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  1. ITV Report

Boris Johnson's Brexit deal defeated in House of Lords for fifth time in two days

The House of Lords Credit: PA

Boris Johnson's Brexit deal has been defeated in the House of Lords for the fifth time in just two days.

The latest loss was a narrow one for the government, with peers backing calls, by a majority of just four, to give reassurance to Scotland and Wales on devolution powers post-Brexit.

It followed an earlier defeat on Tuesday when Lords, by a majority of 80, voted to ensure the rights of child refugees to be reunited with their families in the UK post-Brexit.

However, due to the prime minister's huge majority in the House of Commons, any amendments made by the Lords will quickly be overturned by MPs when the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill returns on Wednesday.

The legislation took a battering on Monday, with the government Bill being amended to change clauses regarding the Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice, and the rights of EU citizens post-Brexit.

Peers first voted by a majority of 41 to allow EU citizens physical proof of their settled status.

Hours later the government was defeated again when Lords, by a majority of 36, voted to remove the power of ministers to decide which courts should have the power to depart from judgments by the European Court of Justice.

A third defeat for ministers swiftly followed the second as peers backed a move to allow cases to be referred to the Supreme Court to decide whether to depart from EU case law.

Labour's Lord Dubs led the bid to restore the right of unaccompanied child refugees in the EU to be reunited with their families in the UK after Brexit, suggesting his amendment would help disprove accusations that the Tories were the "mean and nasty" party.

The Labour peer, who fled the Nazis as a child on the Kindertransport, urged ministers not to use the small number of children involved as "bargaining chips" in negotiations.

He said the Government was seeking to delete earlier protections for child refugees in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 but it was a simple matter of humanity to retain them.

Lady Williams said the Conservatives' record of the last 10 years clearly demonstrated a commitment to protecting vulnerable children and this would continue.

She said more than 41,000 children had been granted protection in the UK since 2010 and over 5,000 unaccompanied children were being cared for in England alone.

The election manifesto underlined the commitment to continue to grant asylum and support for refugees fleeing persecution, Lady Williams added.

Labour, Liberal Democrat and crossbench peers ignored her pleas and united to defeat the Government again.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman told reporters: "We are disappointed that the Lords has chosen to amend the Withdrawal Agreement Bill after the Commons passed it unamended.

"We will seek to overturn this amendment as the Bill returns to the Commons."