Brexit to start by the end of March

  • 03/03/2017
David Davis (Reuters)
David Davis (Reuters)

Britain remains on track to trigger the legal process for leaving the European Union by the end of March despite a setback in the House of Lords, Brexit Minister David Davis said on Thursday.

"The process is on track. The most important thing is that we'll conclude in time to present the Article 50 letter and we'll do so both in the interests of ourselves and the European Union," Mr Davis told reporters during a trip to Copenhagen.

Britain's upper parliamentary house dealt a defeat to Theresa May's government on Wednesday, voting for a change to her Brexit plan that says she can only trigger divorce talks if she promises to protect EU citizens' rights.

A spokesman for May was clear that the Prime Minister wanted the legislation passed without changes.

"The Prime Minister has made clear her intention that the bill should be passed unamended," her spokesman told reporters.

"MPs have already voted it through unamended at the first stage so we expect that to be the case again."

The upper house, the House of Lords, will debate further possible changes to the legislation on Tuesday. The bill will then return to the lower house, the House of Commons, most likely in the week of March 13.