In a defeat for the government, peers voted 358-256 for an amendment requiring protection of the rights of more than three million European citizens after Britain leaves the bloc.

A copy of the Brexit bill in front of London's iconic Big Ben clocktower.
A copy of the Brexit bill in front of London's iconic Big Ben clocktower.

The UK's upper house of parliament has voted voted on legislation that may delay the beginning of negotiations to exit the European Union (EU).

In a major defeat for the government, peers voted on Wednesday 358-256 for an amendment requiring ministers to protect the rights of more than three million European citizens after Britain leaves the bloc.

The change means the bill must return to the lower House of Commons for deliberation, delaying final approval just weeks ahead of Prime Minister Theresa May's deadline for starting Brexit negotiations by the end of this month.

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood has more from London.

Governments says bill still on track

Brexit minister David Davis on Thursday that Britain remains on track to trigger the legal process for leaving the European Union by the end of March despite Wednesday's setback.

"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," Davis said.

Source: TRT World