British Government disappointed by Lords votes on Brexit laws, vows robust action

Her Majesty The Queen accompanied by the Prince of Wales presents the government's Queen's Speech during the State Opening of Parliament in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London.

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May and her senior ministers agreed on Tuesday they were disappointed by decisions taken in the upper house of parliament that could block or delay Brexit, May’s spokesman said, adding the government will respond robustly.

 “Cabinet expressed its strong disappointment at the defeats inflicted on the EU withdrawal bill in the House of Lords, saying they risked tying the government’s hands behind its back in negotiations with Brussels,” he told reporters.

“The prime minister said when the bill returns to the House of Commons, the government will be robust. She said it was vital to ensure the legislation is able to deliver the smooth Brexit which is in the interests of everybody in the United Kingdom.”

On Monday, the House of Lords voted to give parliament powers to block or delay a final deal on departure from the European Union, defeating the government. May can try to overturn the changes, which have to be agreed by both houses of parliament before they become law.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, writing by William James