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Legislation to end Britain's European Union membership begins months of debate in the upper house of Parliament this month and is likely to be given a rough ride by largely pro-EU lawmakers.Although May's government is expected to suffer defeats on some parts of the bill, lords are not expected to block Brexit outright, or indeed influence the final shape of the future relationship between Britain and the EU.The Lords is secondary to the directly elected House of Commons in setting policy, and any changes it makes to legislation can be overruled.Why the fuss?Short of blocking Brexit, the Lords can change how Britain enacts its EU exit by adding caveats and restricting the government's powers.This means the government is outnumbered and therefore must pacify opponents or win over nonpolitical peers, known as crossbenchers, to defeat attempts to change the legislation.Given the anti-Brexit leaning of many peers, and concerns in that the legislation gives ministers unconstitutional powers, the government is expected to suffer several defeats on aspects of the bill.What could change?Objections raised in the Lords will be either political or constitutional.Labour wants to ensure the legislation protects EU-derived workers' rights and incorporates the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights.
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