outcome of the Brexit talks with the EU must be set down in legislation. Earlier, the peers voted against putting the outcome to a second referendum. (IANS)

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Modi Urges Karnataka BJP Women to Popularise His Schemes

Listing various women-oriented schemes promoted by the Centre, Modi asked them to connect with other women across each of the state's 224 constituencies.

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FILE IMAGE- Mr. Narendra Modi

Interacting with Karnataka’s BJP women cadres through his mobile app, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked them to popularise his government’s schemes ahead of the May 12 Assembly polls.

“We need to expose the hollow promises made by the Congress and urge the people of Karnataka to join the journey of development,” Modi told the Bharatiya Janata Party women workers through the Narendra Modi mobile app.

Listing various women-oriented schemes promoted by the Centre, Modi asked them to connect with other women across each of the state’s 224 constituencies.

“We will win the election, but for us (BJP) it is important to win the polling booth,” he said.

Interacting with Karnataka's BJP women cadres through his mobile app, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday asked them to popularise his government's schemes ahead of the May 12 Assembly polls.
Karnataka BJP Women to flag Modi’s schemes. Wikimedia Commons

The BJP-led Union government is keen on giving equal opportunities to women in the society and wants to support them at every stage, whether they want to be a homemaker, job seeker or job creator, added the PM in the 40-minute audio-video interaction.

An estimated nine crore women across the country have benefitted from the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) scheme, which provides loans for small and micro enterprises, he said.

Nearly Rs 12 crore worth loans have been given out under the PMMY scheme, of which more than 70 per cent beneficiaries were women, the Prime Minister said.

Also Read: Jammu and Kashmir cabinet gets five fresh additions 

Programmes like Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, which provides LPG gas to women from below poverty line (BPL) households, have also benefitted several women, he added.

Modi highlighted that the central government had increased the paid maternity leave from the earlier 12 weeks to 26 weeks for women in the organised sector.

“When the contribution of women in the country increases, the development of the country is ensured,” said Modi. (IANS)