UK govt suffers Parliament defeat on key Brexit bill

Associated Press

London – Britain’s key Brexit bill has hit a hurdle, with the House of Lords voting to seek continued membership in the European Union’s customs union.

Parliament’s upper house voted 348- 225 Wednesday for a change to the EU Withdrawal Bill seeking to stay in the customs union.

John Kerr, who proposed the amendment, says it’s an attempt to “limit the damage” of leaving Britain’s biggest market.

The Conservative-led government says Britain will leave the EU’s customs union and single market after it quits the bloc next year. But some lawmakers and businesses want to retain a customs union to avoid tariffs and border checks.

It’s unclear whether the amendment will survive when the bill becomes law. The House of Commons has the power to overturn changes made by the unelected upper house.