Europe

UK's May warns Lords not to delay people's will on Brexit

  • Demonstrators gather in Parliament Square before a group of EU citizens of several nationalities, and including nurses, social workers and teaching assistants, lobby Members of Parliament  over their right to remain in the UK, in London, Monday Feb. 20, 2017. The House of Lords begins to debate the Government's Brexit bill on Monday. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

    Demonstrators gather in Parliament Square before a group of EU citizens of several nationalities, and including nurses, social workers and teaching assistants, lobby Members of Parliament over their right to remain in the UK, in London, Monday Feb. 20, 2017. The House of Lords begins to debate the Government's Brexit bill on Monday. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)  (The Associated Press)

  • A demonstrator wears a badge in Parliament Square before a group of EU citizens of several nationalities, and including nurses, social workers and teaching assistants,  lobby Members of Parliament  over their right to remain in the UK, in London, Monday Feb. 20, 2017. The House of Lords begins to debate the Government's Brexit bill on Monday. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

    A demonstrator wears a badge in Parliament Square before a group of EU citizens of several nationalities, and including nurses, social workers and teaching assistants, lobby Members of Parliament over their right to remain in the UK, in London, Monday Feb. 20, 2017. The House of Lords begins to debate the Government's Brexit bill on Monday. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)  (The Associated Press)

  • Demonstrators wave flags in Parliament Square before a group of EU citizens of several nationalities, and including nurses, social workers and teaching assistants,  lobby Members of Parliament  over their right to remain in the UK, in London, Monday Feb. 20, 2017. The House of Lords begins to debate the Government's Brexit bill on Monday. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)

    Demonstrators wave flags in Parliament Square before a group of EU citizens of several nationalities, and including nurses, social workers and teaching assistants, lobby Members of Parliament over their right to remain in the UK, in London, Monday Feb. 20, 2017. The House of Lords begins to debate the Government's Brexit bill on Monday. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland)  (The Associated Press)

British Prime Minister Theresa May says Parliament must not hold up "what the British people want" by trying to delay the start of European Union exit talks.

May spoke as the House of Lords begins debate on a bill authorizing the government to trigger the EU divorce process.

Opposition members of Parliament's upper chamber are seeking changes to guarantee lawmakers a bigger say in the negotiations.

The unelected Lords can't overrule the House of Commons, which has already passed the bill. But they could delay its passage, endangering the government's self-imposed March 31 deadline for triggering Brexit talks.

The Lords begins two days of debate Monday.

May says the House of Commons approved the bill without amendments, and "I hope that the House of Lords will pay attention to that."